Jon Hegan, Krav
Maga UK ,
15 June 2004
the modern grappling game submitting someone with or without the gi whilst they
are in your guard has many drawbacks. Your certainly limited in terms of the range
of the techniques that you can now expect to use on an opponent who knows the
game as well as you do. Even if they are less skilled but are bigger and stronger
than you and with just a little knowledge you've got big problems if they pass
your guard. The simple answer could be to then sweep them over so you can assume
a dominant, on top position. This is easier said than done as sweep from any guard
is an art form in it self. Nowadays what seems to be one of the most preferable
types of guard is the ‘guarda gancho,’ or butterfly guard.
don't fully know the history of the butterfly guard, but from what information
I can gather it started out for BJJ somewhere in the 1980’s along with a whole
variety of new guard techniques. It does however seem to have stood the test of
time and in the sport grappling arena it currently is a must have tool. The very
successful Nova Uniao team (Andre Pederneiras, BJ Penn, Leo Santos and John Lewis
etc) are a well known users of the butterfly guard and their success alone shows
the validity of the technique. Past masters who still use the butterfly guard
to good effect today are the usual suspects like Royler Gracie and Jean Jaque
Machado. Unfortunately for me though I have not yet attended a seminar by any
named grappler who has taught this particular method in detail and it's a shame
because I've often been on the receiving end of an effective butterfly guard and
ended up being swept into the dreaded cross side position. Even if I've tried
to attack from this position my guard has either been passed or close to it. So
I generally used to give up or return to the closed guard or back to my knees.
Now hopefully this will all change with a recent addition to my DVD collection,
Stephan Kestings Dynamic Guard Sweeps.
is Stephans best work yet and because this is an area were I often struggle, it's
probably the most valuable DVD I now possess. Submitting is great fun, but slapping
your opponent onto his head or arse is a close second in my book. You must admit,
seeing someone's face grimace as they lose balance knowing full well that you've
just suckered them into your trap is what makes grappling enjoyable. Judo is exactly
the same from the standing perspective, if you can set them up with a few subtle
push and pulls then explosively bury them without having had to resort to brute
strength, the satisfaction is enormous.
has devoted a whole DVD on the butterfly guard from the very basic fundamentals
to some reasonably advanced techniques. I say ‘reasonably,’ because as we all
know, sweeping is not easy and the more spectacular these things look the more
likely they are to fail, so if you want to see handstands and back flips etc,
check out the Leo Viera series. Most of the techniques that are demonstrated I
have seen work both in class and top level competition. What makes this a step
up from the Brazilian DVD sets is the level of intricate detail that Stephan puts
across. No facet of any technique is rushed and there are plenty of options covered
should a move fail. Also there are a bunch of set ups, entries and sneaky moves
all thrown in that will give you plenty of material to be catching your sparring
partners with from a long time to come..
summary this is an excellent instructional DVD crammed with very hard to come
by material and lots of it. I am not aware of any other DVD on the market covering
this subject so thoroughly and more importantly in audible English! If you want
to improve your guard game for a few bucks I guarantee you wont be disappointed.
However if the more frugal amongst you choose to save a few bucks, ignore my recommendation
of this DVD and you don't have a solid guard/sweeping game, then on your head
(literally) be it. A definite 9 / 10 from me.