Ricardo Cavalcanti is one of the “old guard” players of BJJ. The Carlson Gracie black belt knows all about simple old-school Jiu Jitsu, like the sweep and Gi choke he demonstrates in this video. At the highest levels, BJJ is all about setting traps and being tricky, rather than overcomplicating things with fancy moves.
The Most Basic Open Guard
In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu there are hundreds of different open guards and variations to play. If you want to be effective with your open guard, you should look into the old school types of open guards. After all, they’ve been around longer than any modern version and people have had time to perfect and polish them.
The most basic open guard there is just called “open guard” and involves using one leg on the hip of an opponent, and the other behind the knee on the opposite side. Grips are usually placed according to needs, but both your arms need to be holding something. Usually, it is a double sleeve grip, or a sleeve and pants grip.
That’s it! The structure of the guard allows you to move the hips, the leg and control the torso with your grips. I other words, people will find it hard to stay in balance, and even harder to pass. With a few simple shifts, particularly those of your hips, you can cause people to fall head over heels with ease.
Oh, and you can finish with a very cool and simple gi choke!
KEY DETAIL: grips and hips
A Simple Sweep
Since the gi choke Cavalcanti demonstrates works against a prone opponent, you first need to sweep the person that’s in your open guard. How do you go about sweeping from the position? Using the hips and grips principles, you’ll shift to your side so that you can replace one sleeve grip with a collar grip. The key is gripping cross collar.
This grip will take care of the opponent’s posture. At the same time, you can stick the hook deeper behind the knee, squaring up to your opponent. This will provide you with a broken posture (courtesy of the collar grip) and full control over the opponent’s balance (due to the sleeve grip and placement of the legs).
Since this is a simple old-school combination of a sweep and Gi choke, you’ll be using a push-pull principle. First, you pull with the collar grip and the hook leg towards you, and then, you kick out with the leg and push with the arm to send them crashing to the ground next to you.
KEY DETAIL: Taking away posture and balance
An Even Simpler Gi Choke
In order to complete a sweep in BJJ, you need to end up on top of your opponent. However, with a Gi choke being the prerogative here, you’ll need to figure out a way to keep the opponent on the ground while lying next to them. That collar grip you established will do the trick – simply push the elbow and shoulder of that arm into the opponent’s chest to pin them.
Once you’re able to hold the opponent down, you’ll use the fact that they’re trying to turn into you to set a trap. The hand on the collar is already ina choking position. All you need is to sneak the other one in, by using a thumb in grip on the back of the collar and circling your forearm to the front.
The simplest of finishes of this modified cross collar Gi choke works by pulling with both elbows in opposite directions.
KEY DETAIL: Elbow and shoulder pressure
Old School BJJ
This open guard – sweep- Gi choke combination is so powerful because you barely move to achieve all three of them. In fact, you don’t even finish the sweep before you get a choke, You basically throw someone down from open guard and choke them while still lying o the ground.
You can do your Berimbolos and flying stuff all you want, but having the ability to choke someone while not even getting off the ground is a true mark of high-level Jiu Jitsu.