Mid-Range Guard (diary entry)

The sixth part of the 10 part course in submission grappling/ground-fighting for martial arts cross training looked at mid-range guard concepts. We began with our usual ground movement and muscle activation exercises before revising the basic close guard submissions, sweeps and passing covered in the previous two lessons. This consisted of arm-bar, omaplata (leg shoulder-lock), leg triangle choke and Kimura (arm-lock), close guard sweeps and passing through, under and around guard. We then also revised the Americana arm-lock, which had been taught at the completion of a guard pass last lesson. However, this time it was taught from the full-mount pin rather than side control.

We then began with half-guard. This is a position that has been steered clear of in Mixed Martial Arts competition despite being popular in no-gi submission fighting, Marcelo Garcia being a particularly notable exponent. However, since around 2010 the game has evolved and the half-guard has become far more than the “beat-down position” labelled by Randy Couture.  I taught it as a means for gaining the back position via an under-hook. From here we looked at attacking from back-mount and the rear naked choke/strangle. We then did the same attack using butterfly guard, which shares a few similarities with half-guard. In fact, a key point taught to me at Braulio Estima’s Gracie Barra (2004-2010) mainly via Rob Stevens was the use of the knee in half-guard, which allows a fighter to adopt a type of single hook butterfly guard. Whilst we were looking at taking the back from full butterfly guard, I brought in the arm-drag, which my client had learnt from his Basic Stand-up Grappling for Martial Arts Cross Training Course.

We then returned to half-guard and looked at sweeping by under-hooking the opponent’s free leg and transitioning to x-guard. This technique was completed with my client’s first leg-locks: the knee bar and ankle-lock. To keep matters balanced we then covered a basic sacrifice sweep from butterfly guard. All these areas were then put under pressure with some progressive specific sparring.


View How to Do 2 Half Guard Basics in MMA Fighting on Howcast

The Butterfly Guard – MMA Surge

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