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Half Guard Passing

Half Guard Passing

Half guard has been and will probably always be one of the most popular guards in Jiu Jitsu, especially among bigger, stronger grappler, that can use underhooks and overhooks effectively. This is why you often see these grapplers pulling half guard first.

The reason half guard is so popular is because it is very versatile. You can also change your half guard game, top or bottom, to suit the type of techniques you like to attack.

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New students generally have a difficult time utilizing half guard because they haven’t learned all the important biomechanical concepts that skilled students know. Skilled grapplers are better at using their entire body to dominate their opponents, which is especially important in half guard since there is so much space. Regardless, the only way to get good at half guard is to practice it.

One of the top experts in the half guard is an Australian black belt by the name of Lachlan Giles. Lachlan is one the most exciting grapplers to watch and most intelligent instructors in the entire community. In the following video, Lachlan illustrates how to effectively pass half guard. See below:

For most of my grappling career, I always spent too much time focusing on the top leg in the half guard. Because that leg was the knee shield, I assumed that if I dominated that leg, I could pass. I never seemed to finish my passes because the bottom leg was still an issue. That’s why when passing half guard, we need to focus on controlling our opponent’s entire body, including their upper body.

Also, if you don’t like passing half guard, or you are up against a tough half guard player, you can always opt to stand up and doing fast passes like the X-pass. There is no reason you have to pass half guard, unless you want to.

Fortunately for us, Lachlan has filtered out all the bad techniques to provide us with the most effective moves we can use. More so, Lachlan’s additions and improvements only make the effective moves way better, and that’s why I love learning from him. He is truly a master instructor.


John Danher is one of the few people to have athletes be successful at the highest levels in both Professional Grappling as well as MMA. He has systemized his approach to teaching,learning,and APPLYING his Jiu-Jitsu. Enter the System with John Danaher!

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