Using the Indirect Smash in Half Guard
A good half guard player can seem to endlessly frustrate all of our attempts to apply pressure and attempt to pass to side control or some other dominate position. If a bottom half guard player builds strong frames with their arms and combines that frame with a strong knee shield, they can withstand all of the pressure you can bring. By keeping the pressure off of them, they ensure that they're hips can remain mobile which can spell disaster as they attack the firmament of our base and can send us flying.
The Importance of the T
One of the key principles that can help increase the pressure that you are able to deliver to the opponent on the bottom is the ability to change the angle of one's body from being parallel to instead angling into the opponent and attempting to create a perpendicular or T position in relation to their body. If I stay parallel, it makes it much easier for my opponent to support my weight, which buys them crucial time to adjust their hips and attempt to sweep and reverse me.
But if I adjust the direction of my pressure and "T" my body in relation to my opponent's frames, I can maximize my pressure and put their frames into an awkward position, decreasing their strength output. By not employing this simple bodily adjustment, you will put yourself at risk to be reversed or at best to have your forward passing progress halted.
When learning a new position, it's important to get an understanding of all of the potential trouble spots you may face. Check out this article from BJJ Fanatics that addresses the most common mistakes that one can make when using half guard.
In the video below, world champion and renowned instructor Saulo Ribeiro shares his thoughts on adjusting angles to thwart an opponent's ability to stop forward progress and the eventual pass. This technique is a good example and variation of the T body adjustment. Saulo is well known for his use of slow, grinding pressure during his matches. With just a simple adjustment of the attack angle, the power of your passing pressure can be magnified.
So the next time you're having difficulty passing the half guard or you're not feeling that your pressure is getting to the opponent, make a minor adjustment and direct your pressure at an angle into them. This will direct your pressure more perpendicularly than directly on top of the opponent where their frame is the strongest. By using the indirect smash, you will make their job that much harder and much less likely that they will be able to stop you or sweep you.
Are you looking to dominate the half guard position from both the top and the bottom? Then it's time to take advantage of the secrets shared by one of the top half guard players in grappling, Tom DeBlass. Tom DeBlass is an advocate of the "T" positioning of the body and the philosophy behind it helps form the core of Tom's half guard game. You can have all of his secrets in his 4 DVD "Half Domination" set for only $77 today!