If you train Jiu Jitsu, you will have gotten to use half guard and its many variations many times. The half guard is widely popular among many grapplers and some people even use it as their primary guard. Grapplers like Tom Deblass, who have mastered this position, will often pull half guard or at least let the top player get there. Even if you are not a fan of the position, you will still need to be competent in it in order to be successful in the sport.
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The reason half guard is so popular is because it is very versatile. First, there are many different versions of half guard that one can tailor to their preferences. For example, Bernardo Faria uses deep half guard a lot while Craig Jones uses Z-guard to set up his attacks. You can pick which version you play depending on the style of attacks you are interesting in. If you like leg locks, you use butterfly half or Z-guard, if you just want to sweep and get on top, you might use deep half guard more.
If you really like half guard and people know it, they will avoid getting into your favorite position. This is why it’s important to learn ways to force people there. From a standing position, the surest way to get to half guard is simply pulling half guard. When you pull half guard, you have the option to go to traditional half guard or deep half guard. Deep half guard should be preferred because it’s better for sweeping.
In the following video, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu legend Bernardo Faria illustrates how to pull deep half guard and hit his famous sweep, named after him, the Faria sweep. See below:
There are two things you need to focus on immediately once you get to deep half guard. The first thing is to make sure that the leg under your head does not slide around your head to the other side. You can do this by gripping it with your arm and continuously pressing the back of your head into the leg. The next thing is keeping your other arm tight. If you loosen up and your opponent gets an under hook, they will ultimately find a way out of your deep half guard.
Learn and develop your half guard game from the champion that mastered it!