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Protect Your Neck And Reverse With Half Guard Master Tom DeBlass
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Protect Your Neck And Reverse With Half Guard Master Tom DeBlass

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Tom DeBlass has been sharing his half guard wizardry with the masses and adding value to our half guard games since his first instructional release entitled, Half Domination. With the release of this material, DeBlass has taken us on a half guard journey like no other. His simple and direct teaching covers a broad spectrum of themes and technical aspects of this incredibly dynamic position. DeBlass has been employing his half guard for years as a means of frustrating some of the most revered passers in the game. His half guard is legendary. With the release of his newest instructional, Deep Half Guard Domination, (available now) we’re now delving into this important extension of the half guard and another one of DeBlass’s specialties. 

If you’re a half guard player, you know that there are certain threats to the position that can completely shut down our progress. Neck attacks in particular come on quick here. There are a variety of guillotines that can be problematic and detrimental to your progress. The D’arce choke also happens to be among these great dangers. Anytime there is an under-hook present in a BJJ scenario, it’s also possible that a D’arce is lurking there as well. Because of the heavy use of the under hook with the half guard, this makes the D’arce and other neck attacks some of the biggest contenders for stopping your progress in the position. These are things we must be able to identify and shut down, should they arise during an exchange. 

In this video, DeBlass gives us some advice on countering various neck attacks from the position and reversing the passer. Defending is one thing. Turning your defense into an offensive opportunity is even better and that’s exactly what DeBlass has in store! Check this out!

 

Early in the video, DeBlass draws from his experience a bit and gives us some advice. It’s tough to respond to threats if you don’t put yourself in them from time to time. As DeBlass explains, his ability to reverse became stronger the more he put himself in to these dangerous scenarios. Why? To choke someone from the top half guard, you need both hands. This gives you the opportunity to choke, but it also takes away one of your posts and compromises your base. With this in mind, DeBlass continues on to some technique. 

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From the half guard, DeBlass secures an under hook. His partner then wraps then wraps his head in an arm in style guillotine configuration. From here the passer could choose to pursue a guillotine variation or attack the D’arce choke. 

There’s a middle ground here with the under hook that DeBlass deems troublesome. He prefers to either position his under hook very high or very low to make it difficult from the passer to proceed with an attack. At the onset of the neck wrap, DeBlass initially drops his under hook down low and with his opposite hand addresses the choke by securing the wrist. Dropping the under hook down low takes some pressure off of his artery, buying him more time to continue with the defense.

Once DeBlass has captured the wrist with his bottom hand, he adds his under-hook hand in to the mix and places a second grip on the wrist to add another layer of connection to his partner. He then uses his legs to create a slight pendulum motion and finds an easy reversal. DeBlass talks about this type of “see-saw” motion quite a bit in the half guard. This transfer of energy back and forth allows him to gain access to good position in the half guard and it’s a key player in shifting weight and creating off balancing effects. 

At the completion of the reversal, DeBlass advises us to not immediately attempt to get on top. As the bottom player is still dangerous at this juncture and could still have a shot at locking a D’arce choke from this position. Don’t get greedy here. DeBlass stays low and committed with his hands as he moves his head down closer to the hips, where he can then begin to remove himself from the position and come up to his knees. 

This loop of the arms around the neck can be a staging area for the guillotine or the D’arce choke but DeBlass has given us a sufficient way to deal with either of these threats. Its great to be able to defend an attack, but if we can manage to also turn a defense into an offensive opportunity, this makes the exchange that much more valuable and enticing. I enjoyed this one for sure. This is a very common scenario and something you’ll run into on a regular basis when playing the half guard. Great stuff here from one of the best! 

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Deep Half Guard Domination Tom DeBlass

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