The half guard is one of the most comprehensive positions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It is comprehensive in many ways. First, there is a wide array of attacks one can attempt from half guard. These attacks include submissions like the armbar, kimura, and various lapel chokes. Numerous sweeps can also be attacked from half guard as well.
Half guard can also be used to transition to different guards such as deep half guard and X-guard. One of my favorite uses of half guard is entering into various leg entanglements like ashi garami. Finally, half guard is also a great position to defend from too.
There are a lot of attributes about half guard that make it so versatile. The primary attribute is the ease of getting up and transitioning to a top position. Unlike half guard, it is easy to get up to the knees or feet when the top player gives the guard player too much space.
Another important feature of half guard is versatility. Positioning of the hands, feet, and even the head all make for different strengths and weakness and can be used by grapplers in different ways. Different positioning gives rise to variations of half guard such as butterfly half guard.
Although every grappler has their unique take on half guard, there are a few variations that are quite universal and used by grapplers worldwide. These guards include deep half guard, the lock down, and knee shield half guard, the latter being the most popular.
Need To Master The Half Guard? Click Learn More below!
Knee shield half guard is a prime example of how grapplers can use legs and arms as frames to defend their guard. The knee shield half guard is also a good example of how you can be offensive while being defensive at the same time.
In the following video, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Lucas Valle shows a slick yet not commonly known sweep named 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. Just like the flower sweep, you need to use momentum, rather than strength, to execute the sweep. Momentum is generated by swinging the full weight of the legs and not focusing too much on flexing of the muscles.
Lucas Valle’s DVD “Mastering The Half Guard” is a comprehensive take on this versatile position! Check it out here!