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The Stages of Half Guard Development
Half guard has recently become one of the most popular positions for all levels of BJJ practitioner. There are a number of stages of development that half guard players will undergo during their time on the mats.
Desperate times call for Half Guard
As the beginning guard player begins to experience different types of guard breaks and passes from their opponents and training partners, half guard can organically become a way point to prevent those passes. For those same beginners trying to regain guard from side control for instance, half guard can be a safe haven to keep control of the opponent and begin to launch one's own attacks.
In the video below, world champion Bernardo Faria shows a desperation style sweep he calls the "Last Chance" sweep from half guard.
Control and Chaos
For the more seasoned jiu jitsu practitioner who begins to move beyond the benefits that grow out of the initial sense of desperation trying to prevent guard passes and grasping for guard from side control, they will begin to see the true power of half guard as an offensive position that can frustrate the opponents by diverting their top pressure and manipulating their hips putting them in an endless array of precarious positions where their base will eventually crumble leaving them reversed and scored upon in competition.
In the video below, world champion Bernardo Faria shows several variations of his "take out the trash sweep" executed from deep half guard.
The Complete Half Guard
Lastly, the half guard expert will be able to capitalize on the full power of the position. They will have nearly impassible guards, ultra mobile hips and steel girder style frames that prevent pressure and debase at will. Lastly, they will have developed a varied arsenal of submissions like chokes, kimuras, armlocks and leg attacks launched from half guard that will terrorize their academies and the competition mats.
It's important when studying a position to look at a variety of proponents of these positions to understand both the similarities and differences in each instructor's game. For another look at the half guard from a different angle, check out the article at BJJ Fanatic here on taking your half guard to the next level.
Half guard is a jiu jitsu position that offers one of the greatest returns on training investments. It is a staple of some of the best grapplers on the planet, like Tom DeBlass, Bernardo Faria, Rodolfo Varia, and more. It is a position that allows grapplers of all levels and athletic abilities to be masters of the position. Regardless of size, age and overall athleticism, the time you invest in studying the fundamental elements of half guard will aid you every time you step on the mats. No longer will your opponents cut through your guard like a hot knife through butter. They will never smash you again, if you use half guard correctly. No matter how secure they think their base is, you will be able to take them for a ride with one of your half guard sweeps. And finally, once you reach the highest level of half guard mastery, your ability to aggressively attack from the position will strike fear in the hearts of your opponents.
If you like what you've seen in the video above, you will want to take advantage of "The Battle Tested Half Guard" where world champion Bernardo Faria shares 4 DVDs worth of half guard secrets for only $77!