Go Deep And Transition To The Back With Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida
Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida has enjoyed several years of being at the top of the game. He’s won just about every elite title you could possibly imagine and has been a force of nature in the competitive BJJ scene for years. If you train, you know who this man is. I had the pleasure of seeing Almeida compete this year at ADCC, where he turned in another amazing performance and added new hardware to his trophy case, taking second in the absolute division. Almeida is always calm, cool, and composed and his level is just so incredibly high, I feel privileged when I get the chance to watch him in person.
Known for his half guard, among many other things, Almeida’s bottom game seems nearly impenetrable. This portion of his skillset was on full display at ADCC and in a particular exchange he managed a very impressive back take on Mahamed Aly that began inside of the deep half guard. This particular sequence definitely deserves some attention, as it was a bit unorthodox but highly effective. In this video, we’ll get a look at how Almeida performed this particular transition. You’re going to want to see this! Check it out!
The technique is demonstrated in the gi, but obviously this transition is more than accessible in a no gi format, which is where Almeida developed the move this year at ADCC. Almeida begins in the deep half guard, and he’s met with a very common reaction from his partner. Here, instead of allowing his hips to remain over Almeda’s upper body, the guard passer has elected to make a shift of their hips in the opposite direction. This leaves Almeida with a different body configuration and the weight displaced differently than in a normal half guard scenario. A light leg is now present over Almeida’s upper body and this is where he’ll begin his transition.
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If this leg over Almeida’s head is not paid attention to, its possible that the passer in this situation can pass the leg over the head. This allows them to connect their hips to the floor and in many ways dismantles the position. This is a common reaction to the deep half guard. To stop the pass from going any further, Almeida identifies the threat early and locks a grip around the top leg to make sure it cannot pass over his head before he’s ready. One of the greatest concepts about this technique is that Almeida is going to actually allow the passer to take the leg over, but with one caveat. It will be on his terms.
Reaching back with his bottom arm, Almeida makes switch with his hands. One cups his calf and the other reaches back for the hip. As he guides the leg to the front side of his body, he notices that his hand positioning will not keep his partners hips from connecting with the floor. So, he makes a loop around the waist and uses his elbow to lever his partners legs. This levering action causes the passers knees to become closer in proximity. From this juncture, Almeida now uses his right instep to hook under his partners foot and begins to lift him forward and away. With the hips now far enough away, Almeida can easily get up to his knees, with his body lock still intact. Recreating the moment from ADCC with Aly, Almeida follows his partner as he turns to his right to begin trying to face him. As this occurs, Almeida can easily set his first hook for the back take. Very slick. During ADCC this exchange actually went to a standing position and Almeida was able to basically jump on to Aly’s back, which made for a pretty exciting moment. But as you can see the transition can be applied just how it is here and still be more than effective.
The deep half transition to the back is not a new technique. In fact, it’s one of the most viable courses of action from the position, but there’s another level of creativity at work here with this particular variation. I love the details and the answer that this move provides for a top player that’s trying to avoid the reversal. This is no doubt, one to keep in the old memory bank.
Out of the minds of legends come a great number of techniques. Exploring the many options from the half guard with Buchecha allows us access to one of the most brilliant minds in the sport of BJJ. You can view this material on Buchecha’s newest instructional with BJJ Fanatics entitled, The Buchecha Half Guard. In this amazing collection of work from Buchecha you’ll find a map to success within the half guard as well as a plethora of amazing techniques and options for nearly every situation.
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