How to Defend The Half Guard Pass
Defending the half guard pass is all about one thing - the Half Guard Frame
The downfall of half guard is that once your frame is beat, and you do NOT have the underhook, you are essentially "half passed".
The half guard concept applies to all skill levels of jiu jitsu, you don't need to be an athletic monster to defend the half guard pass and use the half guard frame. In fact, it is such a fundamental concept that all jiu jitsu fighters should be learning it and using it to defend their half guard from being passed, and use it to attack half guard sweeps or just recover full guard.
In regards to the half guard frame itself; one of the most important thing to remember when getting passed is creating distance... actually that applies to all guard or all bad positions. When in half guard, especially Z Guard, there are 2 points of the half guard frame - using the knee shield and using the arm frame.
When you decide to attack the back or a sweep in half guard, you may choose to attack with the under hook (essential for sweeps and back takes), this is a transition point where the half guard frame no longer becomes necessary.
Tom Deblass also has a whole DVD and On Demand Series on how to use half guard for no gi, MMA and Gi Jiu Jitsu.
Check out the half guard video breakdown with Tom Deblass and Bernardo Fario here:
Tom Deblass also goes over great detail what happens when your half guard frame breaks or you choose to get the under hook in half guard.
This half guard template could be considered a half guard SYSTEM in itself. If you're looking to vastly improve your half guard game; check out the Half Guard System DVD and On Demand Series called Half Guard Domination by Tom Deblass.