Before opening your guard, you must know how to protect yourself. This is the first and most important step for you to work with the butterfly guard. In this video, six-time BJJ world champion Saulo Ribeiro shows the mechanics of the technique and how to use it safely. Check out seven tips to open your own guard the right way.
1. If you just open your guard without protecting yourself first, your opponent will bullfight or throw their weight, and make it impossible for you to get the hooks in to sweep.
2. Remember that you own the surprise factor. Meaning you, and you alone, know the exact time you are going to open the guard to do the butterfly. Use this to your advantage, and in an agile manner.
3. Opening the guard and using only your knee as an obstacle may not be enough against the passer's pressure.
4. As soon as you open, place the foot firmly on the groin to keep your opponent at the desired distance.
5. In the video, Saulo Ribeiro shows how to combine the hand on the neck and the foot on the groin to safely open the guard, around two minutes in.
6. Remember to keep the hand always on the mat. It is this hand that will offer a base, and a support point for you to move into your opponent.
7. Sit without giving your opponent too much space, and, after you've sat, concern yourself with the hook sweep, as Saulo shows five minutes in.
To learn how Saulo uses his whole body to hook-sweep, watch all the way through and catch the relevant drill at the end.
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