Butterfly Guard & Involuntary Newbie Slam Defense

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Before I begin, I attempted a guillotine choke today. I didn’t get it but I can”t remember (since 2004) ever using it during rolling. Even though it is a very effective technique I’ve always viewed it as an easy ‘sub.’ Plus, in my first academy we used to have this guy who studied Hapkido who used to do things like pull on your fingers and use his forearm as a police baton. His favorite move was the guillotine and he would hold it for an entire roll if you didn’t tap. I learned guillotine defense by never putting myself in a position to let him attempt it and what I should do if he ever did.

Our warm-up was pretty long as we did a lot of stretching and at least 300-350 sit-ups before shrimping (about 8 types). Ryan, who led class today, has another name for it but I can’t recall it as I write. In drill we worked on passing the butterfly guard by trapping one leg. We practiced about four variations with the final one ending in a shoulder lock submission.

After that we rolled. My first matchup was against a guy whose demeanor didn’t match his grappling style. We started from our knees. He held out his hand and introduced himself. He gave no indication that he was ultra-aggressive. As we struck our beginning poses, a few seconds passed and then he exploded into the air with a “HUUUUUUH!” and with all four limbs coming in my direction. As my new policy is to not let new guys get the top position, I reflexively pushed him in the middle of his chest. He fell back like a rocket out of a cannon.

We both looked at each other for a second and then he jumped up to his knees. I had a sinking feeling as I realized that I was in the middle of a spaz match. I figured I could calm him down if I remained calm. We clinched and I twisted him down by holding on to his neck and left arm. I wrestled him until I obtained side control. Once I had it he waited a few seconds and then tried to explode out of the position. From there I snaked my knee across his stomach for the mount. I knew he was going to explode again so I grape-vined his legs. He exploded just as I locked up his legs. I didn’t feel like giving him a chance to go ballistic if I tried for a random submission from the mount so I knuckle choked him for the tap. I talked to him after class and he said he had been grappling for a month now.

In my second roll I matched up against a white belt/striped. This guy is getting pretty good real quick so I just decided to not experiment today. I also pulled him down by grabbing his neck and pulling on his left arm. I tried to obtain side control but he began shrimping as soon as his back hit the floor. We spent the majority of time with me trying to passing his guard to half guard, him recovering and back to half guard. At the end he was able to reverse after a scramble and we ended with him trying to pass my half-guard.

Once in the middle of our roll he tried the scissor sweep but couldn’t get it. After he tried a few times he said, “Bakari, you are heavy!”  He is right I am heavy in comparison. But I also know that I have a very high resistance to scissor sweeps. Every place I have trained people have commented on me having a good base in the guard and much of my core balance comes from Judo.

I told my wife I am going to start lightly telling people it’s my Judo base not my weight. I’ve had guys bigger than me try it to no avail as well.


Check out my new books, The Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and Grappling for Newbies on Amazon.com!


2 thoughts on “Butterfly Guard & Involuntary Newbie Slam Defense

    Tree Frog said:
    June 8, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    I’m using the scissors and its variations a lot (two stripe white).

    What I’m finding is that usually even failed attempts give me opportunities to either back out completely, go for an arm bar or to take the back sometimes.

    jiujitsu365 said:
    June 9, 2009 at 10:58 am

    I have never seen someone go for the back after a failed scissor sweep. I will have to try that out..

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