Half guard has been and will always be one of the top positions grapplers utilize in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It is easier to attack sweeps and submissions from half guard, especially against skilled opponents, because when compared to closer guard, the guard player is generally much more mobile.
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Another important element of half guard that makes it so popular for many grapplers is that if the top player gives the guard player enough space, it is easy to sit up and either stand up or switch to butterfly guard, something closed guard can’t really offer by nature of the position.
There are a lot of variations of half guard. The first is the old school half guard without any leg frames. This version is pretty weak though because if the top player knows anything, they will just keep the guard player flat, making it impossible to set up attacks.
Other examples of half guard variations include the lockdown, which is popular among 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu students, and deep half guard, a staple position many elite black belts use.
The most common, though, of the half guards is knee shield half guard. In fact, this is probably the type of half guard most grapplers learn first.
Knee shield half guard provides us with all the benefits of half guard but also prevent the top player from being able to flatten the guard player. This is because the guard player uses their leg and knee to frame across the top player’s torso.
In the following video, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Lucas Valle will illustrate a very cool yet not commonly known sweep called the coin sweep. See below:
If you have ever performed the flower sweep, sometimes called the pendulum sweep, you will see a resemblance between it and the coin sweep, especially the first part.
Lucas Valle’s DVD “Mastering The Half Guard” is a comprehensive take on this versatile position! Check it out here!