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Destroy One of the Best Half Guard Sweeps

Destroy One of the Best Half Guard Sweeps

When done right, bottom half guard can be a safe haven where the person on the bottom can withstand a crushing amount of pressure from their opponents with relative ease.  It can also serve as a sanctuary from which to focus all of one's hips and limbs on a single limb of the opponent on top which puts them at an extreme disadvantage.

For more on the half guard, it's key elements and how you can begin to perfect this powerful position, check out this article from BJJ Fanatics where we talk about each of these things, available here! 

 One of the very best bottom half guard sweeps is known as the "Dog Fight Sweep".  In this sweep, the bottom player releases or kicks through his knee shield which was playing a predominant role in keeping the opponent's weight and pressure off of them.  As the opponent's body begins to naturally come down, in an effort to smash the bottom player and keep them controlled so they can begin passing the half guard, the bottom player is going to reach through and establish a strong underhook and scoot in deeper towards their thigh and hips.

The strong underhook is complemented by a tight grip on the far hip which keeps the bottom athlete's body tight against their opponent.  From here the bottom half player brings themselves to their knees, after reaching for and pulling the opponent's leg into an awkward position and drives into the opponent to take them down and allow them to establish some sort of dominant position, whether side control, mount or potentially a back control position.

In the video below, Lucas Leite demonstrates his version of the Dogfight Sweep which plays a big role in his "Coyote Half Guard System" available from BJJ Fanatics in 4 volume On Demand instructional here.

For more information on Lucas Leite and his dynamic half guard game, there is also this BJJ Fanatics article where we explore his game in more detail.  You can check it out here to learn more!


 Now that you have a little bit of background on this popular and powerful bottom half guard sweep, let's look at how to destroy it so that when you see it coming or experience it happening you can put a stop to it and frustrate your opponents and stay in a strong position.

Recently, Bernardo Faria shared a video featuring Rayron Gracie, the 16 year old son of MMA and combat legend Ryan Gracie, brother of Renzo and Ralph Gracie who died tragically in December of 2007 in a jail cell.  The results of his death are extremely mysterious with many signs pointing to the possible over medication of Ryan by a physician who was attempting to help him with his temper.

Thought Rayron lost his father at the young age of 6, he has developed into a a 6 foot 3 inch, 230 lb blue belt who recently won the IBJJF Worlds as a juvenile.  He is definitely on his way to making his father proud and it is clear that he has many titles in his future.  The video below is just a short tribute to Ryan Gracie that will show you the kind of cloth Rayron is cut from and will most likely lead to him entering the MMA cages in the future.

 Now that you've seen the short video about Rayron's father, let's check out the video where he shows Bernardo Faria how to counter the Dog Fight Sweep.  Check it out here and then we'll talk about some key points after.

 Strong Whizzer

First and foremost to fight the strong under hook and connection to the hip, Rayron recommends a strong whizzer that not only drives pressure onto Bernardo's arm, but also connects to Bernardo's gi lapel and gives Rayron a great deal of leverage to flatten and also control Bernardo, essentially making the standard Dog Fight Sweep almost impossible.

Hug Hand and Take Them Down

Because the standard Dog Fight Sweep is now made nearly impossible, Bernardo will be looking for other options including rolling away from Rayron and bringing him over his body and sweeping him to the other side, or even coming up if the opportunity presents itself.

To stop this, Rayron will continue to use the gi connected whizzer to drive pressure into the opponent while also reaching under and controlling the bottom hand of the opponent to further control their ability to sweep.


One common mistake that happens when the top player pulls on the arm and drives their whizzer pressure into the opponent, is the bottom player will be able to capitalize and use that shift in weight to roll away taking the opponent with them and sweeping them.  To counter this, Rayron performs a strong sprawl which essentially eliminates all options for Bernardo and leaves him smashed and powerless to move Rayron.

With these simple additions to your Dog Fight Sweep defense, you will be able to stop one of the best half guard sweeps with ease.  Simply maintaining a strong, connected whizzer will do the majority of the work.  This will get them scrambling for Plans B and C which could mean rolling you to the other side.  To counter this, controlling the bottom arm will end these options.  As a last ditch, they may attempt to use the pressure and weight you are using to keep them flat against you.  By sprawling you guarantee that this is not going to work.

One of the all time legends of half guard is Jeff Glover.  As a long time innovator and a deep half guard artist, Jeff Glover has built a reputation as one of the most creative and dynamic jiu jiteiro's in history.  You can get his full 6 DVD "Deep Half Guard" instructional on sale here at BJJ Fanatics for only $69.95.  Don't miss out on this classic!