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Basic Knee Shield Half Guard Sweep Bernardo Faria
Learn A Basic Half Guard Knee Shield From Bernardo Faria
Who would have thought one of the most common positions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu would have begun from a knee injury? Popularized by Roberto Correa in the early days of competition, the half guard may have never come into existence if it weren’t for his injury at the time. Now, many years later we have competitors like Bernardo Faria who are masters of the half guard. Other high level BJJ practitioners such as Tom DeBlass and Lucas Leite have also mastered the half guard and rely on it for much of their competitive success.
But unlike many others, Bernardo Faria prefers to teach the half guard starting from knee shield, which is a more common position to be in, especially if an opponent has just broken down your full guard. Let us take a look at Faria’s demonstration of Half Guard Knee Shield in the video below.
What is most great about the knee shield is that keeps an opponent’s weight off of you, allowing you to control the distance and keep them tight to your body, controlling their posture. You can think of knee shield like a seat belt running across the torso of your opponent from the shoulder to the hip. For Bernardo, this knee shield is a fundamental position, which is why he stresses the importance of practicing and mastering it.
Alongside the top of the knee shield is a cross collar grip. In my experience, the deeper you can get with this grip, the better. With four fingers inside the gi and the thumb outside, get a deep a grip as possible. Now you have strong control over your opponent, giving you the ability to stay connected while maintaining distance. This also lets you close the distance, which is what Bernardo considers the actual knee shield. It also keeps your opponent from trying to clear your knee as they will end up choking themselves on your arm across their throat.
So, the next time you’re on the mats, remember these few basic tips about half guard knee shield. Do not have your knee shield too low. Have it high up in your opponent’s arm pit, making it difficult for them to smash and pass. Really get deep on that cross collar grip. The back of your hand should be reaching behind his neck. Control his free arm either at the wrist or at the elbow and pull him close to full secure the knee shield.