In BJJ it’s what you don’t know that hurts you. If you get caught in a position that you don’t have an answer to, that you don’t understand, then life on the mat just got exponentially more difficult.
This problem is most pronounced for the guard. It can be really difficult to keep up with the changing technology. One year it’s the X Guard, taking the world by storm, then it’s the 50/50 guard, and then it’s the worm guard…
You don’t necessarily need to add each of these new guard positions to your own personal repertoire, but you DO need to know how to shut them down. You need good answers for each of these positions. (more…)
Some people are under the mistaken impression that you can only defend or sweep from the Half Guard. But it’s a big mistake to ignore the powerful submission attacks that present themselves from that position!
One of the most powerful, most effective, and most popular attacks from the Half Guard is the Triangle Choke. You see this in high level competition all the time, both with and without the gi.
But you can’t just slap the triangle choke on from Half Guard without any preparation. You have to set it up first.
The half guard is a sophisticated tool in the grappler’s toolbox that can be used to defend, sweep your opponents, or submit them outright.
But just because you’ve got a hammer doesn’t make the whole world a nail. And that means that you can’t rely on any one guard position as the be-all-and-end-all.
Even if you’re a half guard wizard you’ll still end up facing opponents who know all your tricks, or are particularly gifted at shutting down half guard. (more…)
I’m not going to pretend that injuries don’t suck. They do.
There have been many great athletic careers cut short by injury. Many people who would otherwise have been great have had their dreams derailed when a bone went ‘crack’ or a ligament went ‘snap’ and then never quite recovered.
The typical reaction of the BJJ addict when they get injured is, ‘Oh no, now I can’t train.‘ (more…)
In the No Gi super fight at the 2013 BJJ Expo between Keenan Cornelius and Lucas Leite there was an absolutely spectacular submission. Keenan hit an inverted spinning armbar from half guard that impressed the hell out of everyone who saw it.
First, here’s the match itself. The armbar sequence starts at about 8:01. (more…)
I know, I know, I KNOW!
I go on and on about how tapping out is no big deal, and how you can get injured if you let ego get in the way, and how everybody gets caught from time to time…
But there I was, leaping all over the place to escape a submission, becoming increasingly desperate as the noose tightened around my neck, just because the whole thing seemed so cheesy. (more…)
The half guard is one of my favorite guard positions. And here are three of my favorite half guard sweeps and attacks!
Not only is each of these moves a high percentage technique in its own right, but when you put them together they create a powerful one-two-three combination that will serve you well in the half guard for the rest of your grappling career. (more…)
The Half Guard is a funny position.
Once upon a time it was a position of last resort. Something that you would try to achieve if your opponent was passing your guard. A last-ditch attempt to stop him from getting to a truly dominant position.
My, how things have changed in the last 20 years…
Passing the guard of a skilled opponent is one of the hardest things to do in BJJ.
If you don’t believe me, take a look at high level BJJ and submission grappling competition like the Mundials or ADCC. (more…)
Sometimes the best way to get better is simply to stop doing things wrong.
Over the years I’ve shot quite a few guerilla-style videos breaking down many of the most common mistakes that I see for different positions and submissions. (more…)
BJJ and submission grappling are in a continual state of evolution. New techniques, tactics and strategies emerge, or are rediscovered, or are brought into the art all the time.
The backstep guard pass is one such modern technique. You won’t see this guard pass in old-school BJJ (more…)
It’s my very favorite quote from the movie ‘The Avengers’ which I saw last night:
Captain America: We need a plan of attack!
Iron man: I have a plan… Attack!! (more…)
Whether you want to or not, you ARE going to end up in the half guard!
Some people simply use the half guard as a last resort when their guard is being passed. Their opponent is blasting around their guard, so without even thinking about it they lash out with their legs and trap one of his legs between their own. (more…)
Marcus Soares and Denis Kang demonstrate a Half Guard Pass and a Cervical Choke. (more…)
by Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro
The half guard in BJJ is a position that has evolved a lot. Originally it was considered to be a bad position, only one step short of having your guard passed altogether. Now it is the favorite sweeping position of many BJJ practitioners. (more…)
Countering the crossface when you’re on the bottom of half guard is really important – if you don’t know how to get out of it then you’ll be dead in the water and soon get your guard passed.
This technique is demonstrated by BJJ black belt Andreh Anderson
The Kimura armlock is a bread-and-butter move in BJJ, but not many people know that they can use it from on top in the half guard. In this technique Marcio Feitosa shows you how… (more…)
The Americana or figure-4 armlock is usually thought of being a technique you use from mount or side mount. But here Marcio Feitosa uses it to finish an opponent in the half guard… (more…)
The Brabo Choke can be a match-ending submission. And one of the best times to apply it is when you’re on top in the half guard.. (more…)
You can attack with this version of the Brabo Choke anytime your opponent is using his half guard from the bottom and is wearing a gi… (more…)
The Kimura armlock is one of the highest percentage submissions from the half guard, but to apply it you have to know how to get your opponent to release his grip on his pants, shorts or thigh.
Here’s how to break his grip and finish the Kimura! This Jedi mind trick can actually be used for other submissions like the armbar and different leglocks as well.
Taking an opponent’s back is a fundamental attack from half guard, but once your opponent has been caught in it a few times he will start blocking your back climb. Most typically he will wrap your arm with an overbook, also known as a ‘whizzer.’
Here’s one way of my favorite ways to counter his counter and come out on top and behind your opponent.
The Half Guard is a very powerful position from which to sweep or submit your opponent. But just like all other forms of guard, it’s really important to know how to move your hips and your legs correctly. No movement = no guard!!! (more…)