The fifty-fifty guard is a strange creature. In it you and your opponent face each other in the exact same position with your legs intertwined.
On the one hand there’s no doubt that it’s a really powerful sweeping position for whoever’s on bottom.
But on the other hand it has a reputation as a really horrible way to stall. (Some people just rack up a few sweep points and then use the fifty-fifty to completely kill any further action, coasting until the time runs out.)
But things don’t have to be this way!
Obviously given that you’re basically in a reciprocal leglocking position there are toeholds, ankle-locks, kneebars, and heel hooks available to you from the fifty-fifty (especially in no gi).
But jiu-jitsu continues to evolve, and so there are some other really cool submissions from here that might not be as obvious!
For example, in my recent interview with Keenan Cornelius he talked about having had a lot of luck with the armbar from fifty-fifty recently, including tapping out one of the Miyao brothers at the Pan-Ams.
That sounded like a really cool move, so I immediately asked him if he’d be willing to share that technique with my readers.
Well, I recently received a video clip from his forthcoming DVD series from Keenan in which he broke down the armbar from fifty-fifty guard step by step. In this must-watch clip he ALSO talked the adjustments you need to make to turn the fifty-fifty guard from a sweeping position into a platform for launching your submissions.
Here’s a detailed breakdown on how to do the armbar from fifty-fifty:
If you found this clip interesting you might also want to check out more Keenan Cornelius techniques by clicking here.