Half Guard, Simple, Efficient, and Effective
The half guard is one of the first guards many bjj practitioners are introduced to. Half guard has long been one of the most famous guards and has been proven effective at the highest levels of competition by the likes of Bernardo Faira, Demian Maia, and Lucas Leite. They all have their own take on half guard.
Half guard is one of the best positions to learn because it is relatively simple; it is efficient, and effective. There are some principles that you should always follow when playing half guard and if you follow these principles, you can use half guard on anyone. There are also many mistakes you can make in half guard, if you want to fix those, check out our article “4 common mistakes from half guard.”
Half Guard and Simplicity
The half guard has long been infamous for being a relatively simple guard. Yes there are complex half guard systems, but the principles of half guard are simple to understand, and if you know what you have to do, it is easy to implement.
When playing half guard you need to be on your side, you need an under hook, and you need to block the cross face. You cannot let your opponent flatten you out, get under hooks or cross face you. Once you know what to do you can play half guard and have a goal. All the best half guard players implement these principles. Check out this half guard sweep to back take below and watch.
Half Guard and Efficiency
The half guard is also extremely efficient. This is because you can use it in gi, nogi, and MMA, and you can get to half guard relatively easily. It is also efficient because you don’t need to exert much energy to play half guard and you don’t need to be acrobatic or flexible. The half guard is truly an “Old School” guard.
Lucas Leite who has one of the best half guards started playing half guard because he had a knee injury. Many people that I have trained with that have sustained injuries play half guard and they develop excellent guards. Check out this sweep from master Leite below.
Half Guard and Effectiveness
Half guard is extremely effective at any level of bjj. Demian Maia has proven that it is extremely useful in MMA and people like Lucas Leite and Bernardo Faria have won several black belt world championships playing half guard.
The half guard is very good for sweeping and submitting. There are hundreds of sweeps and submissions that you can do from half guard but you only need to know a handful to have a dangerous half guard. The main sweeps that people do from half guard all start with the “under hook get up.” They use the under hook to come to their knees and get to dog fight. Check out this dog fight sweep below with Lucas Leite.
If you really want to accelerate your half guard growth check out Lucas Leite’s “Coyote Half Guard” DVD set. Lucas is famous for his half guard and this is an excellent resource for those who want to add more half guard attacks to their arsenal.