BJJ 101: The Asylum Sweep And Choke

Innovation has come a long way, especially in a fast-developing art like BJJ. It puts you ahead of the competition, as hitting a move that many grapplers aren’t quite familiar with will leave them second-guessing. While developing a new move or technique setup is remarkable, the time spent in trial and error ensuring that it works against a fully resisting opponent is commendable enough. Today, we will talk about two of the most creative techniques in BJJ: the asylum sweep and choke.


The Rubber Guard

Before we discuss the asylum sweep and choke, let’s first understand the rubber guard as the root of both techniques. Nino Schembri first used the rubber guard, which Eddie Bravo later developed under his 10th Planet System. 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu is widely known for its innovative and unique approach to grappling. Its distinct system and set of unorthodox techniques, such as the rubber guard and the twister, sets it apart from traditional BJJ academies we typically see. As part of his arsenal, Eddie also used the rubber guard in his legendary match against Royler Gracie, a match that catapulted him to the global stage. Eddie uses the rubber guard to break the opponent’s posture by bringing one leg behind the opponent’s head while trapping their shoulder for control, opening up different options to attack with submissions and sweeps.

The rubber guard allows grapplers to retain control over their opponent’s posture while fighting off their back in an MMA match without having the ability to apply Gi grips. Primarily, it is a variation of an open guard, which allows the bottom player to put their leg across the opponent’s back as they grab their shin using the far hand facing upwards while laying the forearm on the opponent’s collarbone. Doing so helps neutralize the opponent’s ability to pose a threat, either from passing or attacking with a submission, while breaking their posture down. The rubber guard is more focused on keeping the distance with the opponent close through clinching, which leaves them guessing about your possible attacks. It is proven effective in MMA, No-Gi, Gi BJJ, and even in self-defense situations, as it allows you to limit the distance closely, thus neutralizing the attacks from the aggressor.


The Asylum Sweep

The asylum likely got its name from the unorthodox setup of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu. Starting from the closed guard, open your guard and go for the rubber guard if the opponent stalls.

To go to the rubber guard, first aim for what 10th Planet refers to as “mission control.” It aims to control the opponent’s posture. Start by having your right leg across and behind the opponent’s head. Use your left hand to grab your right ankle by hooking it as you curl your right ankle above. This control keeps the opponent’s posture broken and prevents them from looking up while trapping their shoulder. Now that you’ve applied the rubber guard, swing your right arm over the opponent’s head to behind until the back of your right-hand reaches your right heel – to what they refer to as a “meat hook,” and let go of your left hand hooking your right leg. Use your left hand to grab inside the opponent’s right elbow (untrapped arm) to flare it out, and use your right hand to grab on their armpit.

While this position may already look like enough for a triangle setup, it does not stop here. Shoot your right foot through from behind the opponent’s head to their right armpit (the armpit you’re controlling with your right hand). Although your right foot may end up somewhere on their bicep, hook it. Use your left arm to control the opponent’s right wrist while keeping the hook with your right leg from behind their head to their right bicep. Both the opponent’s arms are trapped from this position, allowing you to rain strikes with your right hand in an MMA situation. To sweep the opponent, curl your right foot up and push it over to the right side to sweep the opponent down. In this position, you can grab the opponent’s left arm and finish with an armbar or go for a crucifix by putting your left leg behind the opponent’s head and cranking their head down.


The Asylum Choke

While the 10th Planet is mainly known for No-Gi BJJ, the asylum choke is primarily a Gi BJJ technique.

Assuming the opponent is on your right side, and you are pinned from bottom side control, create space to force a knee shield. Do this by framing with your arms as you bridge to push the opponent off your chest, and as your hip falls back on the mat, shrimp out. Insert your right knee in for a bottom knee shield while laying your left foot on top of your right foot to create an “L” position with your legs. Slightly lean on the right side and swing your left leg across the opponent’s back. Slide your right shin (knee shield leg) and land your right foot on the opponent’s left bicep. As you push the opponent’s left bicep with your right foot, feed it to your left foot so that your left foot does not control the opponent’s left bicep, with your left leg coming from across the opponent’s back. This position traps both the opponent’s arms. Now that your left leg has control over both arms, swing your right leg over until your right leg is behind the opponent’s head. Use your right arm to grab for a cross-collar grip (opponent’s left collar) and anchor your right foot to the mat to finish the choke. This choke is very powerful once the opponent is successfully trapped from the setup.



There are several ways to approach the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. As the game continuously evolves, it is beneficial to keep our minds open and involved, even entertaining some of the unconventional techniques the game offers. Try the asylum sweep and choke today and see if they fit into your game.


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