my scissor gets squashed

There's a thread around here somewhere that talks about the top leg in a scissor sweep and what angle (45 degrees or horizontal) to have it at.

I've begun to set up the sweep with the top leg at a 45 and then slide it to horizontal as I initiate the scissoring. This has stopped some of the "squashing" of the sweep that I've encountered, but not all. Sometimes the sweep doesn't work right off, or maybe I'm a little slow. Either way, they lay on the leg and I get squashed. Then they attempt (and all too often complete) a fairly standard stick the arm between the legs and walk around pass.

I can stall the pass by pushing on the head, but that's just a bandaid. Are there any good techniques for regaining guard/half guard, or even getting offensive from this squashed scissor position? I've seen a sweet oma plata transition from Luis G. on one fo the SoFlo sets. Is there anything else out there?

Thanks for any and all suggestions. Cheers.

You are holding the position for too long. Hit the sweep quick. If id doesn't work go back to guard or do something else. Don't hang out in scissor position.

This is going to sound to easy and I wish I knew how to post video or pictures of it, but you do two things at the same time, bring the top leg upwards so that you try to get the knee in his chest so the shin is horizontal as opposed to the passing vertical where the opponent wants it. And 2) you push on the shoulder that is giving pressure down. It's not a great explanation, but try it and see if works for you, I think it's one you have to see live.

I also tend to switch to pushing their bottom knee out with my other foot if they are applying too much pressure.

Thanks for the responses.

sayonaisse: Thank you for trying to articulate the move, I'm sure it's crystal clear in person. I might be misinterpreting, but my whole point is that my top leg gets "pinned" to the horizontal. Vertical (or rather 45 degrees) is where it starts, then I move it to horizontal for the sweep and my opponent lays on the horizontal leg and kills my movement. Are we talking the same language?

Either way, thanks, and more responses are appreciated.

My tech just kills the scissors right when he gets it into position.

Margarida shows a great way to scissor, and it is one of his favorite techs.

Once you establish the scissor, you have to unbalance your opponent by bringing him towards you. Otherwise, if the guy has a good base, you are not going to sweep him.

Thanks everybody. I have class tonight, so I'll be giving some of this stuff a whirl.

Hikikomi: Great calls. If I can get my knee up, I'll definitely search for that choke. I'm decent at collar chokes, and should be able to get that if I can get my knew wide. I'm very excited to try the second tip. That seems like something that I can use from the position I usually find myself in. It seems like I might end up kind of "high" on the guy's back this way, but I'm sure there are a lot of options.


2 suggestions:

1) How about entangling the arm that he's going to use between your legs before he does it? This might save you some trouble.

2) When he goes to squash it, where on your leg is his weight? Can you "force" him to place it closer to your hip? If you accomplish this, you can sweep him backwards by lifting with your arms and thigh.

Twinkletoes: Thanks a bunch.

Your first suggestion is so common sense, I'm sure it won't work for me. : ) I guess I just have to give up my love affair with my cross collar grip (with the same hand as my top leg) to go get that arm before it gets between. I like having the collar to pull him close, but if he's able to pull away a little, that takes care of the squashing. Excellent.

I don't quite understand your second suggestion. Are you talking about (what we call) a tilt sweep where you grab the opposite (of the way I was going to sweep him with a regular scissors sweep) arm to take away his chance to base and then lift him up and over with my top leg to the opposite side for a sweep? If this isn't what you had in mind, could you add a few lines of detail, if you have the time.


One wild option is to brace against his hip with the other foot while you pass your bent leg completely past his blocked hip. Then using your arm grip and the back of the leg ,bring him forward over you into a knee bar.

Another attacking option is to straighten your leg and wrap it against his back, giving him space to fall forward, as he is pressing forward. Then spin to his side for an armbar or oma palata



That is, in fact, what I had in mind. (If your scissor sweep takes him to 3:00, then this sweep takes him to 9:00). And if you are already entangling the far arm (wink, wink) then it will be easier to incorporate this sweep.

Good luck!


PS - Instead of the collar grip, try an underhook or outside 2-on-1 on his far arm/shoulder. It will entangle the arm AND bring him close to you.

it's just like anyother technique you need to develop setups and then follow ups- ex. use the push sweep or wing sweep.

"I guess I just have to give up my love affair with my cross collar grip (with the same hand as my top leg) to go get that arm before it gets between."

I've only just learnt a trick where you sit up & overhook that arm deeply and then feed the collar to your hand.

I'm no expert but if you like the cross collar grip, that could possibly set up your choke and stop him getting his arm between your legs at the same time. When he tries to pull it out get your shin ready to put on his chest.

I'm experimenting with this move after having discarded it for a long time and used other sweeps instead (like the butterfly sweep, f.ex.). I'm a blue belt and have been for over a year, by the way.

My current feeling is that I like the "45 degree version" more than the horizontal version. So when I sweep, my knee doesn't drop and therefore shouldn't ever get to that danger spot of being squashed. I don't think either version is better than the other but more of a personal preference and how the sweep combines with other moves in your game.

That being said, IF you end up getting your knee squashed, you can do things like stiff-arming his head (to free your legs), doing a front roll over your shoulder (looking away from him) into an omoplata or a triangle, among other things.

Good luck with this!

Switch to the wing sweep or take their back.

Thanks everybody for your responses. It's great to have a "place" like this to learn and throw some ideas around about a sport that I love.

Gaittec: Your kneebar suggestion is intriguing. I've been experimenting with leg locks lately, and I'm always looking for new entries. I'm not 100% sure I understand what you are getting at, but I appreciate the idea of doing something to put myself in a leg lock position.

Twinkletoes: Thank you again for pointing out a blazing flash of the obvious that I've been missing. Going 2-on-1 on that outside arm (giving up the collar grip that I thought I needed) made a big difference in class yesterday. There are still some guys who are strong enough to stiff arm their way to good posture, but it's a great option. Thank you.

Jonpall: For the 45 degree version you favor, what are your hands doing? I've tried the 45'er and it just seems like I can't get enough sideways pressure without dropping that leg to horizontal. Are you using a sleave-and-collar grip, or something else. I'd love to make this method work for me.


Note that my top leg may be angled anywhere between 45 degrees and horizontal AS I'm sweeping, although it's at 45 degrees just before I sweep. But I don't have my leg horizonal across his belly (although it may be close to horizonal across his CHEST while I'm executing the sweep).

My top hand is grabbing his head, collar or even sometimes his tricep (f.ex. my L hand grabbing his R tricep).

My bottom hand is grabbing his wrist, elbow or sleeve.

Scooting your hips out is key to make this work. You have to feel that if you pull him forwards, he'll drop on the mat right next to you, NOT on top of you.

Your hips may be scooted out already as you're getting yourself in the scissor sweep position, but you may need to scoot them out again just before sweeping. To do this (i.e. shrimp), I feel that I actually use my low leg more than my high leg.

The instep of my high leg is pushing his armpit up and to the side, I think (I haven't actually mastered this move yet).

The foot of my bottom leg is initially on the hip and my knee is very low, maybe even touching the mat. This is so that my knees aren't too close together - he might get a bearhug on them if they're too close.

But when I sweep, my bottom leg will be lying on the mat right next to his leg. I don't KEEP my leg there, because otherwise he'll just step over it. Get it?

I also think that it's important for this variation to give his leg a little CHOP with your bottom leg, i.e. not just push with it, but kick with it a bit, to get more leverage. So essentially your bottom leg goes outward a few inches and then it strikes his leg when you sweep.

Finally, if the sweep fails, pushing his wrist to his chest with your low hand and throwing your low leg over his shoulder, to set up a triangle, is an awesome combo - one of the best triangle guys in my gym uses it all the time.

Hope this helps.