Stupid Simple Sweep
The first in the stupid simple sweep series.
This sweep is not very flashy or complicated, nor is it at all original or unique. It is pretty simple, maybe even stupidly so, thus my name for it: the stupid simple sweep. And as I’ll explain later, you’ll rarely get it exactly as shown below.
But none of that stops it it from being my one of my current favorites.
Jon is in my closed guard with posture, holding my lapels. I am cupping his right wrist with my left hand and cross gripping his sleeve with my right hand.
I open my guard and step on his hips with both feet. I keep my knees pressing in towards him so he can’t easily reach back and push them down.
I straighten my legs and push off his hips to scoot away.
I sit up then quickly jerk my chest back as I shove my hands up, stripping his grip off my lapel.
I sit up again after stripping his grip. My left foot comes off his hip and steps on the inside of his right knee.
I sit forward and cross his arm as I kick his knee out, blocking it with my foot.
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT DETAIL: Do not try to just push their knee straight back — that won’t work. They’ve got a lot of weight on the knee and pushing straight into it won’t move it much. Instead, push it out (from the inside) to spread their knees apart and then push it back. This is much, much easier, as you will see if you experiment a little with it.
From the other angle, notice how my foot is still on his hip. I’ve tried to switch to a butterfly hook at this point, but it doesn’t have much power to lift them when I’m sitting so far away. Instead, it serves more of a purpose on their hip, helping to stretch them out. I will also use my knee and shin on his chest to help twist him for the sweep.
I fall back, using my body weight to pull his arm and I keep pushing his knee out. Notice how stretched out Jon is. You won’t always get it this good in sparring, but you can sure try.
If everything goes exactly as planned, you get this really exaggerated mid-sweep shot. Most people won’t really get this stretched out, but this gives you an idea of how much commitment I put into it.
As he rolls sideways, I twist my hips and come on top.
As I said at the start, you’ll rarely get this sweep as shown here. If you do get it, you’re lucky if you get it on your first try. But that’s not really why I go for it. I just like to use the threat of this sweep more than anything. This sweep is really simple, not much more than just pulling their arm and kicking out their knee, but this is actually its virtue. You can just keep repeating it over and over and over again until it works or they give you something else.
Keep kicking out their knee, breaking their base, breaking posture, crossing the arm, stretching them out. Over and over and over. They’ll posture, they’ll pull back, they’ll try to post their hands and feet, they’ll try to stand up, they’ll go to combat base, they’ll do all sorts of stuff. But none of those really stop you from just trying to hit this sweep again. As simple as it is, they’ve got to defend it, and it’s how they react to this that will setup other sweeps and submissions. Later I’ll show how I armdrag and take the back off this. If you’re good boys and girls, I’ll also use it to setup a triangle-armbar.
For example, just yesterday, I rolled with two purple belts and probably went for this sweep ten times on each one. I’d go for it but they’d defend somehow, so I’d reset enough to go for it again. And again. And again. By about the fourth or fifth time, they’d have fallen enough behind that the next time I tried, it actually worked. Or they’d be so messed up from trying to recover that I’d switch to another sweep or a triangle. Talking to one of them afterwards, he said that he felt like he was always behind, trying to catch up and could never settle himself to even start passing.
So keep the pressure on, keep threatening this sweep, go for it with commitment over and over again, and they’ll fall more and more behind, until you finally get them with it or something better.
A little more on the grips. Here is the one I use:
One hand cups the wrist and the other pistol grips the gi. I like this grip for several reasons, including 1) the pistol grip controls them trying to pull out and is good for pulling them back, 2) the grip on the wrist controls side to side movement well and prevents them from doing an easy circular grip break and 3) my fingers don’t get wrecked when they rip out.
You could also grip this way:
Pretty much the same, only with a different grip on the sleeve. It’s more secure but more taxing on your fingers.
Or this way:
This grip probably gives you the most pulling power on their arm, but doesn’t control it much in other directions and is easier to escape with circular grip breaks. But mostly it just rubs my knuckles raw until they bleed and turns my hands to claws when they rip their arm out.