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BJJ Instructional Videos
John Danaher Leglocks
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Half Guard BJJ Instructional Video
The Half Butterfly, Simple end Effective

The Half Butterfly, Simple end Effective


The half butterfly is one of the best hybrid guards there is.  It is one of the most simple and effective guards.  The half butterfly is an extremely versatile position; it works very well in gi, nogi, and MMA. Why is the half butterfly such a good position? You can use this guard to stop many of the popular half guard passes such as the knee slice, and the underhook and cross face pass.

The underhook is extremely important in half guard; check out our article “Power of the Underhook” to learn more.  In half butterfly there is not as much emphasis on underhooks.  When playing half butterfly you can work sweeps without underhooks and you can transition to other guards.  And excellent sweep to learn from half butterfly is the butterfly sweep.

Butterfly Sweep from Half Butterfly

There are a multitude of high percentage sweeps from the half butterfly position.  One of the best and simplest sweeps from the half butterfly is the butterfly sweep.  This is one of the first sweeps you learn and has long been one of the best sweeps around.  Marcelo Garcia constantly utilized the butterfly sweep at Black Belt Worlds and ADCC.

From half butterfly, the butterfly sweep is particularly effective because you can do it with or without and underhook.  Typically when someone is passing half guard, they want to get the underhook and cross face, apply pressure and knee slice. 

This is one of the best passes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Half butterfly can stop this pass and the butterfly sweep can still be successful if your opponent has a deep underhook and cross face.  That is why it is such an effective and powerful sweep. Check out this take on the butterfly sweep from half butterfly with Vitor Shaolin. Shaolin gives extraordinary details below.

Transitions from Half Butterfly

Half butterfly is an excellent position to transition from.  You can easily go from this position to another; some of the best positions to transition to from half butterfly are a full butterfly guard, single leg X, and X-guard.  We recently wrote an article titled “Principles of X Guard” check it out to learn more transitions to X guard.

The transitions from half butterfly are just as important as the sweeps and the submissions.  This is because if your opponent is threatening you with passes and attacks, you can negate them from their intended path by transitioning to another guard.  For example, if your opponent has an underhook and cross face and is passing your half butterfly, you can transition to X guard and stop the pass.  Check out this sweep from half butterfly that doesn’t use an underhook below.

If you want to accelerate your half guard, pick up Lucas Leite’s 4 DVD set, “The Coyote Half Guard.”  This is an excellent resource to help you expand your arsenal from half guard. Lucas Leite has long been one of the best Black Belt Competitors in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu he has been winning tournaments with his half guard.  Learn his tricks in the DVD set, you won’t be disappointed.


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