A few days back, I yapped about how preventing the cross face used to be all the rage among half guard “aficionados”.
That tactical choice stemmed from two things.
First of all, they hated being crossfaced, and that’s completely understandable. Good guys can make that position absolutely horrible.
(Feeling that shoulder grinding hard into your face can drain you too.)
It takes a special kind of chap to endure all that punishment and still refuse to give up the pass.
Then second, many half guard passing strategies (at the time and still to a degree) were built around the crossface. So by preventing it, you also decreased the possibility of having your guard passed.
Where they went wrong though is in their solution to the problem.
Instead of dominating the body in such a way as to make the crossface hella difficult, they chose to focus on actively blocking the arm itself.
To do that though, the mobility of the position has to be sacrificed.
Hell, it’s the same thing that happened with the lockdown.
The strategy locks you into a very limited path of offense. Don’t get me wrong though. It’s not completely wrong. If you play it well, you can make it work, but once you commit yourself to that path, you’re putting your half guard on death row and destroying all attempts at appeal.
You will run smackdab into a wall.
It’s just a matter of time.
Doubt me not on this.
Crossface ain’t an issue if you understand rotation control from the bottom.
Case in point:
There’s a grip in the gi that can be used to force your opponent to partially rotate away from you. They won’t even be able to touch you with their bicep.
No way. No how.
Here’s something that’s even better though.
No grip required or anything. You can do it in the gi or out of it.
Stop playing the game in the midrange. I harp on it all the time. I know. It’s important.
Your head must, must be tight against your opponent’s body on the same side as your underhook. Breaking that rule is dangerous, but when you hold true to it, the crossface is no threat.
You could even say that it ain’t shyt.
Enough on that.
For more half gyardy knowledge, slide on up in here: