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Erik Paulson's Game development DVD








Dynamic Guard Sweeps

with Stephan Kesting

Available from

By Jon Hegan, Krav Maga UK , 15 June 2004

In 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.

I 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.

This 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.

Stephan 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..

In 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.




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