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I want to be a deep half guard killer!

A position that my opponents take that bugs me quite a bit is deep half guard. Since losing my match at my last competition via a deep half guard sweep I’ve decided to attack the position head on to try to come up with some new methods of combating the position, and putting greater pressure on the guy when he’s attacking from this position. For those of you unfamiliar with the position, here is Ryan Hall demonstrating some deep half guard stuff.

Previously, I’ve stepped directly out of deep half guard to the open guard once someone begins to establish position. This is being the BJJ equivalent of Brave Sir Robin in Monthy Python’s The Holy Grail (Run Away!), or I’ve used a cradle from their top leg and their head to create pressure to sprawl back. Both of these are quite preemptive, especially when someone has a very good deep half guard and is able to attack well from this position quite quickly once they establish it. I’ve had limited success with both of these, but it’s not something I’ve concentrated on a lot. But competition defeat is a good spur for improvement so that’s what I’m getting my teeth into now.

Also good in MMA!

I’m considering getting Bill Cooper’s new DVD The Deep Half Guard Killer. Considering he trains with Jeff Glover one of the best deep half players out there, I’m sure he has a few ideas. But I’m also revisiting some of the stuff I know already in this position, namely stepping over the head into the butt scoot position to pass on the opposite side. I had expected to be off the mat all week but I got some good news from the physio this morning so I’ll be back in harness tomorrow and looking to drill everything I know from this position.

One thing I don’t think I’ll be doing from deep half anytime soon is this!

Here are some basic nuggets I have from my notes from the last couple of years. Don’t laugh by the way, this is exactly what I wrote when I heard it each time, usually with a shaky hand directly after the session or with a vague memory a few hours afterwards. No techniques here, just some snippets and ideas.

Abmar Barbosa: you are still on top in this position so create pressure and attack or he will attack and sweep

Rafael Mendes: It’s very important not to get to this position in the first place!

Robert Drysdale: If you are here, you have already made a lot of mistakes to allow him to get deep. Focus on better pressure when passing to make sure he doesn’t establish the guard.

The struggle for perfection continues!

Actually on the note above, I got some fantastic news from my physio this morning and I feel like sharing the good tidings. Basically I’ve been struggling with some disc issues in my upper spine for quite a few years. I’ve been managing it over the last couple of years with reasonable success but in the last 6-8 months the pain has become increasingly more intense and I began to lose mobility and sensation in my left arm. It reached it’s nadir a while ago when something was obstructing me from finishing slicing some cheese and when I looked down it was my little finger. I had lost sensation to such a degree that I couldn’t feel the knife pushing down on my own hand. I decided it was time to seek medical attention. My physio, Dave, has been working hard on me since, and every day of the week I have exercises, traction and strengthening to do to improve it. Anyway, I had a fright last week and thought things had reset to square one. They had, but apparently I’m sufficiently improved and conditioned now so that when I have a relapse, I’m able to recover faster and return to relatively normal function in a short space of time. That was the good news that I had this morning- that things hadn’t got any worse, and that if I keep doing what I’m doing, I may just be able to have a normal neck in a few months time. I’m also allowed to return to moderate strength work, which is good because I feel extremely skinny right now.

Okay, that’s that. I’m off to the gym!


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