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BJJGround Forum >> Is half guard a sub-standard guard..?


5/15/13 8:34 AM
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deepu
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Sub Phone Post
5/15/13 9:44 AM
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ChipW
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VU. Best thread in a while

5/15/13 9:47 AM
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ChipW
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Stubbsy - Oh, and if a blue could help with the vids, that would be ace.

Vids for stubbsy

5/15/13 11:32 AM
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misterw
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I agree that long range guards are theoretically better for health and safety... but not what was going on in those vids. If I was worried about my training longevity (which I am), I would really try to minimize any of the inversion game. Seems like that game would put a lot more stress on neck and upper back than deep half. Deep half they may have their weight on your upper body, but its on your chest, not pushing your neck toward your chest like with an inversion game.

If it was purely about reducing stress on body...butterfly would probably be the best. Although I think the knee shield with frequent forays into x, dlr, butterfly is also pretty forgiving, as a poster above mentioned.
5/15/13 11:33 AM
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misterw
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^ Like marcelo's game. He doesn't ever seem to be in a bad spot. Although that could also be because he is.. marcelo.
5/15/13 12:39 PM
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deepu
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Half guard is still a part of jiu-jitsu no matter what it's effectiveness is. I love it, but I have had 4 knee surgeries and half guard is the best guard for bad knees.

Rafa Mendes and Marcelo certainly don't favour it, but I guarantee they know it inside out.
5/15/13 12:42 PM
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deepu
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Matthieu Battle - i'm a frail old man and haffgward is my goto game. now, i don't insist on the half when i should be playing something else, so my half is really a liberal mix of RDLR, x, 1 leg x, deep half, knee shield, close underhook, and butterfly. i even occasionally throw in a lasado here and there.

i love it and i'm pretty good at managing the distance, moving in and out and taking the hips. i have about 4-5 sweeps that are pretty much unstoppable (relatively speaking for a weak old purple belt) if i get my grips. doesn't mean i don't occasionally get smashed. fought a guy at a tourney recently who crushed me. CRUSHED me. but generally, i sweep and pass without too much trouble.

gonna add one thing that i do that i don't see a lot of other people doing, that works wonders for me when the dooky gets deep. say your partner has begun to knee cut and you're a beat behind so no RDLR hook for you, it's just hang onto the foot with pinched knees and hope for the best. my thing - lock their knee to your chest, give a quick bump to their ass and transfer their foot to your TOP leg. the back of your knee over their ankle, your calf under their instep, and pull your heel to your butt. i find this gives me a lot of control and frees up my bottom leg so i can come up to a single, or drag my hips under to go the other way, all without losing their leg. this little thing has made a huge difference in my 'emergency' half and has actually turned that into a pretty strong position for me. one of my better sweeps is from that 90% passed spot.

"lock their knee to your chest, give a quick bump to their ass and transfer their foot to your TOP leg. the back of your knee over their ankle, your calf under their instep, and pull your heel to your butt"

If you transfer their foot to your top leg, can't they just pass over both your legs?
5/15/13 3:51 PM
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misterw
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deepu - 
Matthieu Battle - i'm a frail old man and haffgward is my goto game. now, i don't insist on the half when i should be playing something else, so my half is really a liberal mix of RDLR, x, 1 leg x, deep half, knee shield, close underhook, and butterfly. i even occasionally throw in a lasado here and there.

i love it and i'm pretty good at managing the distance, moving in and out and taking the hips. i have about 4-5 sweeps that are pretty much unstoppable (relatively speaking for a weak old purple belt) if i get my grips. doesn't mean i don't occasionally get smashed. fought a guy at a tourney recently who crushed me. CRUSHED me. but generally, i sweep and pass without too much trouble.

gonna add one thing that i do that i don't see a lot of other people doing, that works wonders for me when the dooky gets deep. say your partner has begun to knee cut and you're a beat behind so no RDLR hook for you, it's just hang onto the foot with pinched knees and hope for the best. my thing - lock their knee to your chest, give a quick bump to their ass and transfer their foot to your TOP leg. the back of your knee over their ankle, your calf under their instep, and pull your heel to your butt. i find this gives me a lot of control and frees up my bottom leg so i can come up to a single, or drag my hips under to go the other way, all without losing their leg. this little thing has made a huge difference in my 'emergency' half and has actually turned that into a pretty strong position for me. one of my better sweeps is from that 90% passed spot.

"lock their knee to your chest, give a quick bump to their ass and transfer their foot to your TOP leg. the back of your knee over their ankle, your calf under their instep, and pull your heel to your butt"

If you transfer their foot to your top leg, can't they just pass over both your legs?

Their lower leg is squeezed between your thighs. But your top leg is the one controlling and dragging their lower leg toward your butt.

^ I do same thing, if I'm reading this correctly.
5/15/13 4:06 PM
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Stubbsy
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misterw - I agree that long range guards are theoretically better for health and safety... but not what was going on in those vids. If I was worried about my training longevity (which I am), I would really try to minimize any of the inversion game. Seems like that game would put a lot more stress on neck and upper back than deep half. Deep half they may have their weight on your upper body, but its on your chest, not pushing your neck toward your chest like with an inversion game.

If it was purely about reducing stress on body...butterfly would probably be the best. Although I think the knee shield with frequent forays into x, dlr, butterfly is also pretty forgiving, as a poster above mentioned.

If you watch the vids again you will see that Rafa is never under pressure when inverted. I think there's a difference between inverted guard (Read Ryan Hall shooting inverted triangles from upside down position), and inverting as part of a technique. Every time Rafa inverts, he is mid sweep, and the top player should be in no position to place any pressure on him. The inversion in the berimbolo comes after the sweep, and the main RDLR sweep that results in the back take requires no inversion. In both cases your feet are controlling the weight and hips of the top player.

The point I am making about deep half, is that your top body is under their weight, and they can therefore reach your top body and spine. I think the danger comes from twisting the spine more than it does from the inversion. So a strong cross face on top of a leg drag is a horrendous spine twist position, as is the cross face crank that Lo uses. The top player is controlling the spine of the player through the neck, and there is the danger.
5/15/13 4:07 PM
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Stubbsy
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ChipW - 

VU. Best thread in a while


Thanks Chip. VU for vids posting :-)
5/15/13 4:13 PM
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misterw
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Stubbsy - 
misterw - I agree that long range guards are theoretically better for health and safety... but not what was going on in those vids. If I was worried about my training longevity (which I am), I would really try to minimize any of the inversion game. Seems like that game would put a lot more stress on neck and upper back than deep half. Deep half they may have their weight on your upper body, but its on your chest, not pushing your neck toward your chest like with an inversion game.

If it was purely about reducing stress on body...butterfly would probably be the best. Although I think the knee shield with frequent forays into x, dlr, butterfly is also pretty forgiving, as a poster above mentioned.

If you watch the vids again you will see that Rafa is never under pressure when inverted. I think there's a difference between inverted guard (Read Ryan Hall shooting inverted triangles from upside down position), and inverting as part of a technique. Every time Rafa inverts, he is mid sweep, and the top player should be in no position to place any pressure on him. The inversion in the berimbolo comes after the sweep, and the main RDLR sweep that results in the back take requires no inversion. In both cases your feet are controlling the weight and hips of the top player.

The point I am making about deep half, is that your top body is under their weight, and they can therefore reach your top body and spine. I think the danger comes from twisting the spine more than it does from the inversion. So a strong cross face on top of a leg drag is a horrendous spine twist position, as is the cross face crank that Lo uses. The top player is controlling the spine of the player through the neck, and there is the danger.

I see what you are saying and hope you are right. I have a sneaking suspicion that regularly rolling around on your neck, even w/ out pressure from top man, can't be good for your neck and upper back though.
5/15/13 5:15 PM
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Stubbsy
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misterw - 
Stubbsy - 
misterw - I agree that long range guards are theoretically better for health and safety... but not what was going on in those vids. If I was worried about my training longevity (which I am), I would really try to minimize any of the inversion game. Seems like that game would put a lot more stress on neck and upper back than deep half. Deep half they may have their weight on your upper body, but its on your chest, not pushing your neck toward your chest like with an inversion game.

If it was purely about reducing stress on body...butterfly would probably be the best. Although I think the knee shield with frequent forays into x, dlr, butterfly is also pretty forgiving, as a poster above mentioned.

If you watch the vids again you will see that Rafa is never under pressure when inverted. I think there's a difference between inverted guard (Read Ryan Hall shooting inverted triangles from upside down position), and inverting as part of a technique. Every time Rafa inverts, he is mid sweep, and the top player should be in no position to place any pressure on him. The inversion in the berimbolo comes after the sweep, and the main RDLR sweep that results in the back take requires no inversion. In both cases your feet are controlling the weight and hips of the top player.

The point I am making about deep half, is that your top body is under their weight, and they can therefore reach your top body and spine. I think the danger comes from twisting the spine more than it does from the inversion. So a strong cross face on top of a leg drag is a horrendous spine twist position, as is the cross face crank that Lo uses. The top player is controlling the spine of the player through the neck, and there is the danger.

I see what you are saying and hope you are right. I have a sneaking suspicion that regularly rolling around on your neck, even w/ out pressure from top man, can't be good for your neck and upper back though.

Honest question, have you ever done any yoga..? They spend half their day inverted! I think it is the pressure that you are talking about and I can see where you are coming from.
5/15/13 5:40 PM
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misterw
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Yeah, but they go super slow and ease and breathe their way into the positions. They don't enter explosively and have some other guy messing w/ them, knocking them to one side or the other.... I don't know. I hope you are right, as I like those sweeps as well, but I'm in the latter half of my 30s now and I often wonder if I'm asking for trouble by even making those part of my game. Sometimes my neck hurts a bit and I don't know if it is from those sweeps or not.
5/15/13 5:53 PM
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Pantarei
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Knee shield half isnt considered as "half guard" by the mendes (and others such as xande ribeiro)

Knee shield is a distance management guard. Phone Post
5/15/13 6:28 PM
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The Gimp
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deepu - 
Matthieu Battle - i'm a frail old man and haffgward is my goto game. now, i don't insist on the half when i should be playing something else, so my half is really a liberal mix of RDLR, x, 1 leg x, deep half, knee shield, close underhook, and butterfly. i even occasionally throw in a lasado here and there.

i love it and i'm pretty good at managing the distance, moving in and out and taking the hips. i have about 4-5 sweeps that are pretty much unstoppable (relatively speaking for a weak old purple belt) if i get my grips. doesn't mean i don't occasionally get smashed. fought a guy at a tourney recently who crushed me. CRUSHED me. but generally, i sweep and pass without too much trouble.

gonna add one thing that i do that i don't see a lot of other people doing, that works wonders for me when the dooky gets deep. say your partner has begun to knee cut and you're a beat behind so no RDLR hook for you, it's just hang onto the foot with pinched knees and hope for the best. my thing - lock their knee to your chest, give a quick bump to their ass and transfer their foot to your TOP leg. the back of your knee over their ankle, your calf under their instep, and pull your heel to your butt. i find this gives me a lot of control and frees up my bottom leg so i can come up to a single, or drag my hips under to go the other way, all without losing their leg. this little thing has made a huge difference in my 'emergency' half and has actually turned that into a pretty strong position for me. one of my better sweeps is from that 90% passed spot.

"lock their knee to your chest, give a quick bump to their ass and transfer their foot to your TOP leg. the back of your knee over their ankle, your calf under their instep, and pull your heel to your butt"

If you transfer their foot to your top leg, can't they just pass over both your legs?

I think he means switch from regular half to outside half...
5/15/13 6:45 PM
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Matthieu Battle
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misterw - 
deepu - 
Matthieu Battle - i'm a frail old man and haffgward is my goto game. now, i don't insist on the half when i should be playing something else, so my half is really a liberal mix of RDLR, x, 1 leg x, deep half, knee shield, close underhook, and butterfly. i even occasionally throw in a lasado here and there.

i love it and i'm pretty good at managing the distance, moving in and out and taking the hips. i have about 4-5 sweeps that are pretty much unstoppable (relatively speaking for a weak old purple belt) if i get my grips. doesn't mean i don't occasionally get smashed. fought a guy at a tourney recently who crushed me. CRUSHED me. but generally, i sweep and pass without too much trouble.

gonna add one thing that i do that i don't see a lot of other people doing, that works wonders for me when the dooky gets deep. say your partner has begun to knee cut and you're a beat behind so no RDLR hook for you, it's just hang onto the foot with pinched knees and hope for the best. my thing - lock their knee to your chest, give a quick bump to their ass and transfer their foot to your TOP leg. the back of your knee over their ankle, your calf under their instep, and pull your heel to your butt. i find this gives me a lot of control and frees up my bottom leg so i can come up to a single, or drag my hips under to go the other way, all without losing their leg. this little thing has made a huge difference in my 'emergency' half and has actually turned that into a pretty strong position for me. one of my better sweeps is from that 90% passed spot.

"lock their knee to your chest, give a quick bump to their ass and transfer their foot to your TOP leg. the back of your knee over their ankle, your calf under their instep, and pull your heel to your butt"

If you transfer their foot to your top leg, can't they just pass over both your legs?

Their lower leg is squeezed between your thighs. But your top leg is the one controlling and dragging their lower leg toward your butt.

^ I do same thing, if I'm reading this correctly.

yeah, this is only when their knee is thru and you only have the foot. for awhile people were calling this quarter guard, but i think that's fallen out of favor.

normally i see people control the foot of the knee cutting leg with the leg on the floor and squeezing the knees. this feels insecure to me and ties up both legs. as soon as i can i feed the remaining foot to the top leg - mechanically it's very secure - their heel is firmly trapped between the flexed tendons in my hamstring and my calf.

i keep my knees together until i have the grips i want, but that's just extra insurance. the top leg lock is so secure that even with my lower leg moving around for other stuff, i can still frustrate the hell out of most everyone. and then i sweep em.
5/15/13 7:18 PM
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shen
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This thread reminds me of just a few years back when the Half-Guard was treated like the "key" to the BJJ universe.

IMO, work on what works for YOU, not what is "popular" at the moment.

It's pretty easy to adopt a "surface" understanding of any game. But if you shortly abandon that for the next cool thing, you don't gain much of a depth of understanding or skill. Seeking to "copy" the more organically-evolved game of elite "professional" BJJ competitors is not something I see work-out well for most "average Joe" BJJ players. They become Blue & Purple Belts who know a bunch of stuff and aren't very good with any of it. I really think this practice handicaps a lot of people in BJJ.

If you want to learn to box, then learn to box. Don't start intentionally "copying" Prince Naseem after 6 months. You are not him. Let your game evolve naturally as a representation of you.
5/15/13 7:30 PM
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Stubbsy
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shen - This thread reminds me of just a few years back when the Half-Guard was treated like the "key" to the BJJ universe.

IMO, work on what works for YOU, not what is "popular" at the moment.

It's pretty easy to adopt a "surface" understanding of any game. But if you shortly abandon that for the next cool thing, you don't gain much of a depth of understanding or skill. Seeking to "copy" the more organically-evolved game of elite "professional" BJJ competitors is not something I see work-out well for most "average Joe" BJJ players. They become Blue & Purple Belts who know a bunch of stuff and aren't very good with any of it. I really think this practice handicaps a lot of people in BJJ.

If you want to learn to box, then learn to box. Don't start intentionally "copying" Prince Naseem after 6 months. You are not him. Let your game evolve naturally as a representation of you.
I like that outlook Shen :-) I'm not seeking to be like that at all. I appreciate the ideas behind those guards. I've accepted long ago that I will never be an elite competitor, but I have an analytical mind and i can see the benefits of a longer range guard. It may not even be RDLR or RDLR, i may look at spider. I like the principles behind keeping the top player on the end of my feet. They make sense. Phone Post
5/15/13 8:48 PM
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SidRon
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shen - This thread reminds me of just a few years back when the Half-Guard was treated like the "key" to the BJJ universe.

IMO, work on what works for YOU, not what is "popular" at the moment.

It's pretty easy to adopt a "surface" understanding of any game. But if you shortly abandon that for the next cool thing, you don't gain much of a depth of understanding or skill. Seeking to "copy" the more organically-evolved game of elite "professional" BJJ competitors is not something I see work-out well for most "average Joe" BJJ players. They become Blue & Purple Belts who know a bunch of stuff and aren't very good with any of it. I really think this practice handicaps a lot of people in BJJ.

If you want to learn to box, then learn to box. Don't start intentionally "copying" Prince Naseem after 6 months. You are not him. Let your game evolve naturally as a representation of you.

Excellent point! My personal game seems to be evolving around being in mount and cross mount bottom. I am trying to develop a unique game from there but I must admit that it has been challenging thus far.
5/15/13 8:55 PM
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markirons
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Edited: 05/15/13 8:57 PM
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I played half guard pretty exclusively for many years, and its still what I instinctively revert to when I'm in trouble, but for the past couple of years I've really had to try to get away from it for 2 reasons - it puts me in an extremely passive mindset, and I don't make people fight through all the other ranges when I'm in half guard mode, and the style I play gives the advantage of initiative to the other player....I still love having it in my back pocket when things go wrong and somebody passes through my guard, but I'm very glad that I was encouraged to completely give it up for awhile, its done wonders for the aggressiveness of my overall game.
5/15/13 9:58 PM
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The Gimp
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Matthieu Battle - 
misterw - 
deepu - 
Matthieu Battle - i'm a frail old man and haffgward is my goto game. now, i don't insist on the half when i should be playing something else, so my half is really a liberal mix of RDLR, x, 1 leg x, deep half, knee shield, close underhook, and butterfly. i even occasionally throw in a lasado here and there.

i love it and i'm pretty good at managing the distance, moving in and out and taking the hips. i have about 4-5 sweeps that are pretty much unstoppable (relatively speaking for a weak old purple belt) if i get my grips. doesn't mean i don't occasionally get smashed. fought a guy at a tourney recently who crushed me. CRUSHED me. but generally, i sweep and pass without too much trouble.

gonna add one thing that i do that i don't see a lot of other people doing, that works wonders for me when the dooky gets deep. say your partner has begun to knee cut and you're a beat behind so no RDLR hook for you, it's just hang onto the foot with pinched knees and hope for the best. my thing - lock their knee to your chest, give a quick bump to their ass and transfer their foot to your TOP leg. the back of your knee over their ankle, your calf under their instep, and pull your heel to your butt. i find this gives me a lot of control and frees up my bottom leg so i can come up to a single, or drag my hips under to go the other way, all without losing their leg. this little thing has made a huge difference in my 'emergency' half and has actually turned that into a pretty strong position for me. one of my better sweeps is from that 90% passed spot.

"lock their knee to your chest, give a quick bump to their ass and transfer their foot to your TOP leg. the back of your knee over their ankle, your calf under their instep, and pull your heel to your butt"

If you transfer their foot to your top leg, can't they just pass over both your legs?

Their lower leg is squeezed between your thighs. But your top leg is the one controlling and dragging their lower leg toward your butt.

^ I do same thing, if I'm reading this correctly.

yeah, this is only when their knee is thru and you only have the foot. for awhile people were calling this quarter guard, but i think that's fallen out of favor.

normally i see people control the foot of the knee cutting leg with the leg on the floor and squeezing the knees. this feels insecure to me and ties up both legs. as soon as i can i feed the remaining foot to the top leg - mechanically it's very secure - their heel is firmly trapped between the flexed tendons in my hamstring and my calf.

i keep my knees together until i have the grips i want, but that's just extra insurance. the top leg lock is so secure that even with my lower leg moving around for other stuff, i can still frustrate the hell out of most everyone. and then i sweep em.

What sweep dude?
5/15/13 11:48 PM
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markus
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Stubbsy - 
misterw - Some styles of half guard are certainly tougher on you physically than others. I found Eddie Bravo's style to be a bit punishing against bigger guys. But the knee shield has worked very well to keep people's weight off of me until I'm ready to go for something.

Seems like you have to learn guards to work against standing passing opponents (DLR etc.) for ANY guard that doesn't trap the top guy at the same time (rubber guard, mostly closed guard), so that criticism doesn't seem unique to half guard.

Perhaps the title should have been: 'Are long range guards the best..?' Rather than singling out another guard to discuss negatively. It isn't so much the standing passing I have problems with, because I use deep half and RDLR quite a lot. These always come from half guard though. IMHO deep half guard - although I have used it A LOT - is not a nice position to use because their contact between themselves and the floor, is your chest and shoulder. However you look at it, they are sitting on your upper body. I think deep half is no where near as secure a position as it used to be because people are learning how to defend it, so it's far safer to use it as a transition position rather than a guard itself. I love it for getting out of mount for instance. If someone manages to crossface/underhook whilst you are in deep half, and then they sprawl, sweet jesus it is crippling. I fully appreciate it shouldn't happen if you do it perfectly, but mistakes will happen in any roll.

In X guard the pressure is away from top body control as you hold the distance with your legs. Again, IMHO, this is far more efficient because it doesn't not allow the top player to use top body controls when passing. Long range guards are simply better for the body/health/safety of the guard player.


you must just be getting crushed when playing half guard. try bringing in that outside leg and hook their thigh for the hook sweep...kind of like butterfly/ but the inside leg still has a lock down on their knee.

you can control their pressure alot better, and do a technical lift/ hook sweep/ or roll sweep. or try the deep half when they post their leg.

your question are long range guards best? a) no...but the guard player needs to control the range at all times no matter what. close guard, open knee shield, open spider, open dlr, open rdlr, open butterfly, open half.

when you control the range, all these guards start to blend. like the videos you posted. mendes and keenan hit all the positions. but the knee or hand keeps the opponent out. allows you time to see where your headed.

have fun exploring your new technique.
5/16/13 12:39 AM
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Matthieu Battle
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The Gimp - 
Matthieu Battle - 
misterw - 
deepu - 
Matthieu Battle - i'm a frail old man and haffgward is my goto game. now, i don't insist on the half when i should be playing something else, so my half is really a liberal mix of RDLR, x, 1 leg x, deep half, knee shield, close underhook, and butterfly. i even occasionally throw in a lasado here and there.

i love it and i'm pretty good at managing the distance, moving in and out and taking the hips. i have about 4-5 sweeps that are pretty much unstoppable (relatively speaking for a weak old purple belt) if i get my grips. doesn't mean i don't occasionally get smashed. fought a guy at a tourney recently who crushed me. CRUSHED me. but generally, i sweep and pass without too much trouble.

gonna add one thing that i do that i don't see a lot of other people doing, that works wonders for me when the dooky gets deep. say your partner has begun to knee cut and you're a beat behind so no RDLR hook for you, it's just hang onto the foot with pinched knees and hope for the best. my thing - lock their knee to your chest, give a quick bump to their ass and transfer their foot to your TOP leg. the back of your knee over their ankle, your calf under their instep, and pull your heel to your butt. i find this gives me a lot of control and frees up my bottom leg so i can come up to a single, or drag my hips under to go the other way, all without losing their leg. this little thing has made a huge difference in my 'emergency' half and has actually turned that into a pretty strong position for me. one of my better sweeps is from that 90% passed spot.

"lock their knee to your chest, give a quick bump to their ass and transfer their foot to your TOP leg. the back of your knee over their ankle, your calf under their instep, and pull your heel to your butt"

If you transfer their foot to your top leg, can't they just pass over both your legs?

Their lower leg is squeezed between your thighs. But your top leg is the one controlling and dragging their lower leg toward your butt.

^ I do same thing, if I'm reading this correctly.

yeah, this is only when their knee is thru and you only have the foot. for awhile people were calling this quarter guard, but i think that's fallen out of favor.

normally i see people control the foot of the knee cutting leg with the leg on the floor and squeezing the knees. this feels insecure to me and ties up both legs. as soon as i can i feed the remaining foot to the top leg - mechanically it's very secure - their heel is firmly trapped between the flexed tendons in my hamstring and my calf.

i keep my knees together until i have the grips i want, but that's just extra insurance. the top leg lock is so secure that even with my lower leg moving around for other stuff, i can still frustrate the hell out of most everyone. and then i sweep em.

What sweep dude?

man, from here i have about 3 that i use regularly. 1st is come to the knees and kneetap their far leg. if they base up or are putting enough pressure on my chest that i can't get to me knees, i use my free bottom leg to scoot my hip under them and take them over the other way.

the 3rd, my favorite, requires some ninja ass lapel shit that would be a major pain to try and type out, but once i get those grips i feel like i could sweep roger. i mean, i probably couldn't, but that's how dominant those grips feel to me.
5/16/13 9:15 AM
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knocka
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A lot of good info in here. I happen to love half guard but get stalled out a lot in it. I plan on taking all these tips to make my HG better.

Thanks.
5/16/13 10:24 AM
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Stubbsy
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http://jiujitsuevolution.wordpress.com/2013/05/16/reflection-time/

bit more on this. Blue please..?

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