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Go Deep with Three of BJJ’s Best… Deep Half Guard Entries and Techniques by DeBlass, Baulding and “Buchecha”
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Go Deep with Three of BJJ’s Best… Deep Half Guard Entries and Techniques by DeBlass, Baulding and “Buchecha”

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I find that deep half guard is one of those positions that we accidentally being falling in to.

If you’ve been having some stints there, but have no formal training in the position, maybe it’s time to start learning. The deep half guard seems to first show its face when were trying to escape from dominant positions. For instance, as you begin escaping the back and your partner tries to come up on top of you. In many cases just our movements alone and the act of our partner pursuing us, can lead to a half guard scenario. 

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The point being, is that the deep half guard is a very natural position. Obviously, it’s not only achieved by accident, but because of how smooth we can transition to it, it would make sense for us to begin learning the ins and outs. There are many ways to transition to the deep half guard. Some more proactive than others, but regardless of how you get there, you’ll need some guidance once you’ve established the position, so you can begin using it to your advantage. 

One of the greatest utilities of the deep half guard is its ability to off-balance the top player. If you’ve ever been in a good deep half guard, it can feel like you’re on roller skates for the first time. As the guard player moves and adjusts, the passer is affected by every little movement, making it difficult to stay in one place and put together a passing solution. This is part of the allure of the deep half guard. With relatively very little effort, we can cause big trouble for the top player. 

Let’s look at some instruction from some of the best BJJ players of our time. Here we’ll learn how to establish the deep half with a couple of entries. We’ll also look at some reversals and a back take. Let’s get stated!

In this first video Alec Baulding takes us through a beginner level entry in to the deep half guard and finishes with a nice reversal. This is a great place to start and get some insight in to the position. Take a look!

Baulding begins in De La Riva guard, which he prefers as a great platform for launching in to any type of guard you prefer because of its accessibility. With the DLR hook set and a grip on the pants, Baulding brings his opposite foot in to the game, planting it underneath his partner’s butt. He then achieves a cross collar grip. With a pull of the collar and a bump in to his partners butt, Baulding causes his partner to come forward. As this occurs, Baulding reaches under his partner leg and pulls him forward even further, settling in to the deep half guard.

As Baulding states, it’s essential here that we don not give up the under-hook to the passer. If you’ve ever been here before and didn’t protect the under-hook space, you know that its an instant killer of the position. Be sure to keep that elbow tight. Baulding also shows us how we can defend against the efforts of the passer to gain the under hook. As they begin to dig in to the space, Baulding simply re pommels and achieves an under hook of his own, reaching high in to the armpit space. 

Baulding the gets a little crafty. He secures the lapel with his backside hand, reaches his front hand under the leg (still being mindful of that under hook) and passes the lapel to the front hand. Keeping a tight grip on his partners hip, Baulding then performs a bridge, reversing his partner and making his way to the top position. Here Baulding continues to drive forward in to a stacking style passing sequence. 

Let’s look at another entry in to this versatile position with Tom DeBlass. DeBlass has a phenomenal half guard game and the deep half is an extension of that greatness. Check it out!

Setting up in a traditional half guard position, DeBlass begins his instruction. As DeBlass states, In the half guard we often see many BJJ players looking to get under the far leg to transition tot eh deep half. When this occurs, we can run in to a while host of problems. Not only are your opponents expecting this type of entry, but we can also encounter other forms of defense here, such as our partner sitting heavy or running head first in to a cross face. 

Here, DeBlass begins his transition by scooping his partners leg with his top heel, pulling it away from his partner. This drastically reduces his partners ability to create distance, as the angle has changed in DeBlass’s favor. Instead of reaching for the far leg, DeBlass locks both hands around the near leg and uses the power of both arms and his body to begin bringing his partner forward and up on top. Here he simply turns his knees in the other direction, reaches under the leg and establishes the deep half guard.

DeBlass demonstrates an excellent option to reverse here. As he swings his feet toward the front of his body, he brings his knees up, moving his partner’s leg closer to his hand. Here, he secures the leg with an under hook.  With everything in place, DeBlass now kicks his legs forward, using his momentum to reverse his partner and achieve the top position. 

I love this entry. By attacking the near leg, we can combine all of our resources to create a very powerful entry in to the deep half guard and the subsequent sweep is excellent. Great stuff from one of the best half guard players on the planet

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One of my favorite deep half guard techniques has always been the back take. It can be done in several ways and has many faces, some more efficient that others, but there is a smooth pathway to the back where the deep half guard is concerned. IN this next video we will see how one of the most successful BJJ competitors of all time likes to take the back from the deep half guard. Check out this excellent technique with Marcus Almeida otherwise known as “Buchecha”.

Setting up with the deep half guard already established Almeida begins by making an angle with his knees by turning them in the direction of his gaze. He then sets his first hook with the instep fitting in behind his partners knee. With his front hand firmly gripping the pants and his back hand gripping the belt, Almeida begins to use his hook to elevate his partner up and over his head tot eh front side of his body. He then opens the hooking leg a bit and uses his grip on the belt, couple with the movement of his bottom leg to pull himself in tighter to his partner.  With both insteps stuck to the underside of his partner’s thighs, Almeida then pulls the belt grip toward himself and pushes out with his feet, causing his partner to sit down and ultimately surrender the back position. Almeida then finishes with a standard sliding collar choke to complete the technique. 

This is another great option from the deep half from one of the world’s best. 

I hope you enjoyed the videos and picked up some things you can add to your repertoire. There’s enough content here to turn you in to a deep half master if you spend some quality time. Good luck!

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