Passing the half guard is one of the most useful skills one can attain in MMA, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Submission Grappling for a variety of reasons.
The first is, that against skilled opponents it can be very hard to pass the guard completely in one shot. You’ll often find yourself stuck in the half guard before you complete the pass. This means that the half guard is often the turning point of an exchange.
- The person on the bottom is able to get on their side and attack or re-establish some other form of guard, or
- The person on the top is able to keep them on their back and finish the pass and continue to dominate
Because of this our first MMA guard passing video is just focusing on some of the basics of controling from the top of the half guard.
The second reason I find that it is a useful skill is the top of the half guard can be a very good pinning position in MMA when used properly.
With the correct leg work you can effectively immobilize their hips, and make many of their escapes a lot more difficult. The top of the half guard, a position I like to call the Half Mount can be used as a highbred of side control and the mount position.
Side Mount allows you to use your legs for base, and keep your center of gravity quite low, this can make you very heavy.
The Mount allows you to control your opponents hips with your legs and make it more difficult for them to move, but some of the heavy pressure is sacrificed.
Half Mount allows you to anchor your opponents leg with either of your legs, which creates a lot of pressure on their stomach & ribs, and can be an effective way to keep their hips under control in MMA.
Using the half mount in MMA can be quite useful as you finish a takedown, or pass the guard, as it can help eliminate some of the sweat factor, and keep their hips from moving away to get back to their knees, or to place you in their guard.
In short it is a great scramble killer, and I highly recommend you play around with these basic leg positions, and deliberately spend more time in your opponent’s half guard.
Good luck, and good training.
Nomad Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu