Half Guard

Half Guard Top

When I establish the top half-guard position, my primary goal is to transition all the way to the mount. Sometimes I'll use straight-up jiu-jitsu to achieve this goal, and sometimes I'll soften my opponent up with strikes to make the transition easier to manage. If you choose the latter option, it is important not to get so caught up with landing devastating strikes that you compromise your positioning and let your opponent escape to full guard or sweep you over to your back. Although you have a lot of options from half-guard, you must always concentrate on maintaining control of your opponent. Obtaining that control isn't difficult. If your opponent has your right leg trapped between his legs, you'll want to secure an under-hook with your right arm and keep your opponent pinned flat on his back to neutralize his offense. As long as you can maintain that control, you'll be able to safely set up your pass into mount or side control. Just don't stay in half-guard all day long. You most likely had to do some work to achieve half-guard (either getting the takedown or freeing one leg from your opponent's guard), so work on getting the pass. The longer you wait, the more chances you give your opponent to escape.

Key Concepts for Half Guard Top

^Just as you do in full guard; use your strikes to set up passes and your passes to set up strikes. ^To prevent your opponent from attacking with sweeps, work to pin him flat to the mat.

Half Guard Bottom

If you're in the bottom half-guard position and your opponent is an expert working from the top half-guard position, you could end up in some trouble. He has a whole bunch of strikes at his disposal, and you don't have many. For this reason, it is imperative that you quickly assess what moves are available to you and then go for them. You don't want to hang out and burn time. When I find myself in the bottom half-guard position, I'll work to establish an under-hook and then get up onto my side. Once achieved, I'll work to take my opponent's back or sweep him over to his back. You should feel a sense of urgency. Assess your situation, force movement, and get out of there. Trying to stall in the bottom half-guard position will most likely cause you some pain.

Key Concepts for Half Guard Bottom sGet onto your side and establish an under-hook. If your left leg is trapped, you want to get up to your left side and establish a left under-hook.

â– SImmediately work your sweeps when end up in the bottom half-guard position.

v'Keeping moving back and forth until you manage a sweep. Constant movement keeps your opponent off balance, making it difficult for him to strike and pass.

Distributing my weight over my left arm, I let my hand slip forward and then drop all of my weight downward, crashing the tip of my elbow just underneath Reagan's left eye.

I'm postured up in Reagan's half-guard, driving his head into the mat with my left hand.

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