Half-Guard Basics (diary entry)

Cat & Ollie Half Guard22.08.2022

Monday night’s first lesson was my couple clients’ third hour on their second face-to-face course in submission grappling/ground fighting. Tonight we continued working within the mid-range guard concepts and started work on attacking from half-guard. After our usual dynamic stretching and muscle activation exercises, we covered specific solo movements associated with the half-guard position.

In order to teach half-guard tactics and strategies, we looked it at from the point of view of the person fighting from the top. Taking the opponent’s perspective helps us understand what the fighter holding half-guard needs to avoid. Unlike other guard positions, half-guard is especially vulnerable to submissions without the fighter needing pass. However, we didn’t look at this threat. Instead we looked at their basic strategy to dominate from the top. This usually involves flattening half-guard with an under-hook (as per the picture). The fighter usually tries to avoid this situation although there are counters and traps that can be set from it (such as Eddie Bravo’s rubber guard setups).

Fighting from half-guard, a person often goes to a knee-shield or Z-guard game, even looking to transition to some sort of butterfly guard or go for the under-hook. Tonight we focused on the under-hook. Two basic options from here to go to dog-fight position and attack with a single leg or, if the opponent counters low, go behind and attack with back-mount.

The lesson finished with 3 x 2 minute specific sparring from half-guard.