March 21, 2024

The Secrets To The Butterfly Guard That No One Tells You (2024)

Mastering the Butterfly Guard: Advanced Techniques and Strategies

The butterfly guard is a staple in the arsenal of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) practitioners, known for its versatility and dynamic control. However, mastering the butterfly guard at an advanced level requires a deep understanding of its nuances and the ability to adapt to various defensive strategies. In this blog post, we delve into the secrets of the butterfly guard that can elevate your grappling game and provide you with the edge over your opponents.

Understanding the Floating Connection

At the core of the advanced butterfly guard is the concept of the floating connection. As opponents become savvier, they tend to hang their hips back, making traditional sweeps and controls less effective. This shift necessitates a move to a more timing-based approach, where the guard player must dynamically adjust to the opponent's movements. The floating connection is less about static control and more about creating opportunities through movement and timing.

The Head Pinch Technique

One of the key adjustments in the butterfly guard at higher levels is the use of the head pinch technique. This move is not just about controlling the opponent's head but also about setting up a series of offensive maneuvers. Unlike the typical butterfly sweep, where the practitioner's head is on the opposite side of the frame, the head pinch involves driving into the opponent on the same side as the controlling arm. This position allows for a palm-up grip that opens up various attacking options, including sweeps and submissions.

Transitioning to Arm Crush and Triangle Choke

Advanced butterfly guard players can exploit the reaction of their opponents to initiate further attacks. When an opponent attempts to defend or counter, like going for a leg peel, the practitioner can force a hand to the mat. This action not only neutralizes the immediate threat but also sets up for an arm crush. By pulling the opponent in and adjusting the positioning of the feet, one can transition smoothly to an arm crush or even a triangle choke.

The transition to these attacks is about fluid movement and precision. For example, stepping on the opponent's hip and sliding the other foot up creates the leverage needed for the arm crush. Additionally, bringing a leg out to the side can seamlessly lead to a triangle position, showcasing the dynamic nature of the advanced butterfly guard.

Fine-Tuning the Armbar

In the context of the butterfly guard, the armbar is not just a submission but a statement of control and technique. The setup from the head pinch or arm crush positions requires the practitioner to be mindful of the space and leverage. The key is to maintain tight control, especially with the legs, to prevent the opponent from escaping or countering.

The execution of the armbar involves a calculated fall back, with precise foot placement on the inside of the opponent's hip. This position not only secures the arm but also provides the necessary angle for applying the submission. Squeezing the legs and bending the opponent's elbow ensures that the armbar is tight and effective, leaving little room for escape.

Pressure and Control: The Essence of Advanced Butterfly Guard

The essence of the advanced butterfly guard lies in maintaining pressure and control throughout the various transitions. This concept is akin to saddle riding, where the practitioner uses their thighs to control the opponent, much like a rider controls a horse. Such control is pivotal in managing the opponent's posture and movements.

As the practitioner transitions from one technique to another, maintaining pressure, especially with the feet and hips, is crucial. This constant pressure facilitates smooth transitions into finishing techniques like the triangle choke. The ability to pull the foot back, adjust angles, and cut through the opponent's defenses exemplifies the strategic depth of the advanced butterfly guard.


The advanced butterfly guard in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a complex and dynamic system that requires a deep understanding of timing, control, and technique. By mastering the floating connection, employing the head pinch technique, and seamlessly transitioning to attacks like the arm crush and triangle choke, practitioners can significantly enhance their grappling effectiveness. The key to success lies in the ability to maintain pressure, control the transitions, and execute submissions with precision. By integrating these advanced strategies into your game, you can unlock the full potential of the butterfly guard and dominate on the mats.

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