BEGINNER BJJ - Why your BJJ sweeps are failing (and flailing) and how to become a janitor.

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The sweep is one of the core attributes that makes BJJ what it is.
Sure there's foot sweep and reversals in other martial arts, but BJJ is unique in that it has a guard that can be an offensive position.

Is there a wrestling guard?

Karate guard?

Capoeira guard?

Muay Thai guard?

Hopefully, you get the point.


So let's focus on a unique part of the BJJ game, the sweep, and why they are not going to plan.

By the end of this blog, you should have enough conceptual understanding to begin sweeping everyone on the mats and become a full-fledged BJJ janitor. 

1) Control/Grips
Think of your opponent's limbs are the legs on a table. 

Take one away and you have a glorified stool.

Take two away and you have nothing. 

When sweeping, ensure that two limbs are accounted for, usually one arm and one leg. If you fail to control at least two of these the odds aren't in your favour because your partner can post with a hand or base out with a leg. 

With two controlled you can force your mate to be a two-limbed man/woman in a competition that requires all the advantage you can get.

In short, you'll probably sweep them.

2) Appropriate technique

If your opponent is basing out, leaning or controlled in one direction, you always want to sweep here or whatever is the path of least resistance. 

To put the essence of sweeping mildly by what differentiates it from other techniques it would be that you want to use gravity, weight, weakness against your opponent. Again, see this as putting more of the odds in your favour.

So, if you are using the wrong technique, in the wrong direction, against the power of nature (gravity, blah blah blah), are you going to sweep someone?

And if you do you've probably lucked out or you have powered through it which isn't the point and certainly isn't BJJ. 

3) Angles

If your opponent has to own all four of their limbs and you want to reduce their number of active limbs, it stands to reason that you want more of your body in the fight outnumbering them.

So you've got two or more of their limbs controlled, you've got the appropriate technique, now you just need the right hip angle to get the technique underway.

Small shrimps or hip escapes that line up your legs, hips, glutes and core (you know, the biggest functional muscle groups in your body) will ensure that you are utilising a full-bodied technique or else you are probably pushing with your arms in the right direction and pushing with your legs in the wrong direction.

Get control, use the right technique, hit the angle and you'll be a BJJ janitor in no time. 


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