Deep Half Guard Basics you should know

Back in the day, not that long ago, the half-guard was considered a position that was unfavorable for the bottom guy. It meant that the top guy was half-way through passing the guard of the opponent and getting to side control. But as time went by, numerous BJJ minds have made phenomenal contributions to the position of the half-guard and now it has grown to be a powerful attacking position for the person that’s at the bottom. One of the most powerful variations in this sense is the deep half guard.

Even though it may seem like a rather inferior position – the deep half guard is anything but. You can use it with great effectiveness even against a lot more skilled BJJ practitioners. Many people don’t know anything about this position so they will be left clueless once you execute this move and then follow it up with a barrage of sweeps and submissions.

And the best thing about the deep half guard is that it works on people that are a lot heavier and stronger than you are. Practice this move and you will see for yourself that it can be a very effective and powerful weapon in your arsenal.

Basics of the deep half guard

Chances are that you already know what the regular half guard is. It’s one of the most basic positions in the entire BJJ arsenal and you get in it by grabbing one of your opponent’s legs with your two legs while he’s on top of you and trying to pass your guard.

Well, the deep half-guard takes things a step further and it means that you will need to go a bit more down than what’s usual in order to get to this position. You may think that this is a position that’s fundamentally unsound and that your opponent can use this movement of yours to easily pass into side control or even full mount. But nothing could be further from the truth – the deep half guard is a very effective position that you could use for sweeps and even submissions.

Entry into the deep half guard

You can’t really take the deep half guard for granted. Nobody will give you to enter the position without any resistance whatsoever – except in training. As Ryan Hall, one of the masterminds of this position, says, getting to the deep half guard is three-quarters of the battle. After that, it’s a lot easier to do a submission or sweep.

So, we’ll share with you one way in which you can get in the deep half-guard position. You start off in the regular half guard, only this time your opponent is on the verge of passing it. His knee almost clears your thigh so that he will enter side-control. But at this moment you can use your hand to help yourself move by placing it on the inside of your opponent’s outer hip. Then you need to swing your legs to the other side and in the process grab your opponent’s leg with your knees. And there, you’re in the deep-half position. There are a few other ways of entry, but for the beginner, this should suffice.

Submissions from the deep half guard

A really neat submission that you can use and that’s easy to do is the kneebar. As you know, the knee bar is a move that you can execute to lock out your opponent’s knee and make him tap out. Be careful though – as this move can be very dangerous and can lead to serious injuries if your opponent fails to tap or if you move past the line of safety.

The way to do it from bottom half guard is by using your legs as hooks under the captured leg of your opponent. You then need to use both your hands to pull down on your opponent’s knee in a way that it’s not supposed to move in. And this will lock out the knee, causing an immediate tap out.


If this position is known for anything – then it would have to be the various sweeps that you can implement from it. The easiest sweep to do is from a failed kneebar. If you perform the move from the previous paragraph and if your opponent manages to turn the knee inwards and foil the kneebar, then you can easily use his instability to push him to the side.Likewise, if your opponent relaxes too much into the position by sitting down on his behind, then you can easily rotate your entire body over the leg that you have grabbed and you will get a top position in this way.

Then there’s the elevator sweep. It will work if you hold your opponent’s leg with a triangle. Then you need to grab his ankle with your arms and pull out your other knee to get in the elevator position. Then it’s easy to sweep your opponent by just pushing him.




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