The Half Guard is a fundamental and versatile position in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). Originally viewed as a last-ditch effort to prevent a full guard pass, the Half Guard has evolved into an offensive position with numerous sweeps, submissions, and transitions.
Lying on your back, use your legs to ensnare one of your opponent's legs. Your outside leg should be free while your inside leg wraps over your opponent's trapped leg.
Obtain an underhook with your outside arm to control the opponent's upper body. The underhook should be executed on the same side as the trapped leg.
Work your hips and body to get on your side, not laying flat on your back. This makes it harder for your opponent to flatten you out and improves your attacking options.
When defending against the Half Guard, always control the underhook, keep your body tight against your opponent's body, and consistently work for a good posture to anticipate sweeps or submissions attempts.
To counter the Half Guard, it is recommended to obtain an underhook on the top side and use it to flatten out the bottom player, gaining full control of their body and allowing you to initiate a guard pass.
In competition, the Half Guard may be used initially as a defensive strategy to prevent an opponent's guard pass. Additionally, with the evolution of modern BJJ, Half Guard is often used for attacking with sweeps and submissions when an opponent is trying to pass the guard.
It's worth noting that there are multiple variants of the Half Guard such as the Deep Half Guard, Z-guard, Lockdown, and more. Each has its own unique opportunities and challenges.
Being proficient at the Half Guard position in BJJ can be a game-changer — transforming it from a purely defensive position to a springboard for offensive attacks. Remember to always focus on getting the underhook, staying on your side, and controlling your opponent's trapped leg.