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6 Reasons You Need to Learn the Overhead Sweep in BJJ

6 Reasons You Need to Learn the Overhead Sweep in BJJ

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that requires knowing how to execute various submission techniques to win. One of the more complex but effective BJJ techniques is the overhead sweep. Knowing how to perform it correctly will help you defeat more opponents. This article provides six reasons to learn the overhead sweep in BJJ.

1. What is an Overhead Sweep?

Sweeping involves throwing your opponent off balance to get into a dominant position. The goal is to knock your opponent onto the ground to make them drop their guard and make it easier to subdue them.

To execute an overhead sweep, locate your opponent's center of gravity. Then, you must position yourself underneath your opponent, lift them, and flip them overhead. You can use your legs to trap your opponent's arms while controlling their movements. This technique makes it easier to control your opponent using leverage and hip movement. It also puts you in an ideal position to continue pressing the offensive or maintain a dominant position.

The overhead sweep is especially effective against opponents focused on maintaining a strong defense or applying pressure from the top. The element of surprise and ability to counter your opponent makes the overhead sweep a vital technique in your BJJ arsenal.

2. 6 Reasons Why You Should Learn the Overhead Sweep in BJJ

6 Reasons Why You Should Learn the Overhead Sweep in BJJ

2.1. Can Turn the Tables & Allow You to Go on the Offensive

When trying to get into a dominant position against an opponent from a guard, an overhead sweep will help you gain the upper hand. The overhead sweep can be done from several guard positions, including the closed guard, butterfly guard, and half guard. Even if the opponent is bigger than you, all it takes is an opening to switch places, with your opponent now at a disadvantage instead of you.

2.2. Ensures Better Control

The overhead sweep gives you more room to maneuver and better control of your opponent’s movements when trying to subdue. By gripping both sleeves or the collar of your opponent’s gi, you keep them from escaping your hold and make it easier to keep your opponent underneath you.

2.3. Ideal Takedown

The overhead sweep is a reliable takedown that can break through almost any defense. Against most defensive techniques and guards,  the overhead sweep can render them useless. Because this move involves throwing your opponent in the air for a split second, this disorientation gives them little time to react before they find themselves on the ground on their back.

2.4. Helps You Practice Performing Various Movements

The overhead sweep allows you to practice moving multiple body parts at once. This technique requires coordination between your arms, shoulders, legs, and hips. As you throw your opponent overhead, you must quickly shift between each body part to prevent injuring yourself and ensure you can immediately get back up before your opponent can retaliate.

2.5. Can Help Chain Moves

When doing an overhead sweep, you can transition into other sweeping and submission techniques. Most beginners have trouble mastering these techniques because they only set their sights on mastering only one first. Much like how you have to coordinate between body parts, you also need to learn how to coordinate chaining multiple BJJ techniques. To do so, you must consistently practice until you can seamlessly execute multiple BJJ sweeps and submissions.

2.6. Can Be a Surprise Attack

The overhead sweep gives you the upper hand in competitions by taking your opponent by surprise and suddenly putting them on the defensive. Your opponent may not be ready for you to change suddenly from defense to offense. This momentary disorientation will increase the number of opportunities for you to attack.

3. How to Perform an Overhead Sweep in BJJ

  • Grab your opponent’s sleeves and pull them toward you.
  • Fall backward until you rest on your back while keeping your feet on the floor.
  • Quickly raise your feet until the soles press against your opponent’s hips.
  • Before your opponent can try to regain control, swing your legs up and over your head.
  • Maintain your grip on your opponent’s sleeves to maintain control of your opponent’s movements.

4. When to Use an Overhead Sweep in BJJ?

When to Use an Overhead Sweep in BJJ?

Photo Credit: @bjj-world.com

In BJJ, the overhead sweep can quickly turn the tables on your opponent. But when should you use this technique? It is best to perform the overhead sweep from a guard position because it will help make it easier to target the legs and affect your opponent’s balance. When determining the best time to use the overhead sweep, closely watch your opponent’s arms. If their arms remain close to their body, it can be difficult to execute this move effectively. However, if you can force your opponent to stretch their arms, you will have an opportunity to sweep them. Though the overhead sweep can help in a pinch, you should not rely on it as a go-to move in every situation.

5. Conclusion

If you are a hardcore BJJ practitioner, you must know that learning new BJJ techniques is an ongoing process. Learning how to perform an overhead sweep can be the next step in your BJJ training. Though you do not have to learn it to become a stronger BJJ fighter, knowing the steps and benefits of learning this technique could be beneficial when backed into a corner. Whether as a last-ditch effort or set up for a devastating combo, you may be surprised how versatile and useful an overhead sweep can be in BJJ.

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