Stuck In 50/50 Guard?
Incorporate These Details Into Your Game NOW!
The 50/50 guard in has been a demise in the entertainment arena of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It was one of the few positions in grappling that puts two people in the same circumstance, skill level not considered. Without leg locks, this position is both dull and difficult to deal with. I have watched many IBJJF matches of highly skilled grapplers and got bored because they can spend way too long there without much excitement. Even the best black belts in the world often times experience difficulty breaking this refractory guard and moving to superior positions.
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The 50/50 guard is also odd in how often grapplers seesaw between who rises on top and who plays from the bottom. The IBJJF has created a weird rule set giving points to those sit up or stand in 50/50 guard. This allotted numerous cheap points and victories when they are not really deserved. Regardless, we must explore different ways to deal with this situation in the shortest amount of time.
First, it is vital to stay in the top position, even standing, when stuck in the 50/50 guard. It is easier to break the guard from this position rather than lying complacently on the ground. In the following video, Keenan Cornelius explains one the best and fastest ways to break the guard and pass.
One important detail Keenan discusses is preventing the opponent from gripping the far leg when standing in 50/50 guard. It is dangerous as it exposes the standing player to back attacks and sweeps. Also, it is necessary to be cautious about the bottom player inverting under you as it can put you in superior guards that are difficult to deal with, namely X-guard.
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If leg locks are allowed and both grapplers are seated, which occurs quite often, moving the 50/50 leg to the other side of one’s torso forces the opponent into double outside ashi garami. From here, numerous leg attacks such as a straight ankle lock or outside heel hook can be attacked. The double outside ashi position also makes it easier to get on top and pass.
Even if you don’t like 50/50, it is necessary to drill some basic escapes in case you get stuck in the position. One last tip and reminder, always stay on top in this position, especially in competition.