The butterfly guard involves both of the legs being hooked with the ankles in between the opponent’s legs, against the inside of the opponent’s thighs. The opponent is controlled using both legs and arms. The leverage in the butterfly guard allows powerful sweeps.
The guard also allows one to elevate or set the opponent off balance and because of this it is particularly useful in avoiding damage and allows transitions to other dominant positions. The analogous technique in wrestling and catch wrestling is called double elevator.
In this video, Marcelo Garcia shows some basic butterfly guard options, including managing the distance, shin-to-shin guard, moving to X-guard, “idiot sweep”, low single leg takedown, maintaining the proper body position while sitting, trapping opponent’s both arms with underhooks, and so on.
Marcelo Garcia is a Brazilian grappler and jiu-jitsu competitor who was widely considered to be one of the best grapplers and arguably the best pound for pound submission grappler in the world. He is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Fabio Gurgel of Team Alliance, and one of the nicest guys in this sport ever. 🙂