Framing from Half Guard
Half guard is an extremely common position in which you might find yourself as you're scrambling to keep the training partners or opponents from passing your guard. Once thought of as a last ditch position, overtime the position has become a powerful and dynamic position that can be used as the foundation of one's offensive game plan from both the top and bottom to catch not only sweeps but also submissions.
Through the application by world champions and mixed martial arts champions like Bernardo Faria and Tom DeBlass, there has never been more focus on the power contained in the half guard position. For another in-depth look at the half guard philosophy of Tom DeBlass, check out the BJJ Fanatics article on the topic here.
In the video below, these two competitive legends join forces to discuss some of the most simple, yet critical details that even the most non athletic BJJ practitioner can put into practice in about 5 minutes and simply give their opponents fits when they attempt to pass the half guard from the top.
Key Principles from The Video
When defense is your goal, create space.
There are very few infallible principles that are always going to remain true no matter what you are doing in jiu jitsu. This is one of them. In order to stay safe and be able to launch an escape or a attack a submission, you will need to create space. The tools you will use will be familiar to you and will be discussed in more detail below when we get to know our weapons.
When offense is your goal, take space away.
Conversely, whether you are passing the guard, or launching a submission, the absence of space is very highly coveted. Whether that is keeping your hips against the opponent's hips when passing the guard to control them, the key principle of staying tightly connected will always help your game.
On the bottom, know your weapons
From the video, Professor DeBlass outlines what our weapons are from the bottom half guard. We have the knee shield, the arm shield, and we can even bring both hands together with a palm to palm shield which when coupled with the knee and potentially the foot, can support most if not all of our opponent's pressure with very minimal effort.
Opponent's hips above your hips and head above your head
The key to moving, manipulating or even sweeping your opponent requires that you are constantly looking for opportunities to bring your hips in line and underneath the opponent's hips. In addition, by moving into a position where their head is above or "higher" than your head, you will gain the distinct advantage to attempt a sweep or perhaps go into a deep half guard scenario.
The beauty of these key principles is that unlike many of the latest jiu jitsu techniques that require extreme athleticism or the flexibility of a dancer, these principles can be addressed and put into place immediately and can begin impacting your half guard game the next time you train.
Now that you've seen two of the best half guard players in the world in the laboratory together, you will want to take advantage of all of the secrets that they have shared in their respective Half Guard instructional series.
To learn more about how ADCC and UFC veteranTom DeBlass approaches half guard from both the top and bottom positions, check out his "Half Domination" 4 DVD series, here. You will be landing sweeps and submissions from the bottom in no time and will be an absolute terror when dealing with an opponent's half guard. They will stand no chance!
If you'd like to check out how world champion Bernardo Faria approaches his renowned half guard game, check out his "Battle Tested Half Guard" series available in ultra-convenient On Demand format here.
An even better idea would be to combine the two and get yourself all of the great half guard positional insights from these giants of the BJJ world!