Table of Contents
- 1. Loop Choke Starting at the Top and Bottom of Half Guard
- 2. Arm Triangle Starting at the Top and Bottom of Half Guard
- 3. Straight Armlock Starting at the Top and Bottom of Half Guard
- 4. Chokes
- 5. Kneebar from Half Guard Position
- 6. The Best Positions for BJJ Submissions
- 7. Guillotine Choke - Top Half Guard
- 8. Final words
Half guard is a common position in BJJ. This holds for both the top and bottom halves of guard positions. Try to get to the close guard if you are operating from the bottom. If you're on the top, you might want to pass to side-control for a more advantageous position.
Basic Half Guard
The first half of BJJ guard practice is one in which we wrap our legs around an opponent's leg. Although it's easy to do, your opponent may put all his weight on you. It is highly recommended to turn a dangerous situation into an advantageous one by simply blocking the opponent's cross-face arm, shrimping sideways, or inserting a butterfly hook.
1. Loop Choke Starting at the Top and Bottom of Half Guard
A loop choke can be initiated from the half guard top and bottom positions. The loop choke can only be applied in BJJ Gi because it involves using the lapel of Gi for choking the opponent.
1.1. Loop Choke From Bottom Half Guard Position
From the half guard bottom position, the top fighter will try to use his head to press your shoulder flat down. From the bottom position, you should go for the collar grip and put your knee on the hip joint in order to put pressure.
Then you should move your body to your right and put the head of the top player under your left arm by going shoulder to shoulder. At the same time, you have to block the other arm of the top player because he will be attempting to grab your head all the time.
By the time the opponent has passed the guard, you must slip under the shoulder and grab the knee from behind and continue to slip under and finish the loop choke. There are also other ways to execute the loop from the top guard position.
1.2. Loop Choke From Top Half Guard Position
From the perspective of the top player, you can grab the Gi of the bottom player by placing the right hand under the head of the bottom player and then putting your right elbow between the Gi and the neck of your opponent, now you can complete the loop choke. Practically, it is very similar to the Ezekiel choke. If you control your movements well, guard passes will not be possible. You can use the bottom hook to place your hips right below the hips of the bottom player and make sweeps.
Weird Half guard
Half guard top position can be an excellent spot for hunting the back of the opponent. The more tightly your opponent squeezes their legs, the easier it will be for you to place them on the ground and perform a Granby Roll. The Truck position or a back take will be possible.
2. Arm Triangle Starting at the Top and Bottom of Half Guard
Arm triangle: This submission can be executed from the top and bottom half guard positions. The arm triangle is an extremely powerful stranglehold. If applied rightly, this blood choke can be used to disarm anyone, regardless of their resistance.
2.1. Arm Triangle from Top half guard position
When you are in the top half guard position, you must go for gaining control because the bottom player will be trying to push your head by forcing his arm. You have to block his elbow and move quickly by joining the grip of your arms under the head of the bottom player. Now you have established the control. In order to pass the guard, you have to use your knee hook while sliding your knee under. You are now in slide control and can apply the arm triangle and get the submission.
2.2. Arm Triangle from bottom half guard position
In the bottom half guard position, the bottom player should move the shoulder of the top player on one side of the head, either right or left. Now you have to put the head close to the head of the top player and close the gap by forming your arms around the head of the top player while continuing to squeeze until you get the submission.
3. Straight Armlock Starting at the Top and Bottom of Half Guard
BJJ's classic submission is the straight armlock. Like the armbar, you're not using your hips. Instead, you apply pressure on the elbow. It is highly effective and can also be used in many other positions.
3.1. Armlock From the Top Half guard
When you are in the top half guard position, you have to block the underhook of the bottom player by pinning it down and at the same time putting your other arm on top of the elbow of the bottom player. Your whole weight is resting on top of his stomach. While resting on the stomach of the bottom player and pinning down the arm you can apply the Kimura grip on the wrist or you can stretch the arm to 45 degrees and get the submission by armlock.
3.2. Armlock From the bottom half guard
From the bottom of the half guard position, you should put pressure by pressing your arms on the hip of the top player while squeezing on one side and putting the other arm between the heads of both players and going for the underhook. Once you have your underhook in place, you should put both hands together and squeeze between his ear and shoulder. By following these steps you can get the arm lock submission.
The bottom half guard is the first option when going for a choke. Going for a loop choke is an easy way to enter the rally with a sneaky collar grip. Everything is done once you have locked the other arm behind it.
Top-of-line half-guard submissions are guillotines and front headlocks. You must place a knee in the opponent's thigh and use the headwrap grasp. If you're patient, you will get the submission.
5. Kneebar from Half Guard Position
The Kneebar is an excellent submission that can be executed from the top and bottom half guard positions. You will put pressure on the knee joint, not the elbow, in the same way as the armbar.
5.1. Kneebar from the Top Half Guard Position
While sitting in the top half guard position, grab the ankle of the bottom player, and in reaction, he will try to lock your ankle by applying figure four. If you have countered figure four successfully, you will get the submission of the bottom player.
5.2. Kneebar from the Bottom Half Guard Position
If you are caught up in the bottom half guard position, one of the legs of the bottom player must have been caught up in your leg lock, but the other leg will be free and can cause trouble for you. Kneebar offers you a lot of control. Now, lift the top player by bridging him up and bringing his hips to your chest. Close the grip of your arms around the buttocks of the top player. Then you have to lock and extend his heel by crossing and squeezing your heels around it. If executed rightly you will get the submission.
6. The Best Positions for BJJ Submissions
The half guard will give you an edge over all other submission positions, such as mount and back control. Half-guard submissions are a great way to win, and you don't need to put up the same defenses when hunting from mounts, back mounts, or even Ashi Gouramis.
The half-guard position is unique in allowing you to initiate any submission. You can attack leg locks, arm locks, and chokes with minimal but technical repositioning.
7. Guillotine Choke - Top Half Guard
7.1. Guillotine Choke From Top Half Guard Position
If you are in the top half guard position and the bottom player has an under hook on his right side, it is not an ideal situation for any top player but the trick is you can lean forward and extend both of your arms and put one arm deep under the chin of the bottom player. Now it is most likely that the bottom player will try to come on top by bridging, but in order to do so, he has to open his legs. Your left leg is going to take a big step back and put your left leg around his neck. Your left arm was previously holding the arm of the bottom player. At the same time, you will switch back into the mount position while choking the neck of the opponent.
7.2. Guillotine Choke From Bottom Half Guard Position
While being in the bottom half guard position, it is difficult to be in control of the neck of the top player. Use your knee to put pressure and push it against the thigh of the top player and strangle his neck under your armpit and boom you have executed the notorious guillotine choke from the bottom half guard position.
8. Final words
The ability to get a submission from the half guard has made it a popular and crucial position. This position allows practitioners extreme versatility and will enable them to make passes, sweeps, and choking attempts. The best thing is that you can finish the submission from the top even if someone passes you or you sweep them. Do not give up on any submission you take from half guard.