Member # 154
The Evolution of Half Guard Part 2
by Greg Anthony on October 15, 2010
Your half guard tip for today is to KEEP MOVING. When you are on the bottom and have someone in your half it is imperative that you keep them off balance. Do not let your opponent put their weight on you. If they settle down on top of you, you are screwed. You will spend a good portion of the fight and more importantly your energy fighting to get to your side or going deep. So as soon as you go to half get to your side and stay active. Remember if you settle down he or she settles down – on top of you!
This is easier said than done of course, especially against bigger and stronger opponents. Every time I get stuck in bottom half it’s because I wasn’t moving, I wasn’t “attacking”. When this happens I get angry with myself because I know it’s too late. I am no longer on the offensive; I am fighting off submissions and working real hard to get under my opponent. I know it didn’t have to be this way if I just kept him or her off balance. I could have been working a sweep instead of wasting all my power to get in a better position.
In part 1 I spoke about the regular half guard. In this article I will touch upon another of my least favorite half guard positions…the z-half guard or knee-half guard.
I tend to think of this position as the “open guard” of half-guard. You have your top leg across your opponent’s body. Having that leg between you and your training partner will certainly keep him off you. Your bottom leg will have the hook. Your opponent will either try to move that leg and force his weight back down on you or posture further up and perhaps work a pass. But it will also enable you to get your same side hand (as the top leg) inside a collar and begin distracting your opponent by threatening a choke.
The higher your opponent sits back the more options you may have. I will always look for an over hook but generally when my opponent is off of me and posturing up due to my leg against his chest that is when I tend to “dive” under my partner and start setting up a sweep and messing with his balance.
For the most part I am pretty uncomfortable in Z-half. Just like when I am in open guard I don’t feel in control and that is probably the reason I don’t stay there long. I usually can’t wait to make some space and get under my opponent’s midsection before I lose any advantage I might have had.
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