The Deep Half Guard For Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
If You Love Playing Deep Half Guard Then You Will Love These Techniques!
The Deep Half Guard is a great position in BJJ for many reasons. It is a very strong defensive position to be in. You can mount many different sweeps from this position and much more. Deep half guard is a position that we are all probably familiar with, even if you have only spent a little time on the mats. It can be frustrating to deal with, especially against a good deep half guard player. It is definitely a position you want to look at from both an offensive and defensive perspective. So let’s get deep into deep half and see what we can learn!
So when it comes to learning half guard, focus on what Tom DeBlass has tested and proven to be incredibly effective.
The deep half guard is effective in Jiu Jitsu due to its deceptive and superior positioning. When you play deep half correctly you give your opponent very little chance of good offense, giving them little to no ability to submit, and forcing them to pass. The deep half guard is effective because it can be played by almost anyone. Bigger opponents have a harder time controlling a smaller guy in deep half guard. In deep half you can get your opponent’s weight off of you, and if they shift their weight around they open themselves up to being easily swept. Just take a look at this example of 5 Time World Champion Bernardo Faria getting into deep half and then sweeping his opponent. Check it out now!
Pay attention to how methodical Bernardo Faria is when working from deep half. You can really take your time from this position as you work towards a sweep. By extending your opponent’s leg out and capturing it, you weaken their base and give them little options for attacking.
So what is the best way to enter into deep half guard? There are a variety of different opinions on this, but I think Tom DeBlass has one of the best approaches to deep half. If you did not already know, DeBlass is a half guard wizard. He uses it as his predominant method for establishing a tight guard game. Tom has been using half guard successfully in competition for well over a decade. In this time he has faced some of the toughest jiu jitsu competition in the world, and that is not even to mention his fights in the UFC and Bellator as well. It is safe to say this guy knows his stuff. Let’s see how Tom gets into deep half. Check out the video below and then we will break it down!
There are a lot of details to this technique that will be important if you want to have a successful entry into deep half without putting yourself in a compromising situation. DeBlass starts this technique off from half guard in a scenario where his opponent is keeping his far leg away making it hard to control anything on that side. Instead of going for an under hook, DeBlass instead uses his legs to start establishing an entrance. He takes his top leg and crosses it over his training partner’s foot, connecting with his ankle and pulling his training partner’s leg back. Now DeBlass can attack the near leg. He uses the metaphor of climbing a rope. You are using a similar looking method to crawl your way up your opponent’s body.
DeBlass uses an S grip around his training partner’s near leg. Notice that he is completely on his side before pulling his partner up, still controlling his near leg. Once he bumps his partner he switches his hips to the opposite direction, crossing his legs to establish deep half guard. Once in deep half guard, Tom DeBlass defends his arm by tucking it underneath his opponent’s trapped leg until he is ready to start attacking.
Let’s take a look at an amazing sweep from deep half from Matheus Diniz. This is a great example of both how to enter into deep half guard and how to sweep from there. Check out the video below and then we will break it down!
The throw away trash sweep to crucifix is a powerful move you can use on any opponent no matter their size or level of experience. To enter into deep half Diniz feeds his hand through behind his opponent’s knee and rocks his legs to bump his partner and up into his deep half guard. Now he switches his grips and gets his opponent’s leg high up on his shoulder. Matheus stretches his leg and places his foot against his training partner’s knee. He stays tight to his training partner while posting on the mat and coming up to his knees. As he comes up he grabs his opponent’s leg and pulls him into a body lock, now having great back control.
So we have seen how good deep half can be when it comes to a defensive position, but how do you deal with deep half if you get caught in it? Here’s a great deep half counter from Gabriel Procopio. Gabriel Procopio spent a decade learning how to solve the puzzle that is deep half guard. Let’s check out his technique. Watch the video below and then we will break down his technique!
This is a pretty unique arm bar as a deep half counter. Gabriel emphasizes that the deep half guard is a very strong submission for the guy on bottom. You want to avoid deep half guard altogether by preventing your opponent from entering it, catching him in a submission while he is in movement. When you opponent tries to enter into half guard by grabbing behind your leg you first want to post, which stops them from completely rolling through. Gabriel puts all his weight on top of his opponent’s arm to trap it. It is really important that when you trap the arm you cross your feet when you sit back. This prevents your opponent from being able to escape. From here Gabriel brings both hands behind his opponent’s elbow, using his head and shoulder to push his opponent’s chest, forcing his back flat on the mat. He lifts up on the elbow at the same time to tighten up the arm bar, causing his training partner to tap.
Let’s take one more look at how to deal with the half guard. It will not always be the case that you are able to catch your partner while he is entering into deep half. Therefore, it is imperative you have some techniques for passing, as demonstrated in this next video by Dminitrius Souza. Dimitriuz Souza is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black belt under Sergio Moraes. Dimi is one of the top Ailliance academy BJJ practitioners in the heavy weight division. Check out Dimitruis Souza’s preferred method for passing half guard in the video below and then we will break down his technique!
Dimitrius Souza starts out by dropping his knee down and lifting his leg up. This is a very uncomfortable position for your opponent to be stuck in. Now he controls the sleeve as he starts dropping the arm down the same time he passes his leg over his training partner’s head. Now your opponent’s arm is stuck and he can’t turn backwards or forwards. From here Dimi controls the lapel and twists his opponent’s face around, ending up in side control.
Deep half guard is a great position no matter your level of experience. Hopefully these tips and techniques give you a good idea how to use deep half to set up sweeps, as well as how to counter deep half. Be sure to give these techniques a try the next time you are on the mats in a live roll. Having extensive knowledge of deep half will really help you improve your game.
If you're looking for the keys to defeating your opponents with half guard look no further. Tom DeBlass’ “Half Domination” 4 DVD Set Will Simplify & Slow Down The Game To Show You An Easy Set Of Grips & Moves That Will Hold Even The Most Explosive Young Beasts In Check.
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