The Half Guard in MMA
In MMA or BJJ the half guard position is a common position to end up in when grappling with the opponent. Although you are on the bottom in the generally worse position to be in, the half guard can be very useful in turning the tides in your favor. The half guard gives a level of control to you even though your on the bottom. This can be used to go on the offensive once you secure a half guard position from the bottom.
The half guard position is when you are on your back and your opponent is on top of you, with your legs you use the lockdown to secure one of the opponent’s legs. Then the opponent’s body is controlled by breaking their posturing and pulling them in with your arms. For some basic half guard positioning and techniques visit here
The lockdown is a huge part of the half guard. This leg lock gives you a huge amount of control over the position of your opponent as he tries to attack from the top. The lockdown involves selecting a leg to attack, then taking that leg and positioning it in between your legs. Then take the outside leg and place it over the opponents leg; then take your inside leg and place it over your outside leg and then under the opponent’s. Then extend the legs and secure your lockdown.
This is a crucial part in the half guard because of the control it gives you over the opponent. It sounds complicated but it is simple and with strong legs and good technique can do wonders to give you control from the bottom position. Along with the added control and security it gives it is also the foundation for many of the sweeps from half guard.
Half Guard Sweeps
There are various half guard sweeps that can be performed. The diversity of the sweeps have to do with the difference preferences or strengths of the user along with the position and tactics of the opponent. This video shows many different sweeps from the half guard position. a common factor between almost all of them is the control of the leg, mostly with the lockdown. For the sweeps the main idea is to raise your opponent’s center of gravity and then use his lack of balance and control to pass his mount.
Submissions from Half Guard
There are also a few submissions that can be performed straight from the half guard position. This is not seen as often because a lot of submissions come after a sweep from half guard or just the sweep is performed instead. However there are moves that can be done such as the Kimura armlock. This can be a very effective submission because of its power and possible surprise coming from bottom half guard. There is also the possibility to perform a guillotine choke out of the half guard as shown here.