cool butterfly stuff

I was just checking out the website & found some cool new stuff posted in the articles section.

Check out the butterfly guard techniques at

Thanks for posting that link!

I worked seriously on my butterfly guard for about 2 years before I felt comfortable in that position. I did a lot of research and experimentation and travelling and training, and generally got my ass kicked again and again until I got the hang of it.

As I improved I had many revelations and epiphanies. One of these was that the 'basic' (or fundamental) butterfly sweep is hugely important. It is one of the fundamental building blocks of the butterfly guard game. Even if you don't actually pull it off in a match or a sparring session it is still present as a continuous threat, and can be a motivator for your opponent to give you other openings.

Another mini-revelation was that there are distinctly different stles of doing the basic butterfly guard sweep. The techniques in the article on my website are the two styles of butterfly sweep I use most often.

Hope that this helps somebody - the butterfly guard has been the subject of much questioning and debate on this forum in the past.

Stephan Kesting

Great article.

Excellent article Stephan

Anyone seriously interested in improving their game should check out

Keep up the great work Stephan!

Stephen please let us know when you release your dynamic sweeps tape.

I second that!

Great article!


So the basic advantages/disadvantages for doing the 45 degree sweep instead of straight sideways is that it takes an extra step to post with your hand and scoot out to the side, but then it's easier to get mount after the sweep, is that correct?

Great job Stephan. Your website is looking very nice too.


Andrew - excellent points. Those are definately some of the advantages and disadvantages of the 45 degree sweep (which, incidentally, is the most commonly taught variation).

The 45 degree butterfly sweep involves a prepatory step of putting hand on ground and shifting angle of hips. The disadvantage of this is that it can be somewhat telegraphic unless it is fast or well disguised. Advantages of this variation are that you can end up on the side or go directly in mount. Also this variation is probably the easier variation to learn for most people.

The sideways sweeping variation ALSO usually has a prepatory step, i.e. adjusting the position of the driving (or bottom) leg. This is less telegraphic but is maybe harder for most people to learn/do. Also if you leave the foot in that position and don't sweep immediately you may leave yourself vulnerable to some guard passes in which your opponent grabs your foot/ankle/cuff. As Andrew points out, you can't very easily come to the mount with this variation, but on the other hand it is probably a little more powerful and a little harder to counter once initiated.

So both variations have their advantages and disadvantages. Also, at a certain level of proficiency, the distinctions between the two variations blurs a little bit. At this point you can sometimes skip steps, do certain steps late, switch from one style of sweep to another, or mix different variations together. At this point you commit to a given angle and your body puts together the appropriate sweep from the components of the distinct, original sweeps. Still best to learn and practise them separately at first, though!

Stephan Kesting

What is the best DVD/Tape on the butterfly guard?

Lots of videos cover a few butterfly guard sweeps/techniques, but few are dedicated 100% to the butterfly.

Michael Jen has a good tape on the butterfly guard

I don't own them but I've seen Marcelo Garcia's DVDs. He has one or two on the butterfly guard, in which he goes into a lot of detail on a few techniques.

I will be releasing a DVD in month or two concentrating on the butterfly guard.

I'm sure there are others...

Stephan Kesting

TTDT!! :)

Thanks, I will get your DVD when it comes out.


I was on the your website, looks like you put alot of work in, to make it very informative(sp).

Is it absolutely necessary to post your hand out when doing the 45 degree angle sweep? I'm able to get it sometimes without doing that. Also, it is shown without the arm posting here:

LowOtis, GSFS, etc. - thank you!

Mikus - you are right, you don't need to post the hand to move your hips to the correct angle. The important thing is to get your hips into the correct position: posting your hand is the simplest way to do it, but you can also hop your butt and/or allow your opponent to move to your side to create the angle.

In my opinion it's like this: first you learn the technique in its simplest and most step-by-step format. Then, when you develop an understanding of the technique, you can (sometimes) start to leave out steps or do them in the wrong order, depending on your attributes, your opponent and the situation.

With a triangle choke, for example, almost everyone teaches it with a step where you put your foot on the hip or on the floor. Eventually, when you get good at the triangle choke you may or may not put the foot on the hip - you just react to the situation.

This is what Bruce Lee was getting at when he said:

"Before I learned the art, a punch was just a punch, and a kick, just a kick.
After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick, no longer a kick.
Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick."

Before you learn the butterfly guard the sweep is just some way to flip your opponent over. After you learn the butterfly guard it is more complicated - you have to be aware of x number of steps and y principles and z counters. When you understand the butterfly guard you just flip the guy over.

I am working on moving from learning to understanding understanding in this aspect of my game.