Tag Archives: private

Private Lesson-Half Guard Sweeps

I’ve been meaning to take advantage of the other private lesson my wife bought for me back in Feburary…just never had the time until now.

I arrived early enough to squeeze in my 531 squats and presses. The gym was predictably empty on a Friday night. Since we’re getting down to the end of the year, I really should do another CFT test. Maybe in early January.

The lesson was a continuation of the last private. Instead of focusing on regaining full guard from half guard, this lesson was all about sweeping from half guard, and getting on top.

We started with a sweep for when I have the underhook. You start with creating some space with your other elbow, escape your hips out from underneath the top guy, push into him, he pushes back, and then you switch directions and roll. Pin his knee, grab his collar, and pass to side control.

Now, you’re not always lucky enough to have an underhook, so we added another technique for when the top guy has the underhook. Similar, space, escape, push, push back, and then you trap his under hooking arm and roll.

The third variation chained off of the second. If he feels unstable and posts his hand out to prevent you from rolling him, then you can reweave the underhook and switch back to the first, or you can post up yourself and take his back. We also covered how to defeat the wizzer defense to taking his back.

We rounded things out with two attacks from side control. The first is a pretty standard armlock, but with an interesting setup to do while transitioning from side control to north-south. The second is a nearside armlock that I found to be pretty awkward.

All in all some pretty good stuff. Now, just to put it into practice!

Private Lesson

My wife graciously arranged for me to have two private lessons with Damian as a gift for Valentine’s Day. She’s awesome like that. Tonight, I took the first.

I had coordinated with Ron to be the uke (aka “practice dummy”). The plan was to learn some techniques and strategies while in half guard, but from the bottom. Ron and I have talked previously, and I reiterated again at the start of the lesson….I feel like I have an idea of what I need to do, and several (or many) techniques to accomplish those goals from nearly any position….except from half guard.

Damian started off slow with two full guard recovery techniques. Right off the bat I learned two things. I’m keeping my underhook (when I can get it) too deep, and I’m not defending head control aggressively enough (or even correctly). With that combination, the guard recovery techniques that I already knew…magically started working.

One was the typical escape the hip, straight your torso, and slide your leg out. The other was inserting your outside foot as a butterfly hook and then straightening and recovering butterfly guard.

In the situation where I don’t have the underhook, I can do the same style recovery, but his underhook can be used against him. Escape the hip, pull the leg out, but instead of going to guard, put it on his hip…straighten my torso out, and slide my hand up to his elbow, and we end up in the clamp position…and either elbow lock or kimura from here.

Next up was when he “barb wires” your legs. Basically, feeding his hand and wrist between your legs to limit both your hip movement and your ability to rotate. Frame up using one hand on his collar, and the other on his barb wired wrist. Then move your high side leg up, and then over his entire body, then inserting that knee again…but this time under his barb wired arm…effectively negating it. Then you can escape as normally.

Last up was for when you don’t have the under hook, and he switches his hips to start to pass. Control his low wrist and knee, hike him up on your chest and then do a backwards somersault. I suck and doing the “ninja flip” kick that required to really do this right, so I have no confidence in this sweep working…but it’s something to work on.

All in all, a very positive night. Ron is planning on doing a lesson too, and using me as his uke. Damian indicated that he’s got more half guard stuff that he wants to show us, so it’s likely we’ll be doing that.