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Sweeping from Reverse Half Guard with Buchecha
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Sweeping from Reverse Half Guard with Buchecha

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Playing half guard is a lot of small battles to maintain the position until you can effectively sweep.

Keeping your knee line in the right place, defending against the cross face, staying on your side, pummeling for underhooks, etc. It’s about winning all those little fights to lead up to a larger goal.

Sometimes though, you lose one of those fights. For instance, they get past the knee shield and now you are carrying a bunch of weight on your ribs well they are trying to free their leg. Suddenly you have a whole new set little battles to win just to get back to square one. Or, you can just start sweeping from here if you know how:

Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida is a blackbelt under Checkmat and one of the most decorated competitors in modern day jiu-jitsu, winner of multiple ADCCs, IBJJF Worlds (his own division and the open class), and the UAEJJF World Cup. He is known for a devious half guard. 

To start with, Buchecha maintains good frames even as the opponent gets around his top leg and smashes down. He keeps his left arm in tight to his body and stays on his side as much as possible. The top player’s goals are to flatten the bottom person out and separate their arms from their sides, using their elbow one side of the body and their hip on the other (sometimes this position is called twister side, or twister half). 

Buchecha’s first move is to deny these goals, to avoid letting his position get any worse. His right grabs the gi pants right behind the opponent’s knee. This gives some control over the leg well he switches legs around in the next step. 

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A good portion of this sweep is about legwork. He kicks his bottom leg out to extend his training partner’s trapped leg. This extension gives him space to switch top leg over (left leg in the video) and hooks behind the opponent’s ankle. This frees the bottom leg up to move now that it is no longer responsible to keeping the opponent trapped. With his grip on the pants, Buchecha pushes the other leg down, and the top leg reaches over and catches at the ankle. He drives the bottom leg under, raising the opponent’s leg off the mat. The top leg then drags it over in a similar concept and movement to the basic hip scoop mount escape.

With both legs trapped, Buchecha triangles his own legs around them, bases up onto his right elbow, and effortlessly rotates both of them over into mount. His arm swims around wraps the opponent’s head, pulling them back into mount with a cross face already in place.

This sweep is a sneaky one, and your opponent will probably not be truly worried until it’s too late. With enough repetitions, you could even bait them going for this reverse half guard just to hit this. Regardless, offense from bad positions is a must have. Many surprise victories can come that way, or at least make opponents back off for a moment. 

Join one of the best BJJ competitors of all time, Marcus "Buchecha" Almedia, and get all of his half guard secrets! His DVD "The Buchecha Half Guard" will allow you to sweep everyone from the bottom! Check it out here!

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