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The Basic Half Guard Sweep Done Right

The Basic Half Guard Sweep Done Right

The half guard is typically one of the earliest guards a grappler learns as a white belt, usually in the curriculum right after closed guard. This is for a good reason, the half guard is more advanced than closed guard, but more effective too, especially at higher ranks.

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There are so many options one can attack from half guard, which is a reason so many grapplers make bottom half guard their number one guard. You can sweep, submit, and enter leg locks. Not only can you do all three, but there are a huge range of choices from each attack as well.

When you first learn half guard, you really don’t want to start with difficult techniques. First, you want to learn how to keep someone in your half guard, which for me was the hardest part to master. Then, you want to learn some simple, yet effective sweeps and submission attacks before you progress to more advanced ones.

In the following video, Professor Lucas Leite will illustrate a simple sweep you can use from half guard that doesn’t put you at too much risk. See below:

Professor Leite is one of the best Jiu Jitsu practitioners and competitors ever. His training started at a young age and was succeeded by getting a black belt from Leo Viera. Professor Leite has a notorious half guard that he used to defeat many of his great opponents.

The basic half guard sweep is one of the most effective and safe techniques taught from half guard. It also happens to be relatively simple and is one students learn early. Although grapplers tend to forget about this move, it still works really well at high level competition.

Posture is of absolute importance when executing the basic half guard sweep. This is the first technique where many students’ posture really gets challenged. If you don’t posture here, your opponent will easily be able to flatten you out with a cross face, which will yield an easy pass for them. Good posture here will also prevent guillotine attacks, which are very common.

When doing the basic half guard sweep, you will notice a lot of experienced partners and opponents backing up or even trying to stand. Because of this, you need to be willing to get up and finish the single leg.


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