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BJJ Instructional Videos
John Danaher Leglocks
John Danaher Back Attacks BJJ
Half Guard BJJ Instructional Video
The Butterfly Half Guard For BJJ With Tom DeBlass

The Butterfly Half Guard For BJJ With Tom DeBlass


Transform Your Half Guard Game With This Amazing Guard From For Close Range Attacks From ADCC Veteran Tom DeBlass!

The butterfly half guard is a great close range guard to attack sweeps and submissions from. If you struggle to get your under hooks against an opponent from the traditional half guard then this style of guard play may just be the thing you need. The butterfly half guard is a very versatile position that works well in gi, no gi, and mixed martial arts. You can do many things with this guard, including preventing many of the most common half guard passes like the under hook, cross face, and knee slice.

The hip switch is such a vital part of the butterfly guard and one of it's variations, the half butterfly guard. This is one of Tom Deblass's favorite jiu jitsu guard to attack sweeps, defend the pass, and hit a lot of leg attacks.


Today we will look at three techniques you can use to strengthen your butterfly half guard. If you love this guard then you will love Tom DeBlass’ instructions. Tom DeBlass is notorious for his half guard. He is a multiple time ADCC veteran and one of the most decorated grapplers from the United States. Having never had his guard passed in competition, many consider him to be one of the greatest guard players of all time. Tom is also one of the most sought out grappling instructors on the planet. His no nonsense approach to grappling along with his straight from the heart mix of advice and humor makes him an excellent teacher and inspiration to up and coming grapplers.

So with all that in mind, let us take a look at three techniques for the butterfly half guard in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Tom DeBlass. These videos come straight from Tom DeBlass’ instructional series, “The Butterfly Half Guard” available exclusively on Let’s get started!

#1: Over Under Defense

The over under pass is one of the most common passes when playing half guard top. Typically the way you will see this pass done is with one arm wrapping around to control the knee shield from the inside while gripping the hips. The other arm is wrapped around the leg from the outside. From this position the passer controls the hips of his opponent and passes. To counter this effective pass, Tom DeBlass frames using one hand on his training partner’s hip and the other hand on his training partner’s head. Now he can swing out his leg and wrap it around his training partner’s neck. Tom anticipates that his opponent will drive in. He uses this momentum and space to escape his hips, successfully countering a pass that can be frustrating to deal with.

#2: Omoplata To Triangle

From the butterfly half guard position, it can be easy to hit submissions like the omoplata or triangle because your training partner’s arm are already split around your hips. Tom takes control of his opponent’s wrist, framing away at his shoulder. What he looks to do is get his opponent into the omoplata position first. To do this, Tom wants to get his opponent to come in towards him. When his opponent pushes forward, he stuffs his head down, grabbing his wrist with a C grip and escaping his hips. From this position he feeds his foot all the way through and locks his training partner’s far arm. Generally speaking, your training partner will try to posture up to avoid the omoplata, allowing you to lock in the triangle (or switch to the reverse triangle). It is interesting to note that in the reverse triangle you do not have to get your opponent’s arm across his body. Simply locks up the triangle and push his head down.

#3: Hip Heist Series

The hip heist series is a concept to be used to get yourself into better positions in relation to your opponent. It can be dangerous if you remain in one position for too long. Tom emphasizes that it is important to always stay dynamic and keep moving when rolling with your training partner. There is a common misconception that the only way to get on top is to reverse your opponent’s position. However, if they give you an opportunity to stand up you should stand up. The goal is to make your training partner uncomfortable. The more uncomfortable they are they more tired they are going to get, which is better for you. If your partner sits up in your guard it is the perfect opportunity to go for the hip heist. By framing against your partner’s shoulder you can pull your bottom leg out to get to your knees. This forces your partner to grab your leg, and from here you can stuff his head and lock up a kimura grip. If your partner stands you simply sit right back down, which gives you entries at his hips, allowing you to create the space and angles necessary to be offensive. If your partner traps your leg when you get up to your knees you can pull your foot to the outside which is very easy to do. Now you can sprawl heavy on top of your partner and go through the same process to start attacking kimuras, or even take his back.

If you liked these techniques then definitely check out Tom DeBlass’ instructional series, “The Butterfly Half Guard” available exclusively on! Even if you have never played butterfly half before it can be great to add some variety into your guard game. Plus, Tom DeBlass has an incredibly high level understanding of how to play various half guard styles. Sure half guard is great, but there are just so many ways to pass it that you will benefit from having some options. What better way to retain your guard than to start attacking submissions from the butterfly half guard? Give these techniques a try the next time you are on the mats!

Tom DeBlass has never had his guard passed in competition, and cites the half butterfly guard as one of the best guards to defend the guard pass, as well as attack the legs. The half butterfly guard is your secret to leg lock submissions from the bottm. The half butterfly will allow you to dominate those young and athletic guys using simple "locks" that will keep your opponents contained in your guard, and develop one of the most leg lock attacks.



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