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Dismantle the Deep Half Guard Like A Pro With Lachlan Giles

Dismantle the Deep Half Guard Like A Pro With Lachlan Giles


If you’ve ever been inside on the other end of a good deep half guard, you might have felt as if you were on roller skates for the first time.

A proficient bottom player can make your life a nightmare in the deep half if they have a good plan, and some understanding of the position.

Lachlan Giles is an ADCC Veteran, Pan Pacific Champion and coach to one of the fastest rising starts, Craig Jones!


Playing deep half comes with its own set of challenges as well. There’s plenty to be mindful of, and normally It’s a good idea to stay active, or at least aware of what you might be giving up to the top player.

So. When we’re looking to pass the deep half guard, there are a few options we can consider. I’ve always favored the style of pass where we pass our hips to the other side of the head and begin to pass the reverse half guard. The movement of the pass has always felt natural to me, but I notice when I’m dealing with a higher-level deep half guard, that option is not always available, due to good control of the position from the bottom player.

Here’s another style of passing to consider, brought to you by Lachlan Giles. He takes a different approach that you may not be used to, especially if you favor the pass I was referring to. I’ve found its always beneficial to have some back up techniques on hand when your go to stuff isn’t producing the results your used to. Take a look at this pass and see what you think!

Giles references the great Marcelo Garcia as being a proponent of this pass, and I’ve certainly seen him perform this variation in his live training many times. I think it’s safe to say if these guys are fans of the pass, there’s probably some validity here!

At the opening of the technique Giles references the under hook from the top. I do believe that if the under hook is available to you here, that it is the best way to begin to dismantle the deep half, but in this scenario, the under hook is not available, and Giles begins his instruction there.

To start, Giles drives the knee of his entangled leg to the mat, while simultaneously lifting his other knee off of the mat. He drives his hips back towards his partners hips and take a seat over them. As he leans back toward his partners hips, he elevates his leg and lets it travel to the other side of his partners body. Giles’s entire body is now in front of his partner.

During this process of transitioning the leg, and collapsing in to the space in front of his partner, Giles is careful to control his partners top arm, as to not allow for the back take, which can be easily performed here, if you’re not paying attention. If there’s space for us to acquire our own under hook here, then doing so will almost guarantee the pass. If the opportunity arises, take it.

As Giles continues to collapse and fill the space in front of his partner, he stays close and hunts for a strong cross face. Once achieved, he can begin to turn toward his partner, flattening him and eventually working to secure the under hook.

This is an excellent option to pass the deep half. It gives us some stability in a really unstable setting. It’s a mechanically sound pass, and it gives us some of our base back as we try to work through the deep half. Great stuff!

We all know that an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure. So, when we’re talking about dealing with the deep half guard, the best course of action is to not get there. Always easier said than done, but if this next technique from Giles is on your radar, you may be able to avoid dealing with the position completely. Take a look at this.

From the half guard we can usually pick up on the bottom players movement if they wish to transition to the deep half. There are a couple of red flags to watch for. One being the reach to the underside of our leg. That’s where Giles begins.

Get Insight To Build A Great Half Guard! Click Learn More below!


The very first detail he touches on here is extremely preemptive. If Giles can pommel his foot to the inside of his partners knee, the deep half will be shut down before it even begins. So, so positioning ourselves here would definitely be advantageous. Of course, this wont always be possible, so when Giles’s partner reaches under his leg to begin entering the position, he wants to get his hips as far away as possible. He does this by coupling a cross face with a heavy sprawl. Once he has created enough distance between himself and his partner, he rolls his hips toward his partner’s head. This opens up the space, and allows him to now pommel that instep to the inside of his partners thigh. The foot can ride safely above the knee or on the calf as well.

If the cross face is unavailable, Giles can simply forego it and reach to the opposite side of his partners body, using his hands to push his body backward, and completing the exact same movements without the control of the head.

So, there you have it. Two different ways to deal with the deep half guard. The first from when the position has already been established, and the second a more preemptive way to shut down the acquisition of the deep half. Give these a try and see if you have some success with them. Being caught in the deep half guard doesn’t have to mean game over if you have some solid contingencies. Good luck!

Come and learn one of the world’s most important guards from one of the world’s best instructors, Lachlan Giles. The head coach of Australia’s Absolute MMA, is back to show one of his best positions, the offensive half guard. He explores the techniques that he uses to win tons of tournaments at the world black belt level. Get it now from BJJ Fanatics!



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