Half Guard for MMA
For Jiu Jitsu fighters going into MMA, there are adjustments that need to be made so that they can be successful in the cage. Things like training grappling with strikes, getting your preferred no gi grips, and working with the positions that are best for the arena of mixed martial arts. One of the positions that works extremely well for MMA is the half guard. Why does the half guard work well for MMA? Well here are three valuable reasons why…
3) The hips are free –
Why the half guard is preferable for MMA as opposed to full guard is the fact that with the half guard, you have more control of your hips. In MMA, while there are submission attacks available, your opponent can also control both of your hips and put you into the cage. Once in the cage, the top fighter has the dangerous ability to unleash a ground and pound attack. With half guard, you have more control of your hips and can avoid forced movement from your opponent.
2) Less chance of ground and pound –
Another reason on why the half guard works so well is the fact that a ground and pound attack is much harder for your opponent to do. Once again, if you have your opponent in your full guard, once the posture is regained, punches will rain down upon you. With half guard, you are low, working under hooks (or possibly over hooks) and are threatening with constant movement from the bottom.
1) Sweeps to get on top –
Being on top in MMA is always superior to being on the bottom. As a Jiu Jitsu fighter who has fought in MMA, I have lost rounds because even though I was busier and more aggressive than my opponent, I was still on my back, which some judges consider losing. Being able to get on top will win you points with the judges. Besides points, getting on top will give you the chance to work your top game submissions and unleash some ground and pound as well.
Remember, Jiu Jitsu in MMA is a different ball game. Techniques are lost, positions can be more dangerous and no matter how good you are, getting punched will affect your Jiu Jitsu. Train this position, and it will be a go to spot when the fight hits the floor. There are some different types of half guard to train (standard, butterfly, z guard) so take your time and absorb the fundamentals from there.
For a nicely done supplement for half guard, check out Lauzon’s grappling hacks in the link above. You could find yourself ready to use these techniques once you step into the cage!