scissor sweep

Scissor Sweep – Comprehensive Guide

The scissor sweep is a fundamental technique in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that every practitioner should learn and get good at. It is a powerful and effective sweep that allows a BJJ practitioner to transition from the bottom to the top position. 

This technique is versatile, effective, and can be used from various positions, making it an essential tool in a BJJ practitioner’s arsenal.

In this article, we will explore the sweep in detail, explain why it is such a useful technique and provide step-by-step instructions on performing a scissor sweep from guard. 

What is the Scissor Sweep? Why is it Great for Beginners?

The scissor sweep is a basic sweep used to transition from the guard position to the mount or side control position. It involves using the legs to sweep the opponent off their base and onto their back, allowing the BJJ practitioner to transition to a dominant position.

Beginners should learn this sweep because it is a versatile and easy-to-execute technique. This involves using the legs to sweep the opponent off balance and take them down to the ground, giving the opportunity to gain a dominant position or submit the opponent.

Here are a few reasons why BJJ beginners should learn the scissor sweep and its mechanics:

● It’s effective against bigger and stronger opponents: You don’t need to rely on physical strength to execute the scissor sweep effectively. By using leverage and timing, you can sweep opponents who are larger and stronger than you.

● It can be used from various positions: The scissor sweep can be executed from different positions, such as closed guard, open guard, and half guard. Learning this technique from different positions will enable you to adapt to different situations in a BJJ match.

● It sets up other submissions and bjj sweeps: The scissor sweep can lead to other submissions and sweeps. For instance, if your opponent tries to defend the sweep, you can transition to a different submission or sweep.

● It improves balance and coordination: Learning the mechanics of the scissor sweep will help you improve your balance and coordination. This technique requires you to synchronize your upper and lower body movements, developing your coordination and timing.

To execute the scissor sweep effectively, you must follow several steps, including breaking your opponent’s posture, controlling their arm, and using your legs to sweep them off balance. By learning the proper mechanics of the scissor sweep, you can execute this technique more efficiently.

Also, it’s important to note that scissor sweeps are beginner-level techniques and can often be countered by more experienced opponents. Yet, they can be modified and combined with other attacks to create effective setups against more advanced opponents.

It’s essential to always have multiple options and variations in your arsenal to keep your opponents guessing and prevent them from countering your attacks.

In summary, the scissor sweep is a fundamental technique you should learn as a BJJ beginner. 

Next up, learn how to perform the scissor sweep!

Performing the Scissor Sweep from Guard

Now that you know why the scissor sweep is excellent for unbalancing your opponents, it is time to learn the execution. 

Here are the basic steps of executing a scissor sweep from guard: 

Step 1: Establish a closed guard position. Wrap your legs around your opponent’s waist and cross your ankles to control their posture.

Step 2: Control your opponent’s sleeves. Using your left hand, grab onto the opponent’s right sleeve. Use the right left hand to grab their collar. 

Step 3: Break your opponent’s posture. Pull your opponent towards you with your legs and use your arms to pull their arms towards you. This will break their posture and make them vulnerable to the sweep.

Step 4: Open your guard. Use one leg to push against your opponent’s hip while simultaneously pulling their arm towards you. This will create a space for your other leg to come out.

Step 5: Insert your leg. With your left leg extended on the ground, insert your other leg through the space you created and place it on your opponent’s stomach. Ensure your left leg is placed flat on the mat, which will help you generate the muscle power to execute the sweep properly. 

Step 6: Execute the sweep. In a single motion, straighten your right knee and cross your legs, sweeping your opponent, all while pulling the opponent’s right arm near you.

Step 7: Establish a dominant position. As your opponent falls to the side, use the momentum to transition to the mount or side control position.

These are the basic steps to perform a scissor sweep from the guard position. Practicing the technique and developing the necessary timing and coordination to execute it effectively is important. 

Remember to maintain control of your opponent’s posture and sleeves throughout the technique, making the sweep more effective. Additionally, it is essential to transition to a dominant position after executing the sweep to maintain control of the match.


Learning the mechanics of the scissor sweep can help improve balance, coordination, and timing while developing essential skills in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this article and practicing the technique, practitioners can execute the scissor sweep more efficiently and effectively.

Furthermore, the scissor sweep can set up other submissions and sweeps, making it a valuable technique to learn for BJJ practitioners of all levels. It is effective against bigger and stronger opponents, allowing practitioners to rely on leverage over physical strength. In summary, the scissor sweep is a powerful and effective sweep that can help BJJ practitioners transition from the bottom to the top position. Its versatility and effectiveness make it an essential technique to learn for beginners and advanced practitioners alike. 

By mastering the scissor sweep, practitioners can gain more control over their opponents and increase their chances of winning matches. 

If you looking for a place to practice your scissor sweeps and others alike, visit us at Granite Bay Jiu Jitsu. You can even try us out for a free week!