How To Build A Tough BJJ Half Guard Game

how to build a tough bjj half guard game

If you’re wondering about how to build the perfect BJJ half guard game, so today will be your lucky day. The half guard in jiu jitsu may be a great position with plenty of various submissions, sweeps, and transitions in both Gi and No-Gi. Moreover, the half guard is among the basic guards that every Brazilian jiu-jitsu should learn how to deal with it from the bottom position and also from the standing position.

Also, it’s one of the top effective positions used by several world martial arts fighters at the top grappling competitions.

During this article, you’ll learn plenty of things about the half guard. Therefore, you will develop a strong jiu jitsu half guard game that includes several awesome sweeps, and BJJ half guard attacks, etc. Stay tuned!

  1. Learn The Half Guard BJJ Fundamentals.

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

What does the half guard mean in Jiu Jitsu martial art? 

The BJJ half guard in one of the basic Brazilian jiu jitsu positions where the bottom player puts one of his legs between the top player’s legs and the other leg may be used as a knee shield near the opponent’s chest.

Moreover, the bottom fighter uses his both legs and hands to control his adversary or also to create distance, and sometimes to transit to other positions including the deep half guard, half-butterfly guard, Z guard, X guard, back take, or full guard retention.

One of the amazing facts about the half guard in BJJ is that many athletes truly specialized in it. And many of them make it the basis of their bottom game, also, there is an equal number of BJJ athletes who specialized in the top half guard such as Rodolfo Vieira ….

Source: Absolute MMA St Kilda – Melbourne

Many players think that the jiu jitsu half guard is a great position to sweep their opponent from the bottom position, so they force the way to the bottom to play their favorite game. Although, other athletes believe that this position is one of the premier positions to pass their opponent guard, so they force their way to pass the guard. So:

What does make the jiu-jitsu half guard one of the favorite position from the bottom position for certain people, and the top game for others?

bjj half guard

Playing the half guard BJJ perfectly from the bottom and top game sounds like a paradox fact. But:

What’s the key element that will make the half guard either the pass to heaven or the pass to hell?

I’m glad you ask.

A great BJJ half guard game demands a tough control of your opponent’s head and shoulders. Although, if I’m working from the bottom half guard and my opponent gets control of my head and shoulders, and he puts them on the mat, so in this case, I’m in a miserable position.

So, if you’re among those Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners who play the bottom half guard, make sure that your head and shoulders are free to move.

Besides, you must be able to move from one shoulder to the other. So, your purpose there is to somehow make it difficult for your opponent to reach your head and shoulders.

And, if you’re among those BJJ martial arts who prefer the top half guard, so the key element to be able to pass your opponent guard is by controlling the head and shoulders and force them to the mat.

The game speed at the half guard BJJ position.

how to build a tough bjj half guard game

Otherwise, the half guard jiu jitsu position strongly limits the amount of motion and movement, because there are many connection points between the two athletes.

So, in any bottom grappling fight the speed and body connection are attached, as a general rule with more connection established between athletes the lower the speed goes down.

How to manage your bottom half guard in BJJ?

Source: The Grappling Academy

To build a tough BJJ half guard starting from the bottom position, you need to manage several elements in including the distance between you and your opponent, the opponent’s body frames, be free to switch to attacks or other transitions, etc.

This could be achievable by controlling the opponent’s hands, using a knee shield, underhook your opponent, etc.
  • Hand Control

How the hand control will help you to improve your Jiu-Jitsu half guard game?

One of the basic things that you do when you’re at the bottom half guard is controlling your opponent hand.

This could be an awesome move to prevent your opponent from establishing the cross face that will allow him to control your head and shoulders and put you in a miserable position.

However, if you arrive to control the opponent’s hand, you will have multiple opportunities to manage distance, frame your opponent, or sizing some good attacks such as the Kimura lock, etc.

  • The Knee Shield

Source: BJJ Fanatics

How the knee shield will help you to improve your half guard system?

The knee shield could help you a lot in managing the distance when you’re playing the bottom half guard. You can use it to push your opponent to create more distance that helps you to protect your guard or when you want to make a transition.

On the other hand, you will across several problems protecting your half guard if you could not use the knee shield properly.

  • The Underhook

Source: Chewjitsu

How the under hook jiu-jitsu is going to improve your half guard?

The underhook could be an awesome solution to control your opponent from the bottom half guard.

Otherwise, it helps you a lot to get a sweep or to get back control, and more awesome benefits. Sure, the BJJ under hook will tremendously change your jiu-jitsu half guard game.

  1. Learn the essential BJJ Half Guard Submissions.

bjj half guard game

Once you’re at the half guard position you need to install good frames (Knee shield, hand control …) that will help you to secure the position.

Then, several submissions or transition opportunities will cross your road including the kimura lock, triangle choke, loop choke, back take, deep half guard, and many more.

  • Triangle, Kimura, Ezekiel And Baseball Bat Choke Submissions From The Bottom Half Guard

Source: BJJ Joe

  • Loop choke Submission from half guard

The loop is one of sneaky half guard submissions, the next video will give what you need to hunt an awesome loop choke from that position.

 

Source: Caio Terra

  1. Learn To Sweep From Jiu-Jitsu Half Guard Position. 

Once you got the basic principles of the Brazilian jiu jitsu half guard, you’ll be ready to execute some awesome sweeps including coyote sweep, etc. The video next video will give you clear thoughts about the BJJ half guard sweep.

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

  1. Diversify Your Jiu Jitsu Half Guard Game.

To build a tough half guard game, you should learn more than one half guard variation in jiu jitsu grappling martial arts.

What are the different half guard variations?

Therefore, you have should some variations of half guard BJJ underhook and Knee shield.

  • Half guard BJJ underhook variations

Source: The Guide Sites

  • Half guard knee shield jiu jitsu variations

Source: Kenneth Brown

Otherwise, if you want to develop a solid jiu jitsu half guard, you need to learn some half guard transitions such as the transition to deep half, back take, x guard, single leg x, lock down, etc.

  •  Here is an awesome video tutorial on how to transit from low knee shield half guard to deep half, x guard & single leg x.

Source: Aaron Benzrihem bjj

  • Here is another BJJ video tutorial on how to transit from BJJ half guard to back control by Marcus Almeida Buchecha

source: Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida

  • Here is another BJJ video tutorial about half guard lock down

Source: Evo BJJ

  1. Learn How To Recover Your Half Guard 

Sometimes, you’re so slow and your opponent takes an advance on you by reaching the cross face or the underhook. In this case, your adversary may pass your half guard or even he can get an easy submission or a more superior position.

So, what you need to do in these circumstances?

The Next Brazilian jiu-jitsu video gives some awesome moves and solutions to recover your guard and prevent the guard passing or the submission.

Source: Cobrinha Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu & Fitness

  1. Drill A Lot Your BJJ Half Guard Game

What the top drills that you should do to improve your half guard?

Drills will extend your Brazilian Jiu-jitsu skills. During the BJJ video below you will discover some awesome half guard drills that you simply need to try.

Source: Chewjitsu

The video above focuses on two sections of jiujitsu drilling. The first one focuses on Knee Slide and Knee Slide variations and options, and the other one focuses on Back Step options and variations.

The back steps are one of the great movements in BJJ, but not everyone uses them maybe the movement is weird.

Besides, It’s almost just like the Knight on the chessboard. While all other pieces move in straight angles, it moves in an L and may through you off.

Here are more BJJ half guard drills from the half guard by Chewjitsu

Source: Chewjitsu

Conclusion

What is half guard in BJJ?

The half guard is incredibly effective to slow the match down and take the dynamic and quick movement out of the equation. Congratulations to you if that suits properly your game and body type.

Otherwise, the half guard is a paradox position in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Because it can either be the best possible position to pass your opponent guard and also the best position to sweep your opponent.

Thus, if the top BJJ player arrives to control the bottom player’s head and shoulders, so he goes so far as executing the guard passing. However, the bottom could be denied the head and shoulders control, so in this case, the half guard will be the best sweeping position.

To build a tough half guard BJJ, you want to remember the points discussed above. And don’t forget to constantly drilling and application in sparring.

I hope these steps will help you so far on building a strong half guard in both from the top or the bottom game. Always have fun training BJJ martial arts!

So tell us, what BJJ half guard game do play?

7 COMMENTS

  1. You guys have made some amazing points about the half guard. Personally, after my money sweeps don’t work, I try to re-guard as quickly as possible. You listed some great points that I will definitely keep in mind. I dig the lockdown technique too, I learned so really good details that made me appreciate this position a lot more.

  2. Looking through your blog gives me the chance to realize precisely why I like reading things with so much understanding. It truly is wonderful to know there are still terrific authors around that will put wit into knowledgeable information. I appreciate you for your contributions and eagerness to share your thoughts with us.

  3. You completed some good points there. I did a search on the theme and found most persons will have the same opinion with your blog.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here