Being able to sweep from your guard is a critical skill to develop in grappling! Being able to finish a fight with a submission is great, but so is turning the tables on your opponent so you now have the upper hand. Let's look at the top sweeps from a traditional guard and how to to use them effectively.
The Arm Drag
While more of a set up than a sweep, this is a clutch skill to develop as there are tons of options from the arm drag including sweeps and even taking the back!
The arm drag is usually done in the open guard position. The key is to grap the back of your opponents tricep with your opposite hand. So if you are trying to arm their right arm, you need to grab with your left hand. Use a monkey grip (your thumb should be with your fingers) to pull there arm and at the same time you are going to step out with your leg that is on the same side as the arm that your are pulling. If done correctly, will get them off balance enough to attack with a sweep or get their back.
Check out this breakdown of the arm drag with several attacks after:
The perfect sweep to hit after a failed arm drag is the pendulum sweep. So once you have one of the arms control, your opponent will most likely posture up to give you the opportunity to get your other arm under their leg. Next, you'll be able to use this position to rotate your hips like a pendulum and sweep them over as they won't have any arm to base out with.
Here is a great breakdown of the pendulum sweep:
Kimora (Uppa) Sweep
This sweep relies heavily on surprising your opponent very quickly. As your opponent is postured up, you're going to want to quickly posture up on an elbow or preferably a hand as you're using your other arm to cross face and go over their shoulder to be almost chest to chest. This is when you can threaten with the kimora but instead of rotating your hips out to get the proper position to finish the submission, you will use the control of the arm and open your guard, elevate your hips and rotate your opponent over. The reason you go for the sweep over the submission in this situation is how difficult it is to finish the kimora from guard.
Here is a high level breakdown of the kimora sweep:
The first step to hitting the scissor sweep is getting one hip on the ground and the back of your other leg’s knee at the base of their leg/knee. Then you're going to grab that person's arm on that side as the sweeps as says, your will scissor your legs, going to force your opponent to fall over. Follow them over with your legs and you can get all the to full mount if done properly.
Here is a fantastic breakdown of the scissor sweep:
This is a trick sweep! You start out be tricking your opponent into thinking you are going for a guilletion. After you sit up and put your arm over their head and instead of going for the neck, you're going to go under their armpit and grab with your other arm in a gable grip. Next, you will lift your elbow of the arm under their arm causing them to fall over. Focus on keep their bottom arm trapped under you as you gain positional control.
Here is the best video breaking down the over-under sweep:
There are two basic things you want to do in any given position; submit your opponent, sweep/improve your position. Now that you mastered sweeps check out our best submission from guard article.