The First Half Guard Sweep You Should Learn

By November 25, 2022January 5th, 2023No Comments

Today, we’re going to talk about how you can sweep your partner from Half Guard.   The Half Guard sweep we’re going to learn today should be the very first Half Guard sweep you ever learn.  This is because it showcases a primary principle in BJJ.

Firstly, let’s start things off by defining what Half Guard is.  As a BJJ beginner, you may have heard of Half Guard but it’s still unfamiliar with you.

Half Guard is when you’re on your back controlling your partner’s one leg with both of your legs.

Half Guard is the most common position in BJJ.  So whether you like Half Guard or not, tough tulips!!  You’re going to have to get good at it!

With any Guard position, there are 4 fundamental offensive moves that you can do.

  1. Sweeping your partner
  2. Submitting your partner
  3. Taking your partner’s back
  4. You can stand up

BJJ is basically stick fighting.

And a human being is basically 5 sticks stuck together.

My partner’s leg is essentially a big stick that controls the rest of his body.

The purpose of this Half Guard sweep is to control my partner’s leg, use it as a lever to control the rest of his body to hit the sweep.

While I’m controlling my partner’s leg, it’s critical that I’m not exposing my neck or my arm.  My neck and my arm are simply sticks for my partner to control me.  So I need to hide my arms and I need to hide my neck and keep them safe from my partner’s attacks.

Now that you know what Half Guard is, let’s start this lesson with showing you how to get into Half Guard is the first place.

A safe and effective method of escaping Bottom Mount is to trap your partner’s leg with your legs and get them into your Half Guard.

Starting in Bottom Mount, I want to block my partner’s hip with my right forearm and then I want to block their knee with my left forearm.

Now, I want to pinch my knees to control my partner’s right ankle.  And then, I turn and scrap myself out from underneath my partner as I turn to face him; thus, putting him into my Half Guard.

Once you have your Half Guard back, now you can start to turn in to face your partner and make it so that you can control their one leg with both your arms and both your legs.

What I always want to be mindful of as I’m fighting from Half Guard is my partner’s ability to attack me.

As I’m fighting from Half Guard, a typical method of controlling my partner is called an Under Hook.  I don’t want my Under Hook up close to his shoulder.  I prefer to have my Under Hook near my partner’s hamstring.

If my Under Hook is too high, it opens up an opportunity for my partner to attack me with a Kimura shoulder lock.

When I’m controlling my partner’s right hamstring, my purpose is to grab a hold of his leg and keep his leg off the floor.  I’m clutching on to his leg with both arms and then I’m shelving his leg up on my left calf.

I want to keep my arms as tight to my torso as possible.  As my partner can attack with a Kimura on my left arm, he can also attack a Kimura on my right arm as well.

Additionally, I want to ensure that my neck isn’t exposed for an easy collar control by my partner.

I basically want to be a tight little ball as I hit this Half Guard Sweep.

I’m able to complete my Half Guard Sweep by controlling my partner’s left toe and grab onto their left knee.

Once my partner drops down, I can maintain pressure to keep them down using my head.  Once I’ve stabilized the top position; then, I can drive my way to win the Guard Pass.

Give this highly effective and simple Half Guard Sweep a try!

Ritchie Yip

Ritchie Yip

Ritchie Yip is the Head Instructor for InFighting Training Centers located in Downtown Vancouver and Brentwood Burnaby. InFighting Training Centers offers programs in Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bootcamp Conditioning Classes and Personal Training

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Ritchie Yip

Ritchie Yip is a life long martial artist, BJJ Black Belt, and the head instructor of the InFighting Martial Arts Gym in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.

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