Half Guard: The Three Major Types

Professor Tom DeBlass works to pass his opponents half-guard.--photo courtesy of Tom DeBlass

When we start a discussion about using the half guard, we must clarify which of the major types of half guard we are talking about.

Most BJJ players tend to favour one style over the other and each has its strengths and weaknesses. One half guard style may be better for lighter guys while another might be a better position when you have an opponent who is trying to apply heavy pressure to you.

Let’s have a look at the three major styles of half guard and get an idea of the fundamentals of the position.

Knee Shield Half Guard

This knee shield is perhaps the best style for keeping an opponent’s weight off of you.

The “Lockdown” Half Guard

10th Planet’s Eddie Bravo has developed an entire game around this style of “lockdown”, which refers to the triangling of the legs to control the top opponent.

Deep Half Guard

Sweeps are the main weapon from this deep guard and many BJJ players excel at getting underneath their larger opponents and disrupting their balance.

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