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Oct 04

Understanding the Half Guard Conceptually

pinit fg en rect gray 20 Understanding the Half Guard Conceptually

man thinking Understanding the Half Guard Conceptually

I love half guard.

I’ve been playing it since I was a white belt, and there is a reason for that. When I was getting smashed in the gym over and over again, it was half guard that became a refuge.

The transition to half guard from most bad positions is only a step away, and I realized that early.

Thus, a lot of my focus has gone into developing the position and making it work against everyone. I am still in that process, but I want to share some of the knowledge that I’ve gained so far.

The thing is that if I just start talking about it, it’s quite easy for me to get too immersed in the process. Instead, I want to focus on your specific questions.

I am going to develop a FAQ for the half guard, which I will be updating and refining over time. The focus is on core concepts, but we can get into the technical details as well.

I want to know the questions that are on your mind regarding the position, and I am going to do everything in my power to answer those questions.

The reason is simple. Every second that we spend thinking about the position increases the likelihood that innovation will occur.

So take a moment and think.

Do you have questions regarding half guard? If the answer is yes, ask away. You can do so by sending me an email or just commenting here.

Either way is fine.

Important!

I created a Facebook group to facilitate the goal of solving problems and fostering innovation in Half Guard. If you’re interested in the position and you think that it can be even better than it is right now, join up: Half Guard Project

Share and Enjoy

  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Understanding the Half Guard Conceptually
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Understanding the Half Guard Conceptually
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Understanding the Half Guard Conceptually
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Understanding the Half Guard Conceptually
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Understanding the Half Guard Conceptually
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Understanding the Half Guard Conceptually
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Understanding the Half Guard Conceptually
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Understanding the Half Guard Conceptually

2 comments

  1. Peter

    Like you I happen to find myself rather often in half-guard. Either while passing the guard, which I’m not having a problem with, or when I escape from mount or sometimes side control. Being on the bottom in half guard is really hard for me though. I have been looking at a lot of videos so in theory I know a lot of stuff to do, for example: knee shield to omaplata/ triangle, going for a kneebar, tacking the back, lifting him with a butterfly hook, reversing him, kimura, etc… I’m getting better at some of them but at the moment I usually settle for regaining guard or going into an open guard situation.
    The techniques are not failing me, it’s the concept and extrem versatility of botto half guard. Meaning that my oppononet is very hard to predict in this situation since it is more of an even positioning. He can get me into trouble just as fast as I can get him into trouble or a worse position. He can back up, go to either side, come forward and crush me, pretty much everything he wants.
    What I fail at is making the position mine, having him worry solely about getting tapped or swept, putting him in the defense. Usually he only has to make a rather small adjustment and my entire plan breaks apart. I fail to get a positional advantage respectively I’m not sure there is one. Comparing the half-guard to other dominant positions, one major difference also is that you can’t hang out there for a bit and get your act together when you’re unsure what to do. You don’t have the advantage of gravity on your side. My game is not crushing people but just being on top of somebody somehow restricts his movement. The same counts for guard were instead of being on top you’re hanging of your opponent which makes just about everything harder for him. Not so in half-guard. It’s too much freedom for me as dumb as it sounds and at the same time my movement is rather restricted since your legs are usualy entangled.
    I didn’t really intend to write that much but as I just realized, I’ve been thinking about this a lot without coming with too much so it just kind of spilled out. I’m not sure if it just takes way more time to understand what’s going on in half guard or if I’m failing to grasp an important concept.
    Cheers

    1. Kenneth Brown

      It’s great that you’re spending so much time thinking about it. Those moments of intense focus are what lead to revelations.

      Also I agree about the half guard. It’s like a balance scale, so the advantage can very easily flow back and forth. That’s one reason why it’s such an fun position.

      I would benefit you to focus on smaller subset of technique in the position. Instead of trying to learn all the different options at the same time, take one or two and focus on them.

      The goal is not only to get better at those techniques, but to understand why they work. That will allow you to start figuring out how to make them work better.

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