Half-Guard Basic Strategies (diary entry)

half guard attack02.07.2024

Hour eight of my client’s Submission Grappling course moved us onto half-guard work. My client really wishes to work through the basic strategies of this position. After a warm-up, we discussed external objectives before deciding on live games to play.

The main aims of the guard in Submission Grappling is to sweep, take the back or submit their opponent. The top player generally just needs to pass, however, half-guard also has opportunities to submit. Half-guard is most commonly fought from three places: framing, under-hooking or deep underneath. In the first instance the fighter uses Z-guard and knee-shield tactics, looking to sweep or submit from the front. The under-hook position is fought more from the side with the fighter looking to dog-fight sweep or take the back. The last option requires the fighter to get the lockdown position where they isolated their opponent’s leg and look to underhook their other leg for sweep and/or submission opportunities.

We decided on two games divided into the following 4 x 5 minute rounds:

  1. Begin in traditional half-guard with underhook in. Top player wins if they flatten out their opponent. Bottom player wins if they sweep or take the back.
  2. Ditto
  3. Begin in flattened half-guard with underhook in. Top player wins if they pass guard. Bottom player wins if they sweep or take the back.
  4. Ditto.

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