At what point in time should people start to learn half guard moves?
I think you should teach some half guard moves quite early - like a couple of different ways to put the guy back in your guard.
Overall I agree that they need a good, solid grasp of the guard first, so say anywhere between 2 and 5 years of training before you get into some of the more aggressive half guard moves.
When to introduce the more exotic moves depends a little bit on the style of your school and your student. For example, if your school emphasizes the butterfly guard, then it's a relatively simple transition for many half guard moves. You will also need half guard moves because when you fight butterfly guard you will likely end up in half guard a lot.
the half guard is awesome. Your students should ssee it as soon as the instructor understnads it. In my limited experience, many people think they know the half guard but actually have no clue other than to underhook.
So no half guard moves until blue belt level?
I was thinking more on the lines of teaching just a few basic half guard moves after maybe several months of training, since the half guard seems to be, in many ways, even better than the full guard to reverse the positions and get on top, IF your positioning is good, that is.
Recently I stopped thinking about the half guard as a series of techniques and I think I realized one of the key things that make it so effective, if you position yourself in the correct way (best way being the underhook postion on your side, as you know).
What seems to make the half guard so good for reversals is the FACT THAT YOU ARE COMPLETELY IMMOBILIZING ONE LEG AND YOUR ARMS CAN WORK TO IMMOBILIZE HIS OTHER LEG IF YOU HAVE GOOD POSITIONING. Two of the most common ways for your opponent to stop you from using your arms to immobilize his free leg, are to flatten you out, which you can prevent to an extent with good underhook control, and move his other leg out of reach, in which case he's inviting you to go to full guard.
Therefore I was thinking about basing the moves around the following common move:
Get the basic underhook position, being on your side (maybe include a drill to get and hold this position), and slide yourself down towards his hips, so your shoulder almost touches his hip. Then immobilize his free leg with both your arms going around his hips in kind of "bear hug" motion, i.e. one hand grabs ankle, other blocks knee.
First move is to bowl him over in the direction your looking. Next move is to roll him over you if he bases out with his arm. Third move is to take his back if he bases out with his other arm. And the fourth move is to go to full guard if he frees his leg that your trapping with your arms.
Do you guys think these are good techniques to start with for the half guard? They actually somewhat based on Andrew Yao's half guard thread in the saved threads section.
I went to a big seminar by Gordo and it was attended by many white belts who obviously were in their first week of bjj. If you don't have a good working knowledge of the basic position like closed guard, open guard, back, mount, etc., you're not going to benefit that much from half guard instruction.
However, if you're interested by half guard technique, there is no time like the present to start practicing. It takes a great deal of time to learn half guard techniques. Start of doing it on some smaller guys so you don't get crushed and dispirited. Then try the basics: swim you arm under your opponents and try to go to the back by swinging up and over. Remember to always keep on your side and if you get flattened out you've got to get back to your side. If the block you're taking the back, scrunch up like a ball on your side and try to get deep under them. Control at least one sleeve.
Then it depends what your opponent does. If he stands up, you've got to sit up and try to grabe his hand under his legs. Of if he stays down, try to get his ankle.
Practice your side mount escapes because until you get good you're going to need them.
Teaching half guard as a defensive position is different ( i.e. push the guys leg into your half guard wehen mounted then shrimp to guard ).
i think its pretty essential. Start with guard retrival from a couple of different reference points and then some of the fundamental sweeps. As they start to pick that up then show them more techniques.