help with top half-guard position

Hey everyone,

Recently I've been having trouble, I think it's more of a mental fart on my end, but it's still a tad frustrating.

When I am on top, either from passing the guard or a take down I wind up in half guard. I try to fight for the far side underhook, once I get that it's usually a 90% that I will pass, but lately I've been having trouble getting it and also with the bottom guy framing my head and pushing it away (from the far side). This forces my body up and they fight to recover the guard. I try to get the underhook back, I try to switch my hips and trap that hip and push on the trapped leg, but it starts with that annoying frame on my head.

Anyone have any suggestions from this position?

Think about what the bottom guy needs for the 1/2 guard to be sucessful: he needs to be on his side. That means to stop him you need to break him down flat. Don't worry about the underhook on the far side so much as getting your other arm under  his head and smashing your shoulder across his face and breaking him down flat.  Now that he's flat, pummel for the underhook. if you can't get the underhook, just keep your overhook pulled down tight to his hip with extends his arm and makes his underhook weak.


just my advice, not an expert.


Try passing from a sit out (where you're kind of facing his legs). In that position I like to do a pass that Marcelo Garcia uses a lot where he has his left forearm on the mat and his left tricep pressed up against his opponent's left armpit. It would take a big effort to explain it fully with words here (although god knows I've done that many times before), but maybe it will help you in the right direction.

Apart from that, try being quicker to assume a REALLY tight crossface+underhook position so he doesn't have space to put his forearm under your throat. If he eventually does, switch to the Marcelo half guard pass (as one of many possibilities, of course).


Try examining exactly WHERE you place your head, which way it faces, and WHEN you put it there.

I'm willing to bet that with some careful examination and experimentation, you can find a head position that makes it harder for him to push you away and repummel. Once you find that, start placing your head there earlier and earlier in the pass.

Thank you guys. I've been playing around and I'm getting it back now, like I said, a brain fart, trying to remember all this new info and some of the old info got clouded. I've been trapping his arm that he is framing with, pushing down on the elbow and trapping it with my body to secure him down. Then working on passing. I will definitely try all your suggestions, they can't hurt.

I'm having a related problem, mostly from the marcelo garcia sit through pass explained above.

When I'm stuck in scissors half guard on top, I turn my hips towards the persons legs so my hips pass his knees. Then i put pressure on his stomach and block his hips with my knee and hand,

The problem: I'm having trouble getting my elbow into the persons armpit. It seems that when I try passing this way, after I make the turn toward the persons legs, they frame with their forearms on my back and I can't get my weight up toward the persons head. Then I get octopus guarded and swept or I'm getting my back taken if I can't recompose.

If I can't get my weight up toward the persons shoulders, what can I do in that position? Any help with this would be much appreciated.