Basic BJJ Sweeps for Beginner – Turn Defeat To Victory


Basic BJJ Sweeps for BeginnersBasic BJJ Sweeps for Beginners

If you ask any black belt what are the first things you should use when starting with BJJ, the most of them will say BJJ sweeps. BJJ sweeps are the most important part of BJJ defense. This is the reason why Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the best defensive martial art when fighting on the ground. No matter how strong your opponent is, no matter how good he punches, you will know to defend. The worst-case scenario for successful ground and pound fighter is a defensive BJJ black belt who has amazing sweeps and submissions. Your opponent can be ten times stronger, but strength means nothing when your technique is perfect!

Changing the situations during the fights has never been easier. Great knowledge of bjj sweeps will turn the defeat into a spectacular victory.

There are many mistakes beginners make, and this is the list of the most often ones:

  • Bad control of the opponent’s arm. Make sure you maintain a good control over opponent’s arm. It will decrease chances of countering your sweep. Try not to leave any free space.
  • Proper technique and direction. You need to sweep in the direction your opponent has no control of. If your opponent defends his right side, you should sweep from his left side. This part can only come with experience.
  • Legs and hips are very important for the successful technique. If you use your arms only, an opponent will counter your sweep very easily. However, when you add legs and hips, your opponent will have to protect 5 spots instead of two. This will increase the chances of a successful sweep.
  • Bad timing. You need to know when will your opponent move the balance to another side. You need to see when is the perfect time for the transition and when is your opponent vulnerable. Train hard and you will improve this element.

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#1. Lumberjack Bjj SweepS

If your opponent stands in the closed guard and holds your lapel, it is a great solution. Lift your hips as your opponent stands up. Lock your knees on his hips, lift your hips up and pull his legs towards you. After a successful lumberjack sweep, you will end up in the mount position.

#2. Scissors sweep

This is also a great bjj sweep from the closed guard when the opponent holds your lapel. It can be done by a complete newbie and it is very easy.

Grab the opponent’s lapel with your left arm and place your knee on the level of the opponent’s chest. Pull your opponent towards you, creating the space for your right leg. Kick the opponent’s thigh with your right leg and push your left leg up, rotating it clockwise and placing opponent to the ground. Make sure you pull the opponent’s hand towards you, or he can evade your bjj sweep.

#3. Closed guard sweep hip bump sweep

This is the first thing you should learn before you start your UFC career. Especially in the fight against ground and pound fighter who tries to dominate you in the ground game.

Rotate your right foot to the right and stand up. Grab your right leg with your left hand and trap opponent’s left arm. Lift your hips up and pull opponent’s left
hand under you. At the same time, lift your left leg and rotate it clockwise, rotating your opponent.

Successful bjj sweep leads you into a full mount position and you will be able to punch your opponent.

#4. Flower sweep

This is the basic bjj sweep if you want to learn advanced techniques.

You and your opponent are in the closed guard. Grab the sleeve of the opponent’s right hand and the opponent’s left leg at the same time with your both hands. At the same time, put the left foot on the floor and move your right leg to the level of the opponent’s ribs. Rotate your opponent counterclockwise. At the same time, pull opponent’s hand towards you and push opponent’s leg.

If the sweep was successful, you will end up in a full mount position.

#5. Elevator hook sweep

Dealing with bigger and stronger opponent can be a nightmare. But this sweep has one primary function – teaching bigger opponent a lesson. His pressure and strength are useless against elevator hook sweep.

An opponent is in the full guard position and tries to punch you. You are holding opponent’s neck. In the moment opponent lifts his knee off the ground and transfers his weight forward, place your right foot under his left leg and your right hand under opponent’s armpit and pull his lapel towards you. Rotate your opponent counterclockwise.

Successful sweep leads you to a half-guard position. This bjj sweep can be used very effectively in UFC.

#6. Butterfly Sweep

It doesn’t matter whether you have or don’t have a judo gi or bjj gi. Butterfly sweep is effective in both cases.

You already know all about butterfly guard. While your opponent is in the full guard, create space and place your feet on the opponent’s hips. Hold your opponent’s lapel in the level above his hands and keep your legs wide. Place your right leg on your left leg to set the trap, while at the same time your right hand goes under opponent’s thigh. Bring your shoulder to the right and load your opponent up, throwing him over.

If the transition was successful, side control position will enable many submission opportunities. Every fighter with good butterfly guard could master this bjj sweep easily.

#7. Heel hook sweep

This is a good bjj sweep if an opponent moves his knee towards your shoulder. It is good for BJJ and UFC fights, but do not try this in Pride fight, cause the opponent can crush your head with his knee.

Place your arm under the opponent and grab his left foot with your left hand if the opponent moves his right knee towards your right shoulder. Lock the opponent’s leg and pull it upwards. At the same time, trap opponent’s left arm with your right arm to prevent evading. Roll your opponent clockwise.

A successful bjj sweep enables full mount position and an opportunity to finish the fight.

#8. Back sweep

Also known as the gift wrap sweep, it is also a great way to defend from a closed guard position. Grab the opponent’s right wrist with your both hands towards your right shoulder. Re-trap your opponent by placing your left arm around his neck and pull back. Place your right hand under opponent’s thing and use the momentum to rotate the opponent counterclockwise.

When you lift your opponent properly, you will end up in a full mount position.

#9. Front sweep

The video is available here. You can learn it properly after a month or two training sessions. It is a good defense against a fighter who is trying to escape full guard position.

In the moment your opponent tries to stand up, use one hand to control opponent’s arm and place another arm onto opponent’s neck. Put your legs onto opponent’s hips and lift your hips up. Keep pushing your opponent backward over your head. As your opponent rotates over you, do not let him go and use the momentum.

When you rotate, you will end up on the top of your opponent in the mount position.

Wrap It Up

Congratulations, you learned basic BJJ sweeps. There are many other sweeps which you may find useful in BJJ or UFC fight.

Knowing basics can always lead to improvements. Harder sweeps are not difficult when you know the basic ones. All you need is hard training, dedication, and constant repetitions!

And at the end, enjoy looking the power of wonderful BJJ sweeps!


Teaching, Friendly, Young, Passion. Always wanna go up & down. Hey, you gotta live, do you?  

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