The 2013 Butterfly Guard Thread

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by sha, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. sha

    sha Geekjitsu Black Belt

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    Inspired by the Robert Drysdale Rolled Up thread, here is a thread specifically about a deceptively effective guard, the humble butterfly guard.

    I've been playing butterfly guard exclusively from the bottom for a while now, and here's a couple things I picked up:

    • As Robert Drysdale said, people won't give you the underhook easily. Your butterfly guard will need setups from other tie-ups, especially in no-gi.
    • On the other hand, if you do get the underhook you should be well on your way to scoring a sweep. My favorite way to get there is getting the underhook in half guard or some other transitional position, and directly chaining into the sweep.
    • Unlike the closed guard or rubber guard, butterfly guard is not a slow, methodical guard. You also need to change rhythm a lot, and be able to switch between playing it slow and relaxed and quickly chaining two or three sweep attempts.
    • Butterfly guard is relatively easy to pass since you're not holding on to anything. To counter this, you need to A) be very aggressive with your sweep attempts and B) manage distance well to disengage as soon as you're in danger of getting passed.
    • You need to get comfortable sweeping from any possible grip, from the traditional over-under to the typically disadvantageous double-overhook. Head grips are also important, whether it's the neck tie or the headlock (i.e. arm-in guillotine).
    • There are two easy way for your opponent to nullify your butterfly guard completely: backing up and standing up. If they back up, you can typically come up into a double leg and bulldoze them over. If they stand up, you need an answer too, such as the 1-leg x-guard, DLR, etc.

    So basically, the three most important things for being a good butterfly guard player are:

    • Being comfortable with any grip you can get.
    • Having an answer when your opponent backs up or stands up.
    • Always being aware of the distance.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. jtmb

    jtmb Blue Belt

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    Good topic. I took some time to really work on my half guard and open guard transitions, but I found once I consciously tried to return to butterfly and develop my game from there I've made a lot of progress.

    Specifically, as you pointed out, being comfortable with any grip you can get is a huge part of butterfly imo. On Marcelo's episode of Rolled Up, he seemed to work off that 2 on 1 grip which I had seen before but never really played around with too much. It's still a work in progress, but definitely something to explore. I constantly look for armdrags from butterfly as well so it seems to chain nicely when your opponent is fixated on not letting their arms get too far from their body.

    I also really started working from the overhook as I like to play a lot of omaplata setups, and it seemed like a natural transition. I found a lot of useful stuff on Cobrinha's set if anyone has it (disc 1 specifically), and I think he also credits Terere for that part of his game, so someone with more knowledge there could maybe add some insight.
     
  3. Shemhazai

    Shemhazai Black Belt

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    I play mostly whizzer butterfly, usually controlling the far wrist or sometimes just blocking the far elbow. I like how it allows me to go back and forth between hook sweep and triangle/omoplata, and it's a nice weapon to have when people underhook me in half guard. I used to do the underhook sweep a lot, and I still set it up sometimes from half guard (easiest position in which to get the underhook, IMO), but I've lately started learning Marcelo's collar-tie hook sweep, as it makes for a VERY quick change in direction as you sit up vs. an opponent trying to stall out or smash the whizzer sweep. It makes it harder to secure top position than with the underhook, but it's a tie-up that is almost always available.
     
  4. BJJArsenal

    BJJArsenal Brown Belt

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    I love using the butterfly to set up the single leg x-guard and traditional x-guard. Such a useful position. Also love arm-drags and guillotines from there.
     
  5. KneeShield

    KneeShield Orange Belt

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    Great thread!

    I've been playing butterfly guard lately, usually going for underhooks or overhooks, some people will tuck their elbows in tight so i can't get any underhooks or overhooks, what do you guys do when this happens?
     
  6. Shemhazai

    Shemhazai Black Belt

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    Collar-tie and elbow, or what Marcelo does sometimes, just grab both elbows and jump underneath him with your hips for an explosive hook sweep. I'm not very good at it myself, but it seems to work for him.
     
  7. pikeamus

    pikeamus Blue Belt

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    In no-gi I would normally cup both of my opponents elbows and shoot my hips in, using both hooks to elevate my opponent and switching to single leg x-guard. In the gi you can still do this but I prefer the double collar grip if I can get it.

    The other option is to do your hook sweep off collar (or head in no-gi) and elbow control. Broadly speaking these are the two main routes of attack use by Marcelo against a kneeling opponent (the arm drag and the ankle pick are also there but these seem lower down the priority scale). On the MGinaction forum I recently put together a rough summary of which controls lead to which attack paths:

    2 on 1 control, double elbow control or double collar control --> hook lift into 1leg x guard (or hook lift to the back with the 2 on 1 if your control feels solid)

    collar and elbow, single underhook and elbow control, double overhook--> hook sweep

    cross arm and belt --> cross arm and belt sweep (sweeps to the same side as your hook)

    double under control --> either are possible but hook lift to an x-guard" variation seems easier
     
  8. DPS831

    DPS831 Purple Belt

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    I love the fact that a failed butterfly sweep usually results in your opponent posting one or both of his hands on the mat. This opens up a lot of different attacks. Lately I've been trying to work the straight armlock & omoplata from there.

    Another thing I've been trying to do is work on taking the back from a failed sweep. If I can get the guy to post one arm out on the mat after the sweep attempt I try to get my head under his other arm while also extending that same side leg & flattening him out (to prevent a scramble). Saw this one in the Galvao instructional & it works pretty good if you're quick enough.
     
  9. BjjStats

    BjjStats Yellow Belt

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    For me, Butterfly didn't start to gel until I thought of it as a very dynamic guard. I'm always looking to push or pull (or take advantage of my opponent's pushes and pulls). If you don't mix the two energies, the guard just doesn't work. Most good players don't just give you the energy you want either. You have to push into them to make them push back, so you can then do a pulling attack (and visa versa).

    I push when my opponent pulls away. My pushing attacks are:
    - Ankle picks
    - Double or single legs
    - Standing up into a guillotine
    - Standing up into a loop choke

    I pull when my opponent pushes into me. My pulling attacks are:
    - Hook sweeps
    - Arm Drags
    - Collar Drags (so underrated!)

    Additionally I like to move to butterfly from half guard because a lot of guys will push into you to keep you from sitting up. You can take advantage of this energy with an immediate pulling attack during the transition.

    The best way I can illustrate this concept is with one of my matches (I'm in the white gi):



    At around 30 seconds I push him away from half guard. I feel him push back into me, so I pull him into a collar drag. He pulls away, so I try to follow him up and hit the loop choke. He feels me coming up, pushes back into me and I pull him into a hook sweep.
     
  10. loyalyolayal

    loyalyolayal Steel Belt

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    i always knew that butterfly would be the key to solidify my game but i'm hooked on dlr & berimbolo. maybe i haven't encountered a really good butterfly player but i find it easy to pass &/or scramble out of. i even let them get the underhook often.

    like the ts, the rolled up thread with drysdale inspired me to work really hard on the butterfly.
     
  11. Discipulus

    Discipulus Black Belt

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    Nice! Like seeing judo on the ground. Good kuzushi. :)
     
  12. BjjStats

    BjjStats Yellow Belt

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    Actually there was another butterfly guard thread (I think it was on Sherdog) that talked about butterfly being like wrestling from your butt. It's a great way to think about it. I think far too many people don't use any sort of pushing attacks and then wonder why their opponent is able to maintain such a strong base against the hook sweep.

    I would love for this discussion to continue. I play a ton of butterfly and I'm always looking for new details and refinements.
     
  13. thugpoet

    thugpoet Purple Belt

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    #resurrection

    How has those who posted in this thread progressed with their butterfly guard?
     

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