Half Guard Spartan Kick Drill With Tom DeBlass
Of all of the guard’s available half guard seems to be one of the most popular, likely because of its versatility and the fact that it is often times the first guard we explore after closed guard.
Or maybe it’s because of how effective it has been proven by some of the best competitors on the planet such at Tom DeBlass, or Bernardo Faria. Whatever the reason it quickly becomes a part of every grapplers game and is certainly a position we must understand from both perspectives.
One of the options we have when playing half guard is to look to reverse the situation and get on top, known as a reversal or a sweep. Professor DeBlass shows a Half Guard Drag to Spartan Kick Drill that can help us drill the movements needed to get a reversal.
The detailed breakdown of these techniques and many others are in his video instructional titles “Half Domination” if you are looking to really dig in and understand the details, as you should.
First things first, let’s address the fact that this drill has a spartan kick in it. How could you not be curious and want to add this to your game.
Starting out Professor Deblass states that this drill can be done from a basic half guard position, or from the leg weave position, either is fine.
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Starting in the regular half guard, the first goal is to get the opponent’s elbow on the inside of your top knee. This can be done by using a C grip on the opponent’s wrist (thumb down C grip for increased strength) and pushing the arm to the inside of your top knee. Once the elbow is on the inside, the next step then is to execute the arm drag. To do this we reach up and grab the back of the opponent’s arm with our right arm and while maintaining your C grip on the wrist push the wrist away and pull the back of their arm into us. As we drag we can abandon the C grip.
An expected response to us pulling the opponent into us is going to be for them to pull back. As the opponent pulls back we have the option to either follow them up and work from there, or stay on our back and use out foot on their chest to push them away at which point we have options, we can either stand and engage, attack the legs, stand and leave if it’s a self defense situation, we have a plethora of options at this point.
To execute the drill as prescribed you will start in half guard, arm drag the opponent, follow them up then sit back to your back and use the spartan kick to the chest to push them away. Please note, as you will see in the video, Professor DeBlass is not actually “kicking” his training partner. While I think this movement is scalable based on the situation, please always be respectful of your training partners and actively try to keep them safe.
A few takeaways from Professor DeBlass;
If they are pushing, we are pulling and vice versa, if they are pulling, we are pushing. Professor DeBlass goes on to say stop going head to head and start using their movement to your advantage by pushing when they are pulling or vice versa.
Taking your game to the next level isn’t easy, but having the right tools to guide you along the way can certainly help. In addition to the video instructional titled “Half Domination” - by Tom DeBlass, I would encourage you to also check out “The Battle Tested Half Guard” – by Bernardo Faria. These two video instructionals are sure to point you in the right direction and turn your half guard game into a force to be reckoned with.
Tom DeBlass has revolutionized the approach to the Half Guard game. His to the point style works for everyone!