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  1. Uncle Skippy is offline

    See my tongue. SEE IT!

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    Posted On:
    6/21/2010 5:43pm

    Business Class Supporting Member
      Style: BJJ, MT, TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Uncle Skippy's Half Guard Bottom Thread

    Disclaimer: Hell no I don't know everything about half guard. Due to physical limits, I find myself in half-guard a LOT after escaping from mount or side-control/cross-sides. This thread is a brain dump and discussion of what I've learned in the 3 years I've been really working on my HG (half-guard) game.

    I'm a big guy (6'4", 220lbs). After 2 lower-back surgeries, I've made half-guard an integral part of my game due to the lack of direct pressure on my lumbar spine. As such, I've found certain things that work for me and some things that don't. You may find the same; feel free to contribute what works for you.

    Note: Please refrain from posting 'Thanks' and 'I'll try that'-type posts. I'd like to try to keep this thread as clean as possible, with each post contributing some sort of knowledge.

    For the sake of clarity, all explanations should assume that the person on bottom has their right leg (inner leg) between the legs of the person on top. Their left leg is the outer/free leg.


    Uncle Skippy's Half-Guard Game
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    When I am in HG bottom, I stay in 1 of 2 positions:

    - Deep HG
    Your head is up against their left hip (no space) and your left shoulder is touching/hugging their right hip.

    There has to be ZERO space between your head and their hip. If you allow space, they will underhook your head with their arm, pry you away, and then flatten you out.
    - Far HG or 'Z' guard
    Your left leg knee is on their right peck/shoulder. Your left hand has an underhook of their right arm. Your right hand is either posting behind you or, if you are upright enough, working the head or their shoulders.

    You are on your side (on an edge). You are not flat on your back.
    Why these 2 positions? Because it makes it VERY difficult for the person on top to get at your head. If the person on top can underhook your head, they can flatten you out. If they flatten you out, they kill your hip mobility. If you can't move your hips, have fun trying to move at all. So, don't let them get at your head. Being flattened out in half guard bottom is awful.


    Far HG or 'Z' guard

    I have a tendency to work from a Far HG / Z-guard. My long legs and arms help to maintain enough distance for me to move behind my frame. What frame you ask? In Far HG/Z-guard, your legs are your frame. Keep slight forward pressure into your opponent with your legs and move behind your frame. Don't push; just apply a little pressure. Remember to always move yourself and not your opponent.

    If they move away from you, do not straighten your legs; you'll get passed. Instead, move your hips towards them to maintain the distance (or just bail and turn to knees).

    One other thing to make a note of is grips. If the top person gets a good grip on your legs, you HAVE to deal with it. Their pass will start with leg control. Instead of letting them progress in their pass, pop their grip off and force them to start over. Removing grips is a priority. Don't just remove a grip once and then let them regrip; be persistent in removing grips.

    With that in mind, Far HG/Z-guard will give you a quite a few options for transitions:

    - Pull guard
    If they posture up and take pressure off of your legs, you can pretty easily pull guard if they don't have a good grip on your bottom leg.
    - Turn to knees
    If you can't do anything else, or you have a killer neutral position game, pulling your inner leg back behind you will put you back on knees. This is easier to do when the top person postures up and relieves pressure on your leg. Straight-arming your left arm into their right shoulder to shift them back a bit will disrupt their base and make it even easier.
    - Take the back
    This is where I go 90% of the time. Using my left arm underhook to keep the top person where they are (don't push/pull them, just keep them where they are), I shoot my body around their body to their feet and place my left knee in their tailbone. When my head is past their right armpit, I use my left underhook to wrap their upper body and glue myself to them. My left knee is pressuring into their tailbone to keep their weight forward so that they hands stay on the ground to support their weight.

    At this point, I have 1 hook in (right leg). From here, I'll either throw the left leg around to take the other hook (remember their hands are supporting their weight and not guarding their hip to prevent the hook), or I'll circle around them and sweep them to side-control.
    Quick review so far:

    - Do not let the top person touch your head
    - Being flattened out is horrible
    - Deal with grips immediately
    - Move yourself, not your opponent.

    Cain Prevost's post about this:
    I'm a big fan of Cain's. Here are his words on half-guard bottom:
    http://caneprevost.wordpress.com/200...-guard-bottom/



    More brain dump to come...
  2. Uncle Skippy is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/21/2010 5:54pm

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      Style: BJJ, MT, TKD

    --
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    Far HG or 'Z' guard (continued)

    Retaining Far HG/Z-guard can be incredibly frustrating if you're unsure of the warning signs of being passed.

    Here are some big red flags:

    - Top person collapses your top leg down on top of your bottom leg (knees touching)

    - Your legs begin to straighten ( > 90 degrees)

    - Top person isolates (pins or traps somehow) your bottom leg

    - Top person stands (spider, X, etc... guard time)

    Many of these issues begin with the top person getting a grip. Again, deal with the grips as they happen.

    My favorite thing to do from HG top is to weave my hand behind the top leg and in front of the bottom leg. It traps the bottom leg and, after collapsing my weight on top of the top leg, makes for an easy pass. It can be prevented by addressing the initial grip.

    If you miss the grip and they are coming around/passing, it is time to push on their head. Push their head AWAY from you (not towards your feet). You might have time to re-establish half guard, but more than likely you'll turn to knees and continue from there.

    Quick Review:
    - Knees together is bad
    - Legs straightening is bad
    - Get on their head if they are coming around to keep them from driving into you
    - Don't be afraid to bail out to knees
  3. Blue Negation is offline

    Woke up in the mortuary

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    Posted On:
    6/22/2010 12:51am


     Style: Judo, Sub wrestling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Question for when you get around to DHG:

    what do you like to do with (keeping the assumptions about which leg you have trapped) your left arm? One of my favorite counters for lazy DHG players is some variant of that so deftly used by Rumina Sato here:
    YouTube- Rumina Sato vs. Ulysses Gomez at Grapplers Quest Main Event Superfight at UFC Fan Expo
    (note also how he sets up the main attack with a wristlock. Sato = awesome)
    I never seem to get kimura'd myself when playing DHG, but I also can't seem to express to curious junior students how I do so when they ask how to avoid my counter.

    Good stuff by the way, I'll try it (haha)
  4. ouchboy is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/22/2010 4:46am


     Style: Bjj / Mexican Judo.

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Skippy View Post

    - Deep HG
    Your head is up against their left hip (no space) and your left shoulder is touching/hugging their right hip.
    There has to be ZERO space between your head and their hip. If you allow space, they will underhook your head with their arm, pry you away, and then flatten you out.
    I have problems with this, more often than not ,they start going for choke, I have to bail out of grabbing and straigthen out.

    Any Ideas on how to clearly avoid that part?

    I got into Deep HG and variants because I noticed that it keeps me safe from most of the guys (and girls).

    Anyway, since I'm a n00b white belt a good old STFU might be deserved to be thrown my way.

    Thanks for the post :toothy6:
  5. PointyShinyBurn is online now
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    Gnarly King of Half-Guard

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    Posted On:
    6/22/2010 8:54am

    Join us... or die
     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Negation View Post
    I never seem to get kimura'd myself when playing DHG, but I also can't seem to express to curious junior students how I do so when they ask how to avoid my counter.
    First thing is to hide the vulnerable arm by threading it under the leg that's trapped in your half guard. Added bonus that this also helps you to manipulate their leg when you want to go for sweeps and such. If they do get the kimura grip locked up I would try and strip it using my knee, which is probably going to lead to losing DHG and a scramble.

    ouchboy, sounds like you're not deep enough, you should be facing the same way as your opponent, not flat on your back underneath them.

    Jeff Glover's DVD is solid gold on this stuff.
  6. Raging Monkey is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/22/2010 11:03am


     Style: BJJ, JJJ and JKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Skippy View Post
    Retaining Far HG/Z-guard can be incredibly frustrating if you're unsure of the warning signs of being passed.

    Here are some big red flags:

    - Top person collapses your top leg down on top of your bottom leg (knees touching)

    - Your legs begin to straighten ( > 90 degrees)

    - Top person isolates (pins or traps somehow) your bottom leg

    - Top person stands (spider, X, etc... guard time)

    Many of these issues begin with the top person getting a grip. Again, deal with the grips as they happen.
    I hope you don't mind me hopping in here... 93 Guard and Z guard have become my bread and butter for the bottom over the last year.

    One other sign that things are about to go badly for you is if the top guy has your lapels out of your belt and threads one through your legs. You are about to get your legs collapsed as in the first bullet above.

    That has become one of my two defacto passes to get around that top leg.
  7. Uncle Skippy is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/22/2010 11:40am

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      Style: BJJ, MT, TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Negation View Post
    Question for when you get around to DHG:

    what do you like to do with (keeping the assumptions about which leg you have trapped) your left arm? One of my favorite counters for lazy DHG players is some variant of that so deftly used by Rumina Sato here:
    YouTube- Rumina Sato vs. Ulysses Gomez at Grapplers Quest Main Event Superfight at UFC Fan Expo
    (note also how he sets up the main attack with a wristlock. Sato = awesome)
    I never seem to get kimura'd myself when playing DHG, but I also can't seem to express to curious junior students how I do so when they ask how to avoid my counter.

    Good stuff by the way, I'll try it (haha)
    One of the things I've always been told is to make sure all 5 of your limbs (2 legs, 2 arms, and head) are doing something in EVERY position. If it isn't, you are wasting 20% of your tools.

    If the left arm isn't doing anything and just sitting there, it is waiting to be attacked. I tend to wrap it around the leg so that the wrist is behind the top person; I'll even grab my lapel to lock it in. Kimura setups rely on the wrist being exposed and able to be pinned/trapped/grabbed. With no wrist visible, the setup is much more difficult.

    If the wrist does get trapped and the Kimura does get locked up, it is time to bail in an intelligent manner. To finish the Kimura, the person on top needs to take your wrist behind your back (unless your arm is SUPER compressed). It is of utmost importance to make sure that there is either no space behind you or that the angle is completely wrong for them to finish.

    'Escape' 1 (wrong angle): Slip under them and go out the back, focusing on straightening your arm. Stay on your left shoulder edge (the one being attacked). If they roll, do NOT come up with them. The momentum will break the arm free and you're done. If they don't roll, it is time work on releasing the wrist grip using your other hand for extra leverage (push it down to your feet).

    'Escape' 2 (no space): Flatten out and stay that way. You will give up side-control in the process. Once the wrist grip is broken, start working back to a dominant position.

    The word 'Escape' is in quotes because, if they get that Kimura locked, it is VERY difficult to get out of. The 'escapes' are merely ways to buy time and get them to move in hopes of them screwing up and giving you something to work with. In terms of percentages, these escapes are mid to low percent because the submission is already locked. The better option is of course to avoid the lock by hiding the wrist early. :-)
  8. Uncle Skippy is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/22/2010 11:44am

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by ouchboy View Post
    I have problems with this, more often than not ,they start going for choke, I have to bail out of grabbing and straigthen out.

    Any Ideas on how to clearly avoid that part?

    I got into Deep HG and variants because I noticed that it keeps me safe from most of the guys (and girls).

    Anyway, since I'm a n00b white belt a good old STFU might be deserved to be thrown my way.

    Thanks for the post :toothy6:
    You should be using your right (bottom) arm to guard your neck/head. That arm's job is to protect your head and, in the process, control the top person's left arm when you dive into deep HG. Once you are in deep HG, think about gluing yourself to the other person. Any space will open you to an underhook which will create space which will create an opportunity for the top person to flatten you or work on your legs. If they get that space and work, deal with it or bail to Far HG/Z-guard.

    The angle should be wrong for the choke though. Do you know what choke they are using?
  9. Uncle Skippy is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/22/2010 11:47am

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      Style: BJJ, MT, TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by PointyShinyBurn View Post
    First thing is to hide the vulnerable arm by threading it under the leg that's trapped in your half guard. Added bonus that this also helps you to manipulate their leg when you want to go for sweeps and such. If they do get the kimura grip locked up I would try and strip it using my knee, which is probably going to lead to losing DHG and a scramble.
    Exactly. Hide it by giving it something to do.

    If they get the Kimura grip locked, giving up position to avoid the submission as a last resort is expected.

    Quote Originally Posted by PointyShinyBurn View Post
    ouchboy, sounds like you're not deep enough, you should be facing the same way as your opponent, not flat on your back underneath them.
    I'm confused about the positioning as well. I'd like to know if the choke happens on entry, establishment, or in transition out of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by PointyShinyBurn View Post
    Jeff Glover's DVD is solid gold on this stuff.
    I don't even need to continue in this thread if everybody watches Jeff's DVD. :-) Another one is Demian Maia's video.
  10. Uncle Skippy is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/22/2010 11:49am

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Raging Monkey View Post
    I hope you don't mind me hopping in here... 93 Guard and Z guard have become my bread and butter for the bottom over the last year.
    Don't mind at all. I started the thread to kick up discussion on a topic I very interested in. Different viewpoints are integral to the discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raging Monkey View Post
    One other sign that things are about to go badly for you is if the top guy has your lapels out of your belt and threads one through your legs. You are about to get your legs collapsed as in the first bullet above.

    That has become one of my two defacto passes to get around that top leg.
    Any video of this pass? I know this is the "Half Guard Bottom" thread, but avoiding passes is also part of the game. Can't have Half Guard Bottom without looking at Half Guard Top as well.
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