BJJ sweeps come in many shapes and forms, but they have one thing in common – they will get you top position. Since that is something we’re all after in BJJ, and one person is by design, on the bottom, the top person will be reluctant to just give it away. In their quest to remain on top, they’ll turn to different options, like changing levels. Dealing with standing opponents can be tricky if you don’t have a couple of go-to BJJ sweeps for just that occasion. 

BJJ Sweeps Against Standin Opponents: The Challenges

The first thing you ought to do before you do anything else is take away their mobility. Otherwise, you’ll end up looking at Speedy Gonzales circling around or cartwheeling over you. You need a way of rooting them to the ground. This should come before thinking about attacking, otherwise, your guard will get under threat of passes

When opponents stand up, they get the option to move quickly and in different directions. They do, however, sacrifice a connection to you, which can be both good and bad for you as a guard player. The good thing is they don’t have any grips or have ineffective ones. The bad thing is that you can’t really get good grips of your own when they’re at a distance. 

Speaking of distance, it is distance control that comes right after you manage to limit mobility. Standing opponents are usually further away, which really does limit the effective guard options you have at your disposal. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any BJJ sweeps left to attack with. On the contrary. 

The biggest challenge with all BJJ sweeps is how do you get the opponent’s butt to the ground. Unless you do that and get up on top, you won’t have a sweep. The issue is that people tend to get up even after you take away tehri balance. preventing you from completing a sweep. This is an aspect of sweeping that you absolutely have to solve is you want to obtain top positions and keep them. 

The Two BJJ Sweeps That Solve Everything

Your partner or opponent standing up can be a bit confounding at first. You’ve gotten used to attacking the shoulders with your hips, but now your opponent has taken them to a place you can’t reach. You’ll either stick to their hips and have them lift you or attack their arms with spider or lasso hooks. You could also stand up yourself if you prefer. If you prefer BJJ sweeps, however, you need to think grips. 

Upper body control is great, but the easiest grip you’ll get off your back with your opponent standing is the heel grip. Grab the heel and you’ll kill their ability to run. Moreover, it prevents lots of passing options that standing opponents have. But that is not all that a strategically placed heel grip opens up for you. 

The notion is simple – grab the leg of an opponent’ that is nearest to one of your arms. Aim to grip the heel, placing the pinky finger on the mats. This will provide you with great control over their mobility, as well as help you stay in guard because nobody can pass your legs with just one of their legs free. 

Your other arm, in the meantime, should aim to get a grip on the wrist or sleeve. A cross grip is preferable, but gripping the same side arm will also work. So will gripping a collar, but that’ is not always readily available. However, a heel and cross wrist grip, along with an angle of 45 degrees in relation to your opponent, along with one leg on the hip and the other behind their other knee, will provide you with the tripod guard. 

  • Tripod Sweep 

The first sweep you ought to check out first is the tripod sweep. It is readily available and it works like a charm even against top level opponents. Moreover, it won’t telegraph much because your back stays aligned to the ground. 

From the tripod guard position we covered above, the sweep is just a simple motion away. All you need to do is slide the leg that’s hooking behind the knee all the way down behind the ankle. It will now serve as a wedge that you can trip your opponent over. Using both the heel and cross wrist grip pull the opponent towards you, while pushing on their hips with the foot that is already there. 

The grip configuration means that the opponent won’t be able to stand up once they fall, because of the heel grip. If you keep their heel off the ground, there’s no coming back up and you’ve just solved one of the biggest challenges of BJJ sweeps.

  • Sickle Sweep

The second of the best BJJ sweeps against standing opponents is the sickle sweep. Personally, I prefer this one because it takes people by surprise. It’s often taught in tandem with the tripod sweep. If you’ve done the scissor sweep you’ll have little trouble with this one. You need the same grip configuration we talked about before, from the tripod guard.

For the sickle sweep, though, the mechanics of the sweeping legs will be different. In fact, you’ll have to switch the legs’ positions. The first thing to do is to replace the leg on the hip with the other leg, turning to lie on your shoulder, facing the opponent. This really extends your reach when it comes to sweeping. Next, place the other leg behind the far leg, again at ankle level. This time, though, it will be your calf that wedges behind the ankle. 

Once again, a pull-push dynamic will get the opponent down to their butt. This sweep actually makes it even easier to get up, conquering top position. In fact, these two BJJ sweeps work perfectly together, because if one fails, the other one won’t. 

In Summary

BJJ sweeps against standing opponents are not hard if you understand mobility, distance management, and gripping. Either the tripod or the sickle sweep can easily become your unstoppable go-to sweeping option. However, if you truly want to develop a crazy sweeping game, try using both these BJJ sweeps to threaten with a dilemma and leave no option left for your opponent, but to fall.