Andre Galvao, Butterfly Guard Sweep

Last updated on 05.05.2020 by

The Butterfly Sweep

The butterfly sweep or rather the butterfly hook is a massive piece of the puzzle that is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. At first, you’re taught how to use the butterfly hook in a simple elevator sweep to dump your opponent if he’s on his knees. But then, that same hook can move all over your opponent’s body morphing into a variety of different guards: the De la Riva (Outside Knee hook), reverse De la Riva (Inside knee hook), X-guard hooks etc. It’s the same hook. The only thing that changes is its position on the opponent’s body.

Opponent on his knees, elevator sweep

Your opponent is on his knees. Go for the elevator. This is one of those times where the basics matter. To pull this one off, you’ll need the butt scoot and the shoulder roll, or rather a half-shoulder roll, kind of like the Granby.

Grips and Setup

Grips can be anything. It’s typically taught underhook and sleeve. However, I’m getting ahead of myself. The first thing you need is adequate positioning. By now, you will have mastered the butt scoot, and it’s a good thing you have because that’s what you’ll need. Post a hand on the side you want to sweep towards. For example, if you want to sweep left, post your left hand behind you and butt scoot into your opponent. Your right shoulder should be making contact with your partner’s left shoulder, and really your right hand can grip anything going from the underhook to the opposite side lat or same side armpit. Drive your shoulder into him sideways. His shoulders and yours’ should be at a 90 degree angle. Keep posting with your left until your partner starts pushing back into you. Once you feel the impulse, abandon the posting hand, grab his wrist and stiff arm it into his hip.


We’re done with the butt scoot; time to use the half roll. You’re going to have trouble pulling this sweep off if you keep flat on your back. Instead, drop to your posting side shoulder, left in this case. Your left elbow should be tucked under your left hip. Now open the same elbow sideways—it has still got a grip on your partner’s wrist– to give you a bit more elevation.


What you have to do last is use your feet. Sometimes just dropping to your side will have enough momentum to sweep someone. However, if you want to make it much higher percentage you’ll need a driving leg and a hooking leg. Still sweeping to the left, it’s best you place the ball of your left foot next to your partner’s left knee, thigh making contact with the ground. That’s where you’ll get the most drive. Your right leg or rather shin makes contact with your partner’s left side, kind of like a knee shield. Your shin turns into a barrier if he tries to pass.

Now all of this tied together, you drop to your left side. Left elbow elevates your hip just a bit. You drive off the ball of your left foot, left knee pointing to the floor. Stiff arm his right wrist, turn his right shoulder. Your right leg hooks under his knee and you feel him fly over.