Now that we’ve move past the more conceptual and principle based blog posts, get ready to take some mental notes on the more technical side of things. We’re not focusing on the “how to”. Come to class if you want learn them. These blogs will be more about ways to increase understanding and hopefully open up possibilities. We’ll begin from the bottom of Guard.
When it comes to being a “dangerous” Guard player most people think automatically about the submission. However, the good BJJ players understand that at the higher levels getting a sub can be a difficult endeavor. So becoming good at sweeping your opponent, the act of actually reversing positions from bottom to top, is a must. Sweeps allow us to not only change position, but they can also be used to set up submission attempts more effectively. This is especially true when you sweep directly into a dominate position, such as the Mount. When it comes to sweeps that put us directly into the Mount, the sweep most every student learns first is the Hip Bump Sweep.
Generally, the Hip Bump Sweep starts from a Closed Guard position due to your hip proximity with the opponent. By breaking an opponent’s posture downward towards your chest, many times they will react by fighting to get out and straightening out their upper torso while pushing off of the mat. This is the time to apply the move. A common misconception is to try applying it to an opponent that is already demonstrating good posture. Trying to do the Hip Bump Sweep to someone who is already postured up is going to telegraph the move. Don’t do that. It should be a surprise to your opponent.
When you come up get onto your hand with the fingers pointing away from you. Don’t be lazy coming up on the elbow. You won’t get as much leverage that way. Along the same lines, be sure to plant your feet and bring your hips way up into the opponent’s upper torso. This will really help in breaking their balance backwards. I’ve seen so many people try to do the sweep without ever uncrossing their feet and planting them. Big mistake.
Be sure to overwrap the opponent’s arm at or just above the elbow, and pull it towards your hip. This took me awhile to understand, and I was countered with Head & Arm Chokes for my trouble. This is a real danger with the Hip Bump Sweep so be aware of it.
Lastly, look in the direction of the sweep, not over the opponent’s back. The goal is to twist your body and the opponent 180 degrees. This will ensure a powerful and leverage based sweep that your opponent will have difficultly stopping. Though considered a basic sweep, the Hip Bump teaches us to control the opponent’s posture, and how to move with them as they sit up.
Learn. Drill. Roll. TRANSFORM!