BJJ, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Grappling, Guard Sweeps, Half Guard, Half Guard Sweeps, Jiu Jitsu, John Wayne Sweep, Martial Arts, Submission Grappling -

The Easiest Half Guard Sweep…The John Wayne Sweep


When it comes to the half guard, people usually either love it or hate it. The most common issue I hear about it (usually from lower belts) is that the sweeps are too difficult to perform. While I do believe that half guard sweeps are a little more intensive than closed guard sweeps, I wouldn’t call them hard. And the half guard will save your butt at least a couple times during training and competition. There is one simple sweep that even people who do not like to play half guard will love to do. It is called the John Wayne Sweep. See what the easiest sweep of all half guard sweeps…

Before I get into the technical aspects of the John Wayne Sweep, let me cover the name. It is called the John Wayne Sweep because of the fact that it looks like an easy, every day roll over. Similar to how John would fight the bad guys in the old westerns. They would brawl, and eventually they would end up rolling in the dirt. Hence the name. Now let’s talk technique.

Perhaps you get an underhook on your opponent, while he applies a whizzer to stop a back take. To counter the whizzer, you need to turn your arm in and clamp down on his arm. This is so that he cannot easily disengage. Use your other hand to block any cross face attempt. You will need to open your half guard. Your top leg will need to post, while you partially retract your other leg. Your foot and shin should be barely over your opponent’s ankle. You do this so your bottom knee can be free to move, which will be important to get the roll over for the sweep. Once everything is in place, it will be time to finish the sweep. Use your free knee to move your leg up and over like a lever while you use your other posted leg to generate power, similar to a bridge movement. Keep your upper body connections and you will get right on top of your opponent without burning hardly any energy or strength.

Don’t fear the half guard. The half guard is your friend, not your foe. You need to take your time to drill and execute these sweeps in a live manner. When you get the proper mat time, you will see great improvement and might even come to love the position. Researching the half guard is a great way to get accustomed to it. And if you have that strong interest then you must check out…

Bernardo Faria’s Battle Tested Half Guard DVD set! Click here!