Issue 20: Puopolo – Flower Sweep

In Techniques, Videos by Bojan

Pendulum sweep

The sweep that best teaches sweeping principles and is often the first thing that’s taught in beginner class is the flower sweep, also known as the pendulum sweep.

Grips are simple and easy to get and partners, especially people new to BJJ, often give it to you by posting a hand on your chest. The trick to getting this sweep is in the hips. You open your hip out to one side. Now, you have to be wondering: ‘Open my hips, what the freak?’ We’ll get to that.

Pick a side.

Grip the hand, wrist or elbow level, on whatever side you’ve chosen to sweep towards and underhook or grip the pants on the opposite side leg.

The mechanic is this: you use the leg on the side that’s underhooking your partner’s leg to push into his side, as high as possible without sliding off his head. I’ve found that the best spot to apply flower sweep momentum is in your opponent’s armpit.  The underside of your thigh should be making contact with your partner’s armpit area. For example, if you’re sweeping to your left. Underhook your partner’s left leg with your right hand. Grip his right hand so he can’t post, or if you’d like you can set up a triangle or omoplata by cross gripping his left hand with your right hand. You can also roll into various leg locks by rolling over the underhook shoulder.

Now for the flower movement; you’re probably going to run into difficulties if you try this being flat on your back. Not saying you can’t, but most times you’ll need an angle to the underhook side. Mr. John Danaher talks about this in his DVD. You’ll need a ‘rocking chair’ motion, as he calls it, to open up your sweeping side leg so it’ll give momentum to your pushing leg. Use your underhook to pull yourself closer to your partner while rocking yourself back to the same shoulder and opening your sweeping side leg out. Give your partner a push, bring your elbows closer to your hip pulling in the underhook and wrist grip and he’ll go over. Good luck!