Although it is not as popular as it once was, deep half guard was once one of the most utilized positions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Although it is just as effective now as it once was, Jiu Jitsu is a sport that is constantly evolving, and people are trying to stay ahead of the curve by learning the newest stuff.
Deep half guard is one of the few guards that allows the guard player to position themselves directly under the top grappler’s hips. In other guards, this could be dangerous. In deep half guard and X-guard, which are closely related, this position gives the guard player a lot of control over the top grappler’s balance, making it easy to sweep and get on top.
Pass With Pressure, Without The Gi! Click Learn More below!
Similar to X-guard, the most difficult aspect of utilizing deep half guard is actually just establishing the position. It is not often that we are able to just get under our opponent’s without exposing ourselves. The most common method of entering deep half guard is from basic half guard. You can also pull deep half guard immediately, but this can be difficult in an age where everyone is extremely cautious of leg locks.
Deep half guard was made popular by many high-level competitors with Bernardo Faria being on the forefront. If you have watched some of Bernardo’s matches, you have definitely seen him use deep half guard and hit the “Faria sweep.”
In the following video, Bernardo illlustrates how to appropriately pull deep half guard and then finish the Faria sweep. See below:
Most new students avoid deep half guard because of the high learning curve, or at least perceived learning curve. In order to half a strong deep half guard, the guard player needs to stay safe while also prevent guard passes, just like with any guard. Staying safe in deep half guard most importantly means preventing underhooks. This is best done by hiding the free arm under the defender’s trapped leg.
The most common way to pass the deep half guard requires the top grappler to rotate their knee around the guard player’s head. This is best mitigated by maintaining strong posture with the head on the defender’s thigh to prevent it from moving.
Bernardo Faria has the techniques that work at the highest levels of No Gi BJJ. Check out his DVD “No Gi Pressure Passing”, and learn from one of the best. Check it out here!