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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a black belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©Can Sönmez

19 January 2012

19/01/2012 - Teaching (Passing Half Guard)

Teaching #037
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 19/01/2012

Today I wanted to take a look at a position Ed Beneville and Tim Cartmell refer to as 'inverted half guard' in their book. The orthodox method is to get a similar 'super-hold' (as Xande calls it) to side control, then use shoulder pressure to hold them in place as you bounce your leg free and slide through.

With inverted half guard, you're using a different kind of pressure. For this pass, you will start off by controlling their head, where you have a broad choice of grips. Option one is to reach under their head with the arm on the same side as your trapped leg: that may feel counter-intuitive, as normally that is the arm you would use to underhook (it will make sense in a moment). Option two, still with that trapped-side arm, is to grab their opposite shoulder.

Option three is grabbing the back of their gi. Option four comes from the Beneville book: if you can get this one, it's probably the tightest option. Before you swing over, open up their lapel on the free leg side. Pass the end of their gi to the hand you have under their head and feed it through. Push their head slightly towards the trapped leg side, then shove your head there.

Whichever hold you've gone for (there are more, but we'll stick with four for now), the next step is to swing your free leg over to the trapped-leg side, so you're lying next to your opponent. This is where that grip comes in, as if you don't have one of those grips, they would be able to simply turn and take the top position. If you've gone with option two, in the process of swinging over, you'll bring your arm across their throat. That is therefore probably the least pleasant of the four options.

You need to be careful of their leg, as you don't want them to bridge. Grab their far knee to keep them in place. You can then kick their other leg off and free your foot. At this point, watch out for a counter they may try, which is to lift up your leg with their foot, flipping you over. To re-counter that, immediately switch from holding the knee to hooking behind their knee with your arm. That should stop them lifting for the sweep.

Also, very cool that there were two women in my class tonight. The number of female students regularly attending class at GB Bristol is about three at the moment, so I'm hoping that number continues to grow.

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