any half guard secrets?

Im trying to master my Half game for competitions.

never let him flatten you.

always try to get the underhook.

if you cant get the underhook, make space to either put him back in the guard or enough to get the underhook.

always destabilize his position so that he constantly has to defend and keep his balance and cant focus on passing.

andre is 100% correct..

BTW, andre, did you ever try to use a half guard on Werdun? LOL..I tried but it went real bad, he would just reach back for my underhook and kimura me everytime..LOL..Freak!

alot of the half guard moves I have down packed, I feel that something is missing though and I cant figure out. Thats why I put this thread out for any sugestions, and ideas. Thank you andre for your advise and time.

Stay on your side I mean really on your side, and tuck yourself in close to his knee,s, this will stop him from flattening you out, there are tons of sweeps and reverals from this position.


get Gordo's tapes...learn from the man himself!!

get Gordo's tapes...learn from the man himself!!

get Gordo's tapes...learn from the man himself!!

Nope, no secrets here.... bwa ha ha haaa!


Everything that Andre said

Also: develop your butterfly guard - half guard and butterfly guard are intertwined and have many similar techniques

Also: really work on your half guard lockdown escapes. By this I mean escapes from that position where your opponent has flattened you out, has an underhook and is driving his shoulder into your face. The lockdown nullifies 80% of halfguard offense, so it is critical to have good escapes from this 'pin'.

Also: work on your kneebar awareness/counters. Kneebars are a great submission against halfguard, and if you play half guard without an awareness of kneebars you are really leaving yourself open.

Also: remember that most half guard sweeps rely on developing momentum. Sometimes you'll be able to go right to a sweep, but most of the time you will have to set up a sweep with another sweep attempt. This is why half guard techniques should be chained together in series. Fake east, go west.

Stephan Kesting

MitsuyoMaeda, care to explain that kimura in more detail?


Fredson Alves is a secret 1/2 guard animal. he is in Ohio @ Jeff Hudson's right now.

I have those, good tape, Fredson is the man.

I think you must practice half guard moves against people who are a little below your level. Otherwise, you tend to get squashed. Once you've gotten a move "mastered" against lower level guy, you're ready to try against better guys.

If you're doing it right, your half guard is an offensive weapon and your opponent outght to be nervous knowing he has high likelihood of getting swept. But if you're stretched out flat on your back, defending Americana attacks, you're not doing very well.

Great advice from Andre and exjudoka.

My instructor kneebarred the crap out of me a few weeks ago. Talk about a leglock clinic.


Yeah, there are two basic ways to set up the kneebar from half guard - forward spins and back spins. Then there are a lot of variations of both moves, as well as variations to the finishes.

So you have to watch out for him (your instructor) rotating in one of two ways:

Forward: stepping his leg over your body or head

Backwards: spinning the other way, swinging his leg over your legs instead.

You can make his spins more difficult by maintaining some control over his upper body - to spin he needs to make a bit of space. Your best counter, though, is to develop your awareness - you should learn the attacks so that you recognize them being set up. You may never incorporate kneebars into your offensive game, but if you want to play in the half guard you really should incorporate kneebar awareness and kneebar defenses (opviously in the course of working on the Kneebars DVD I thought about these issues a lot!).

Stephan Kesting


I love working on stopping the half guard pin you describe. Can you discuss some of the ways you sweep/get out from that position?


There are 8 or 9 ways that I am currently using to get out of the half guard lockdown. Here are a couple - assume that your right leg is between your opponent's legs, that he has the right underhook and his left shoulder is pressing in your face.

1 - double triangle your legs - left instep under your right knee, right instep under his right instep. Grip the back of his right shoulder with your left hand. Now stretch him out, down towards your feet, using the lock you have on his leg with your double triangle (pulling and pushing with your hands as appropriate). This relieves some pressure and allows you to dig for the left underhook and turn onto your side

2 - Insert your left butterfly hook (ie place your left instep under his right thigh) while keeping his leg trapped with your right leg. If he has a gi grip his belt with your left and his knee with your right. Lift him into the air using your left foot and both hands - this is MUCH easier if he is driving, trying to pop your head off with his shoulder. Once he is airborne you can drop him into your guard, elevator sweep him or butterfly sweep him.

3 - place your left knee on his right hip and extend your hips to force him away slightly - fight for the left underhook.

Hope these work for you - sort of complicated to describe in print but quite effective once you get the hang of it

Stephan Kesting

Secrets yes!! If you want to see how to play half guard watch tapes of Nova Uniao guys. Especially Robson Moura. A lot of people say destabilize your opponent, but the truth is that before you can destabilize your opponent you must get his weight over you. This is the secret.