6/22/2010 4:59pm, #21
Grip strength would seem to be a big factor in maintaining this position and subsequent pass. Do you use your left arm as a pivot/post on the ground and in the process block their right hip to prevent them from getting their bottom knee in?
6/23/2010 9:20am, #22
The lapel being threaded that way keeps them on their right hip, unable to flatten out or turn to the left hip.
So when I slide back and compress the legs I pass to their left side, behind both legs. Since they are being pinned with both their knees facing to their right they can't get a knee in at all. I simply work my left leg up behind their thighs and into their butt by the end of the pass.
Grip strength is important, but it really isn't that bad. It is hard for them to generate enough power to stress the grip that badly.
6/23/2010 12:17pm, #23
I've always been interested in Utility passes and chokes. This will be interesting to work on tonight.
6/23/2010 1:29pm, #24
6/24/2010 3:07pm, #25
Far HG or 'Z' guard (continued)
(Note: I'm going to start calling Far HG/Z-guard just 'Z-guard' now)
Transitions out of Z-guard
The person on top typically has 2 postures in Z-guard:
- Sitting up, based down (butt down)
- Lying flat, based out (their weight is on you)
Transitions out of Z-guard into a 'better' position heavily depend on where the person on top is applying pressure.
Before you work on the transition out of Z-guard, you must deal with any grips the top person might have. If they have a good grip, your frames will collapse and you will be passed.
Person on top is sitting up
In this position, your hips are pretty mobile. Your bottom leg should also be pretty mobile provided they don't have a grip (you removed any grips, right?). The top person's pressure and control from here usually starts with a good grip.
From here, I will typically do 1 of 3 things. These are all set up with a straight-arm grip (left arm) on their right lapel and propping yourself up on your right elbow or hand. With this grip and frame, you can apply forward pressure into them and make it difficult for them to plow into you. If you can get their head behind their hips (they are sitting up too tall and now leaning slightly backwards), they might post on the ground with their left arm. Even if they don't post, it is go-time:
- Pull your right (bottom) leg out and go to full guard
This transition is very quick and you have the added benefit of them trying to push into you which means it is much easier to break down their posture as you pull guard. What can be better than starting guard with someone already flattened out on you? Well, their left arm might be posting on the mat which, if you continue the momentum and swing your head to that side, makes for a very nice Kimura setup.- Pull your right leg out and turn to knees
If somebody is sitting up really tall and you're flexible, setting up a triangle is an option as well. Your right leg shoots past their shoulder as you drive your hips up into their neck, you lock your feet as you cut the angle, and their posture is already compromised. Work from there.
With the straight-arm grip on the lapel, it is relatively easy to keep the other person at bay and start getting on their head.- Pull your right leg out, post it behind you and plow into them
My game from knees is not very well developed due to not wanting to wrestle with people because of my back. I'll typically straight-arm and keep cutting angles waiting to insert a foot and go for the back.
If your game from here is good, I'm sure you'll already have some good setups. If you want some good setups, ask and somebody else can chime in.
This sweep is something I've nicknamed the 'bull rush' because it really is just trying to forcefully push them over. The thing here is that you'll only get this sweep if you REALLY disrupt their base in the transition and keep constant forward pressure. If you let up the pressure, they will regain their base.Person on top laying on you or driving in to you
To finish the sweep, think about always trying to go to knee on belly. Drive your right knee into their ribs and keep constant forward pressure. Some people will flatten out and you'll have side control / knee on belly, and some people will turn over to turtle. If they go to turtle, insert your right hook before they establish; your right foot will be right there for easy insertion.
When people really drive into me in Z-guard, I'll typically do one of the following:
- Use their momentum to take their back
Shoot your left leg straight down to their feet and then bring your left knee up into their tailbone. You are providing pressure on their tailbone with your knee which will 'help' them continue their forward pressure and prevent them from sitting back.- Sweep
Your left arm underhook (which was always providing pressure, right?) continues providing pressure and prevents them from driving into you.
Shrug your shoulders as you scoot your butt down towards their right foot. Move yourself; do not try to bully the top person.
When your head pops out from behind their armpit, use it to provide pressure into their ribs. Your left arm now wraps their body just below the floating ribs or grabs their lat (depending on how long your arms are and how big the other person it)
From here, you can work to get your left hook in (your right hook is already in).
Alternatively, remove your right leg from between their legs, post your foot (not your knee) behind you and drive forward. Use your right hand to reach down trap their left leg or foot. As you drive, start to circle to your left. They will eventually fall on their left side and you can finish circling and take side-control.
'Help' them to drive into you by bringing your knees slightly toward your chest. Bring your right foot out a little and post it on their right thigh. Put your left knee on their right shoulder. Grab their right sleeve with your left hand.Of course there are a ton of other transitions out of Z-guard and variations of the stuff I've mentioned here, but these things work well for me.
Dive your head under them, grab their left pant leg at the knee with your right hand and roll to your left towards their right shoulder. Extending your left knee and straight-arming with your right arm on their knee will build momentum and 'flip' them to their side. You will come up in knee on belly or side-control with their right arm trapped under your left shin.
Side-note: one key to sweeps is to disrupt the top person's base. If you don't disrupt their base, you will use too much muscle for a low-percentage payoff. Disrupting their base means to either 1) get their head out from being directly over their hips/feet (leaning) or 2) you become their base (you get yourself under their base). In this half-guard sweep, you are opting for 2) becoming their base. You get yourself far enough under them that their base depends on your movements.
Anybody else have some high-percentage transitions out of Z-guard?
6/25/2010 10:03am, #26
- Join Date
- Feb 2010
- Manila, Philippines
Hey man, half guard is my favorite position to fight from. My go to sweep is that sweep where you pull the foot then drive into him. My problem is a lot of guys try to guillotine me from there. What's your own way of preventing that?
Thanks man! LONG LIVE HALF GUARD!
6/25/2010 11:38am, #27
Also, lead with your hips, not your head. Think about driving your hips forward into them instead of pushing with your head. Focusing on putting your knee in their ribs should encourage this.
To finish that sweep, you have to have their base disrupted. If they are not off-kilter before you try to finish that sweep, you are just muscling through and the percentage that you'll finish that sweep drops.
6/25/2010 12:07pm, #28
Anybody else have some high-percentage transitions out of Z-guard?
- Join Date
- Aug 2006
In cases where I can't keep the underhook, it's still simple to move to full guard. The important detail I've seen is that you should try to either offbalance him first, or at least obtain control of his far side wrist. If they see the transition coming they can nab a stack pass by redirecting your leg that's going out from the bottom. Similarly, your left arm should be trying to control his right tricep or something along those lines so he can't try scooping your high 'Z' knee, since your underhook isn't there to prevent this.
If I can't get control of his far arm/don't feel safe with the transition, or don't want to go to full guard, I instead transition to half butterfly. My left hand stiffarms his right shoulder, my right hand is warding off his left. I push off of him with the knee in the chest and shrimp out a bit (using the stiffarm to maintain the gap after I make it), then circle the left foot in the space provided to insert the hook. My left arm switches from stiffarming to circling for an underhook or overhook as he comes forward from my disappearing stiffarm. My right arm continues to ward off the crossface or "wrong-side" underhook (easy pass if he gets it) or underhooks his leg if I can get my face hidden from the crossface. The right leg keeps a strong hook on his right leg the whole time so he can't back out.
Last edited by Blue Negation; 6/25/2010 12:10pm at .
6/26/2010 5:53am, #29
- Join Date
- May 2007
I got stuck in this exact position in a tournament a few days ago, after I unsucsessfully tried to pull full guard.
I managed to keep the position and prevent passes for some time, but I could not get the underhook and struggled with removing his grip on my bottom pantleg. I'm not very familiar with this position so I could not get any good offense going other than trying to get back to full guard.
He tried to wrap my legs and kick out low, and anclelock my left foot now and then, and after a while managed to pass to sidecontrol. Thats how I lost the semifinal :/
After reading this thread I think trying to use my head (both physically and the inside of it) could help, and altso trying to take the back instead of just trying to force full guard. It must have gotten very predictable after a while, and I thing I was pushing to much, instead of framing.
Thanks for the thread! Keep it up!
6/28/2010 4:40pm, #30
Far HG or 'Z' guard (continued)
Transitions to submissions from Z-guard
I have 3-4 submissions that I look for when in Z-guard. Please note that finishing while still in standard Z-guard is quite rare. Why? Posture control and space.
If I can't control their posture, they will be able to base, posture up, and avoid the submission.
If I can't get my hips up against their body (my legs are in the way), it provides too much space for them to wriggle out of.
So, I approach Z-guard as a position which is used to set up sweeps and submissions based on their posture, distance, and angle in relation to my hips and upper body.
Here are some setups and a few submission options from each (refer to the positioning I described at the top of the thread to see how the person on bottom and top is oriented so that left/right and top/bottom make sense):
- Control their left (far) wrist (they are postured)A LOT of people on top make the mistake of putting their left hand on the mat to post. Any time you see this, it is time to attack with a sweep or submission.- Completely wrap their right arm with your underhook and drive them face first to the mat.
Here is the setup for both: use your right hand to grab/trap their left wrist and straight-arm it. Push your left knee into their body to disrupt their base and take some weight off of your right leg. Pull your right leg out and put your heel on their left hip. Push harder into them with your left knee.
Kimura: When they drive into you, shoot your left arm over and around the upper part of their TRICEP (not their elbow); grab your right wrist to lock it. HUG your elbows to your body to remove any space between their shoulder/elbow and your body. Dive your head to the mat where their left hand is and drive your right heel across their back. Your left heel is on their right hip. Finish by taking their thumb across their back and try to touch the back of their head with it. If you keep your elbows to your body, you will use your core to finish the submission as opposed to your arm muscles. It is MUCH more difficult for them to fight it if you use a large muscle group to finish.
Triangle: When they posture up, shoot your right foot straight-up past their head and DRIVE your hips into their neck. If you don't elevate your hips to remove the space, you will be in a wrestling match; avoid it by shooting your hips up. Keep the straight-arm grip on their left wrist right your right arm. Use your underhook with your left arm to keep their elbow away from their body. With your hips elevated and against their neck, bend your right leg and throw your left over it. Now, AS YOUR HIPS COME BACK TO THE MAT, dive your head towards their left knee (try to touch it with your forehead). Transfer your left hand to their head; underhook their left arm or leg with your right arm. Finish the triangle with a leg curl of your left leg and a leg press of your right leg. If you are having problems finishing it after it is locked, put your right hand on their head and use your left hand to post and push on the mat so that you circle yourself around them to the right (cut even more of an angle); it will pull them off their base and apply more pressure on their neck.When they are face-down on the mat, your left leg walks up their back and your right foot comes out from between their legs and the heel posts on their left hip.Great video by Ryan Hall on finishing the triangle using large muscle groups:
This is my favorite finishing position because I get GREAT posture control (leg on back and their right shoulder is locked down).
Arm Bar: They move their head away from you. Drive (don't swing) your left knee up their back and over their right shoulder and plant it on the ground. There are 2 finishes from here that I use:
Variation #1 - Bring your right knee up under their right shoulder. Squeeze your knees together and extend to straighten their right arm. When their right wrist is on your neck (their thumb will probably be pointing at their ground), gable grip around their elbow, hug your elbows to your body, and rotate your torso towards the ground.Variation #2 - Drive your right knee over their right shoulder to the mat and THEN into their neck. Slightly turn face down (not completely) and use your core (big muscle group) to extend their right arm. Squeeze your knees, hips (large muscle group) forward to finish.Triangle: They drive toward you. Keep your hips engaged to prevent from flattening out. Walk your right knee up to their right (closest) shoulder then swing your right foot up around their left shoulder. Drive your hips into their right armpit, swing your left leg over your right foot. Both hands on their head, extend hips, leg press and curl to finish.
I have a very sneaky collar choke from here as well (which feeds directly into an arm bar, triangle, omaplata, and kimura if they defend) but it is too difficult to describe. Maybe a video would be justified.
YouTube- Ryan Hall - The Triangle [DVD 1] - Finishing The Choke: Stomp And Curl BJJ
- Starting the transition with a disruption of their base will force them to post or doe something no so smart.
- Break down and control posture to finish.
- Take and keep space with your hips to reduce likelihood of escape.
- Big muscle groups to finish (core, back, upper legs).
Last edited by Uncle Skippy; 6/28/2010 4:46pm at .