Half Guard

One of the most commonly used sweeping combinations on our team, offering great protection against both the leg and neck attacks the top player would typically try to counter you with during a half-guard sweep, and additionally offering great protection against strikes in an MMA fight. The difficulty with strike-control is the primary issue with the traditional “deep half guard” position in sport BJJ. I advise against playing the conventional deep half guard if you cross-train or compete in MMA, and this is a very important distinction! Our half guard sweep operates on having a grip on their far ankle, trapping them in a leg-bind.

Forcing half-guard and half-guard passing are some of the simplest and yet the most difficult fundamentals on the path to blue belt in my program. I put it right at the end on part 4 of the white belt fundamentals because it involves complex hook play combined with precise balance and pressure. Mastering the half guard will require a studious, slowed down approach. It’s not a matter of fast reactions, but knowing the right detail in advance. Acheiving the blue belt is for the serious student of technical grappling who’s already deeply commited to getting good at JiuJitsu. So bear with me if these video tutorials seem long or slow, it’s the nature of the subject matter – but I know for anyone committed to getting over the hump with it, you’ll find these very valuable if not indespensible. Studying will really help you keep things straight in your head and remember the positioning under fatigue, so here you go!

Finishing the half-guard pass on the negative side by clearing their 1/4 guard ankle trap in negative base. Usually we are completing this pass with a strong shoulder pressure down on their jaw/neck and a grip deep on the back of their shoulder, but we also use this pass with a kimura grip when we can’t get the head, or if they clear our control of their head.
As long as we are stabilizing our top control in negative base, we can pass to the nearside.
If we are on a posted arm or if they start to build up off the mat, we have to be quick to hop back over.
In the cases where we don’t score 3/4 mount, we can still almost always recover to HQ pressure to kill their open guard and re-pass from there. The idea is to chain pass attempts without allowing them to close their guard or finish a sweep on you, if we can do that then we can just keep passing.
The Negative is a key position to chain with in your passing flow, it helps open up a lot of options and break stagnant situations.

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