guard sweeps

The Full Guard

In MMA one place that you do not want to end up most of the time is on your back. This leaves you open to attack, drains your energy if the opponent knows what he is doing, and is overall considered a disadvantageous position. However locking the opponent in a full guard position leaves one with many ways to attack the opponent and turn the tides in the fight. This could be in the form of a quick submission or a sweep to gain a more sought after position in the fight.

The full guard is a very common position to end up in when in a grappling situation. If the opponent tries to perform a takedown this position is a common place to end up in. Also many fighters when on bottom will try to get the opponent in a full guard from the beginning since it is easy to catch the opponent in. However the full guard probably leaves you in the most controlling position one can be in while on your back.

The Technique

Proper technique for a full guard position…

A correct full guard can lock the opponent in place and keep the person on bottom relatively safe. This consists of wrapping the legs firmly around the opponents trunk when you are on your back and the opponent is laying on top of you; crossing the legs behind their back for added support to the hold.  Also the opponent’s head should be pulled down into your chest to prevent the opponent from posturing up.

Submissions from Full Guard

One submission that can be done from a full guard is the triangle choke. This is especially useful in MMA fighting because when in a full guard in MMA most opponents will try and use strikes which lets you isolate an arm. Also a well executed triangle choke from a full guard is a strong move which can overwhelm an opponent’s defense.

Another submission that is very effective from the full guard is the armbar. To perform this submission   you need to break your opponents posture and control his position well so it denies him options from the start. Also by keeping everything in tight while performing an armbar from the full guard is a great way to catch a slippery and sweaty opponent in a technically sound armbar.

Sweeps from Full Guard

Another good option from a full guard position is a sweep. A sweep takes your disadvantageous position and turns it into an advantageous one in one move. One good sweep is a guillotine sweep because it is done when the opponent postures up in your full guard like he is supposed to. By releasing the feet around your opponents trunk and pressing into your opponent with your shoulder and putting an arm around the opponents head for a guillotine. This can then either be finished with a guillotine or used as a sweep to get on top of the opponent.

There are many many sweeps that can be done from this position that all have something to do wth reading the opponent’s moves. One more advanced sweep, although very technical and would take much practice, is called a hook sweep and could be very useful if it could be performed successfully.


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

The lockdown from the half guard position

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.