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Butterfly Guard for Blue Belts | BJJ Gameplan

butterfly guard

Butterfly Guard for Blue Belts (BJJ Gameplan)

For the more experienced BJJ white belt and especially for blue belts, the butterfly guard is a great open guard game to learn. Unlike the closed guard, you can be more mobile when playing the butterfly guard. Your back is off the ground (you are in a seated posture), and your hips are free. This means that your opponent will find it difficult to drive all his weight on you to pin or smash you at the bottom. Smaller guys will find playing butterfly guard much easier on their spines when going up against heavier opponents.

Besides mobility, the butterfly guard is good for getting sweeps and turnovers. What's better than being at the bottom position, then out of the blue you suddenly sweep and put your opponent on his backside? From there you can start to control the game with passing and control positions, hunting for submissions on top.

Ideally as part of the butterfly guard gameplan, you would like to be able to avoid getting your guard passed (guard retention), then hit a sweep or turnover, get on top, get a guard pass and then attack with submissions to finish the fight.






So which butterfly guard techniques should you have in your arsenal if you are an experienced white belt or a blue belt? Here are a few must-know attacks:

Butterfly Guard Gameplan for Blue Belts

1. Butterfly Guard Ankle Pick


This is one of the easiest sweeps to hit when you play butterfly guard. This works well especially against opponents who like to sit or lean a bit backwards, not wanting to commit to any forward pressure. So what you do is you burst forward and push them back for the easy sweep, as Stephan Kesting shows here.



2. Sweep variation

This is a variation of the sweep No. 1 as demonstrated by Brandon Mullins. Also quite easy to pull off.



3. Basic Butterfly Guard Sweep (with underhook)

Flavio Almeida teaches this technique, which is a bread and butter sweep for butterfly guard. Pummel for the underhook (this is a priority) and then the sweep should be there for the taking.





4. Basic Butterfly Sweep (variation)

If you can't get the underhook, you can get head control instead. The legendary Marcelo Garcia shows how to do the sweep, which is finished the same way as Sweep No. 3 above.



5. Butterfly Guard Armdrag to Back Take

Sometimes you are unable to hit any sweeps, so hand fight and arm drag your opponent to take his back, as shown by Draculino. From there you should be able to get proper back mount and finish with chokes.



6. Butterfly Guard to Elbow Lock (Reverse Armbar)

Arm attacks are rare when playing butterfly guard. But this elbow lock is a great option if your opponent is not careful. Renato Tavares shows us how it's done.



7. Butterfly Guard to Lapel Choke

This very technical choke series from the butterfly guard as taught by Jeremy Arel works well for the gi game. A bit more advanced, but not too hard to learn.




For more techniques - Go HERE for the Spider Guard BJJ Gameplan 

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