One of the most symbolic and fun techniques in jiujitsu consists of using the guard to make one's opponent fly and land with their back on the ground. The aesthetic, loud sweep fires up tournament audiences and exemplifies how the martial art reverses positions in a fraction of a second, with maximal efficiency and minimal energy.
One of the most common ways to make an opponent fly is to use one of the legs of your guard as a catapult, in what today is known as a hook sweep. The position is only not fun for one person: the one seeking to pass guard and control the match. So what could be the ideal method for those who don't want to be sent flying?
In a recent lesson, Master Rickson Gracie provided a precious tip for thwarting the feared catapult-like hook. Notice here that Rickson uses his arms and elbows to tame the hips and restrain the legs' mobility. With his weight well distributed on the hooked leg, Rickson uses the whole weight of gravity to avoid losing balance. With the guard player inert and helpless, the master simply uses both legs to trap the hook and get on the side—without giving any space or chances to the guard player. After all, flying is best left for birds and pilots.