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  1. jasculs is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/06/2008 5:19pm


     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    17 Important Tips for the Half Guard on The Bottom

    17 Important Tips for Half Guard on the Bottom
    Author: Jason Scully
    www.GrapplersGuide.com

    These are some important aspects to focus on and remember when it comes to being on the bottom in half guard
    • Don’t just hold on. Gone are the days when someone moves into your half guard and then you try to hold onto them for dear life. The half guard game is a more active, offensive, and aggressive position then it once was. So if someone ends up in your half guard because they were working a pass, you should know that you have plenty of offensive options from this position and you should work just as hard from the half guard as you would if you were in any other guard.
    • When you’re in the half guard on the bottom, you never want to be flat on your back. The main reason for this is because when you’re flat on your back you greatly decrease your mobility. You should be facing your opponent on your side in a position that looks similar to a fetal position. If you were to let your opponent get your back flat on the mat then he will have a much better chance of stopping your movement on the bottom and you will also feel much more of his weight on top of you.
    • It’s extremely important to make sure you stop your opponent from crossing facing around your head and gaining head control. The reason for this, is because when your opponent gets control of your head and starts to place shoulder pressure on your face this does a very good job of getting your shoulders and back flat on the mat, which in turn decreases your mobility on the bottom.
    • Use the paw grip to stop your opponent from gaining head control on you. Your opponent is mainly going to try to gain head control on you most of the time by starting first to hook around your head with his arm that is further away from your body so you need to at least take the hand of your bottom arm and control his arm that is attacking your head. A very effective way to do this is by having all of your fingers close together forming something similar to a paw and controlling at your opponent’s bicep. Many times stopping your opponent from getting head control is so important that you may have to use a double paw grip to prevent your opponent from getting head control. This is where you will use both of your hands on his arm that he’s using to establish control.
    • Ideally you want to tuck your head deep under your opponent. This makes it much harder for him to gain head control on you. It also gives you a better opportunity to get deeper under your opponent so you can start working more offensive movements.
    • Getting an underhook with your top arm is a good position because it assist with helping you stay on your side, but you also need to be aware of certain attacks your opponent can do to you. As the development of the half guard started to get more offensive the underhook was said to be extremely important in establishing an offense from this position. While this is still the case, there have been developments to counter the underhook positions. The use of movements such as brabo chokes and wizzers have been added to effectively work against your underhook position from half guard so you need to be aware that these counters exist.
    • Be ready for your opponent to turn his hip down and work passes facing towards your legs similar to a reverse scarf hold position but while in half guard. This position in my personal opinion and experience is one of the hardest positions to deal with when you are on the bottom in half guard. The main reason this position poses such a problem is because when your opponent establishes this reverse top half guard position they gain a lot of control of your hips making it much harder for you to be as mobile as you’d like to be. I focus on making sure my opponent doesn’t get this position just as much as I focus on them not establishing head control. One way that I use to stop my opponent from establishing this position is I post directly on the side of the hip they are trying to turn down. As soon as I see them turn their hips I place one (and many times two) of my hands right on their hip bone and I stiff arm their hip. This makes it much harder for them to turn their hip down and also many times creates some space. Doing this requires a great deal of timing and practice so it’s a good idea to start working on it now, because once your opponent settles in that position it can be very hard to deal with.
    • Another thing to focus on is preventing your opponent from crossing their ankles while in your half guard. The simple act of them crossing their ankles makes certain movements much more difficult and it also makes them feel much heavier. Usually when I establish a half guard one of the first things I do is I take my outside foot and I hook it over my opponent’s leg that I have trapped. I then drag his leg closer to me with my leg which brings his leg further away from his other one. When you do this it makes it much harder for your opponent to cross his ankles early on.
    • Don’t get lazy with your legs, keep them active. Many times when the half guard position is new to someone they forget to keep their legs active and they let their legs that have their opponent’s leg trapped open up or just their legs go flat without even knowing it. When this happens it becomes much easier for your opponent to just pull his leg out and work a pass. You should be aware of the position of your legs and the position of your opponent’s trapped leg at all times.
    • Get low under your opponent. When you’re able to get low under your opponent you increase your opportunities to take your opponent’s base out and mess with your opponent’s balance.
    • Work on always compromising your opponents balance and do not let them settle on you. As with tip number 1, you always want to stay active. Whenever they get a chance to settle it becomes much harder to reestablish your position.
    • Constantly threaten to work back to full guard by doing so it makes it much harder for them to start working to pass.
    • Be aware of the pressure your opponent is putting on you. Is he pushing into you? Is his weight back more? If you know how your opponent is distributing his weight, it will help you determine which direction you may want to attack towards especially if you are working for a sweep or to transfer to full guard.
    • Always look for your opponent’s arm that is closer to your top arm to be across your body/chest. There may be times where your opponent’s arm that is closer to you ends up going past the front of your body. This is a perfect opportunity for you to work attacks towards your opponent’s back.
    • To get their chest off of you and to gain some distance between the both of you make a frame across your opponent’s neck with your top arm. Many times in a no-gi situation I place my hand right no their neck. When you do this it’s very uncomfortable for your opponent and many times creates distance because they have trouble dealing with the pressure on their neck.
    • Become familiar with the different half guard positions not only for an offensive approach but also for a defensive approach when you are on top of someone’s half guard.
      • Regular Half Guard – This is your basic half guard where you have one of your opponent’s legs between your legs. It’s recommended that you use your outside foot to hook over his trapped leg and drag it out to stop him from crossing his ankes.
      • Z-Half Guard – In this half guard position you will have your top shin across your opponent’s body. This position is good for creating distance from your opponent. It is also easier to work an overhook game from this position.
      • Deep Half Guard – In this half guard you are very low under your opponent’s leg that is trapped. Your whole body should be pretty much under that leg. This position is very good for compromising your opponent’s base and balance.
      • Lock Down Half Guard – In this position you establish strong control of your opponents trapped leg by lacing it in a particular way with your legs. This position is very effective when you also combine it with double underhooks.
      • Butterfly Half Guard – In this half guard you have one of your opponent’s legs trapped and with your outside foot you tuck it under your opponent’s thigh that’s trapped very similar to how you would get a butterfly hook. This position is good for raising your opponent’s body up, working sweeps, and transitioning into other positions.
    • Be aware of the other different positions you can transition to from the half guard such as Full Guard, Butterfly Guard/Sitting, X-Guard, etc…
    The half guard has come a very long way. In the past it was a position to hold onto with very little options. It was a survival position, but now it’s as active as any other grappling position out there with its own set of sub positions. Don’t fall into the old school trap that the half guard was once in where people would just hold on for dear life in hopes they wouldn’t get passed. If you end up in the half guard there is still hope and there are many opportunities. When you take the time to learn the effective positions and movements of the half guard it will become a great tool to have in your grappling arsenal.

    Thanks for reading!
    Jason
  2. Yrkoon9 is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/06/2008 9:31pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    #18. Protect your face, because it is going to get punched. A lot.
  3. jasculs is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/07/2008 11:33am


     Style: BJJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yrkoon9
    #18. Protect your face, because it is going to get punched. A lot.
    Possibly in an MMA fight...this is geared more towards straight grappling.
  4. Zapruder is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/07/2008 12:17pm

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     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I find that when #2 happens to me and I get flattened out, this is a great time to move to butterfly half. And as it so happens I have some video of what I am talking about. This is some footage of Austins latest throwdown:
    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNYZQ-xsBUs name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNYZQ-xsBUs type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>
  5. Yohan is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/07/2008 3:28pm


     Style: JKD

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I work half guard lots - mostly because I end up there alot because I can catch my partners passing from guard to side, or passing from side to mount, or mount to side. I have one main escape I work where I get my hips out to the sdie and get up on my knees and fight from the knees.

    Nothing but good tips here.
  6. GoldenJonas is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/08/2008 11:52am

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     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hey look, a half guard thread. Here are some half-guard clips from my log for perusal. In one form or another my instructor has stated each of the things/points listed by jasculs; good, essential stuff.

    I hope the following is at least interesting and at best provides some things you have not thought of from bottom half guard.

    Quote Originally Posted by GJ Log
    We are sticking with the half-guard stuff. We are working a pretty good sweep taking the half butterfly and immediately kicking the guy over using a statue of liberty reach to hit the posting arm. The sweep is very quick and there is no air time for the opponent; essentially you stretch them out and kick them over. If that gets countered or posted you rotate under the guy and bring him the opposite direction. The biggest difficulty with this counter is two-fold; 1) getting you head and hips down low enough under your opponent to create the leverage, and 2) pinning the sweep side arm to prevent the post. I will need to work on this counter as there is absolutely no hope of me getting it right now against a live opponent.
    Quote Originally Posted by GJ Log
    We worked back door slips from half guard to take the back and finish with a cross collar gi choke.

    A few keys to remember to effectively ball down and slip out the back is to use both the upper and lower body to drive the opponent forward and then use a pendulum like movement to help you explode out the back door. You may be able to perform the escape without the combination and pendulum BUT you end up using more strength and thus lower the percentage of it working.

    Don't rush to submission once you are out. With the escape you have your half guard hook already in. From side turtle control you need to secure your position and slowly work toward the back with control rather than rushing to get the opposite side hook and fiddlefucking a collar choke without properly controlling your opponent. Failure to secure your position results in space which in turn results in an increased percent chance that your opponent will escape, reverse, or at least marginally improve his position.
    Quote Originally Posted by GJ Log
    Great sweep tonight. I often find myself getting into a scissor sweep-like position with my legs when trying to make space and improve from under half-guard. Typically, this is subject to a smashing half guard pass attempt by the more skilled guys which ends up being a bit of a scramble for position on both sides. The sweep we drilled last night uses the scissor set-up from half guard so it is particularly useful for me....here goes one of my old-time detailed descriptions, that is how much I loved this sweep.

    THE SWEEP: Opponent is on your left side and you have his right leg wrapped up in your half-guard; your opponent has the underhook. Pin your left elbow tight (grap the inside of your left leg or grab your opponent's belt by his right hip) to stop him from opening up your elbow. Post his left leg by grabbing his pant leg at the ankle or knee. Shrimp out to your left up onto your right hip and swim your left arm under his chin and grab his cross lapel putting your forearm under the guys throat and framing to create space. Slide your left knee across the guys waist like a scissor sweep set-up. Maintain control over his right leg and hip to stop him from inching forward. Grab the guys right sleeve at the wrist. Pull his right arm across your face to your left ear while rotating your hips under him to get and inside-out wrap on his left leg with your right arm. You left knee should still be across his waist and your right leg still has his right leg hooked like it was in half-guard. Pull the guys left arm straight down to your left hip and roll backwards bringing the guys right shoulder to the mat. Complete the roll back to complete the sweep. You end up in his half guard or you can roll and pass to side control on the guys left side by keeping your knee across the waist and using that leverage to pass his half-guard. The whole time keep your grip on the sleeve to kill that limb and any leverage you opponent may search for to counter.
    Quote Originally Posted by GJ Log
    We worked on two new half guard sweeps which counter the typical whizzer to brabo or darce set up when someone is in your half-guard. As soon as the guy pulls the whizzer to counter your initial sweep attempt reach down with the whizzered arm and grab the guys wrist while hooking the far leg from the inside with your other arm; push your hips down and under the leg you have trapped in half guard and sweep to the whizzered side.

    The next sweep is pretty technical and uses a peek through to counter a guy who gets his arm over your head to post the first sweep. You still counter the whizzer by grabbing the wrist but after the post (or before it doesn't really matter) you place the half butterfly and push the guy back and essentially do a sit out on the whizzered side and seat belt to take the back. You can also switch your hops the other way after the sit out ans come to the front.

    I liked the first one a lot; the second not so much.
  7. KhorneliusPraxx is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/08/2008 12:15pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasculs
    Another thing to focus on is preventing your opponent from crossing their ankles while in your half guard. The simple act of them crossing their ankles makes certain movements much more difficult and it also makes them feel much heavier. Usually when I establish a half guard one of the first things I do is I take my outside foot and I hook it over my opponent’s leg that I have trapped. I then drag his leg closer to me with my leg which brings his leg further away from his other one. When you do this it makes it much harder for your opponent to cross his ankles early on.

    It is difficult to read descriptions of techniques without the benefit of pictures or video. I am trying to image being on top and in someone's half guard while crossing my ankles. I'm not sure I understand what you mean.
  8. Goju - Joe is offline
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    I am a Ninja bitches!! Deal with it

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    Posted On:
    4/08/2008 12:26pm

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     Style: Improv comedy

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    yes pics on how not to let people gain head control plz
  9. Roidie McDouchebag is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/08/2008 12:56pm

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     Style: Snatch Wrestling

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It’s extremely important to make sure you stop your opponent from crossing facing around your head and gaining head control.
    I would add that you can get neck cranked to hell if this happens. Either the front naked or the Bulgarian headlock.

    yes pics on how not to let people gain head control plz
    Er...stop sucking?
  10. UpaLumpa is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/08/2008 1:05pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by KhorneliusPraxx
    It is difficult to read descriptions of techniques without the benefit of pictures or video. I am trying to image being on top and in someone's half guard while crossing my ankles. I'm not sure I understand what you mean.
    There are a couple of ways. One is essentially just doing a lockdown from top.
    Or you can just squeeze their leg with yours and cross your feet. This is common when you sprawl out on a leg to pass and stretch out one of their legs.
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