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Half Guard Alignment Tips With john Danaher
Why is half guard so popular? Why would athletes choose to pull half guard rather than work for a takedown?
There are many reasons an athlete may choose to pull half guard or prefer to go to half guard over other options that may be available. In John Danaher’s video clip titled “Half Guard Bottom: The Alignment Issue” he discusses, as you may assume, how body alignment in Jiu Jitsu, specifically in half guard is either beneficial, or detrimental depending on how it is used.
Let’s start off by understanding body alignment and it’s roll in manipulating another human body to move in a direction against their will. As John points out in his video, the best possible position in grappling if you are trying to “pin” someone, or hold them down with the best chance of keeping them there and not getting swept, you must be perpendicular to them. When two bodies are perpendicular, it makes it extraordinarily difficult for the person on the bottom to move or create any movement that could off balance the attacker on top.
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At 0:39 seconds in the video clip, John shows how when someone is in bottom side control and the attacker (person on top) is perpendicular to them it is nearly impossible for the person on the bottom to move in either direction. However, he goes on to show how easily someone can be off balanced if they simply align their spine with the person on the bottom. As he shows, if the spines are aligned it is as simple as addressing anything the person can use as a base and then finding a way to push them in that direction.
As another example he goes on to show how this concept applies regardless of if we are standing or on the ground. As shown in the video when John hip tosses his opponent and allows his spine to align with the opponent’s they are able to use the momentum to continue the roll and reverse the position whereas if John completes the throw and remains perpendicular to the opponent after they are on the ground it will be very difficult for the opponent to move him in any direction as a result of his positioning.
Athletes may choose to play bottom half guard because it forces the opponent to align with them to a degree making it much easier to look for sweeps regardless of how the top person is playing the game. Ideally, playing bottom half guard we want to maintain some sort of frame that allows us to determine how close the opponent is able to get, something like a knee shield. Even if this is not possible, the half guard position is still valuable because the spines are mostly aligned it should be easier to escape than bottom side control where the bodies are able to be perpendicular.
As you can see there are a number of reasons you may choose half guard as a go to position at any point in the match, as well as at almost any point in your Jiu Jitsu career. I say almost any point in your Jiu Jitsu career only because it may not be the most ideal position to start out with if you are just getting started. Typically you will want to have an understanding of full guard or closed guard prior to starting to work half guard.
There is a reason John Danaher is the most sought after instructor on the planet right now, and why his team, Danaher Death Squad are seemingly unstoppable. The system works. This is your chance to get on the system. Remember though, the system only works if you do so make sure you put in the effort and drill the techniques as much as possible. The more you do in practice the easier it will be in competition.
Additional details on these techniques, as well as a deep dive into anything and everything half guard can be seen on John Danaher’s newest video instructional titled “Half Guard: BJJ Fundamentals – Go Further Faster”. In case you are thinking “I’m too old to learn new tricks” or maybe “This is for those young bucks”, well Professor Danaher would disagree as he is quoted saying “The older you are the more you need to be using half guard. Do yourself a favor and get your copy of this Half Guard instructional now. It’s packed with 4 volumes of detailed, and I’m talking John Danaher detailed, instruction that you simply can not get anywhere else.
IF you are beginning your Jiu-Jitsu Journey NOW is the perfect time to learn from one of the LEADING minds in Jiu-Jitsu. The Go Further Faster Series by John Danaher is designed to shorten the learning curve required to become proficient. Take the first step in ENHANCING your Jiu-Jitsu forever!