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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Half-Guard Escapes

In tournaments, half-guard has always been my nemesis. I have gotten stuck there numerous times. Even when I am grappling at Fabio's, I get stuck when someone pins me tightly. So lately I have been focusing on half guard escapes and have met with some success. We happened to work one escape today, which I really liked.

When you're in bottom half guard, you block the knee that is on the outside with your elbow. You don't have top pull the knee to you (I tried to do that and it doesn't work if the person is bigger than you). You can scoot closer to that knee if you feel like you need to have it tighter to your body. Once that outside knee is blocked, you hook the other leg with your legs, pinch your knees together and bridge over your shoulder towards the other leg (the one that is blocked by your knee). It's kind of like the upa escape from mount, except you have to pinch your knees around their leg as you go over, or else they will just pull it out as you bridge and get to side control.

I don't really have a favorite escape from half guard. Why? Because usually, in a live grapple, the actual escape comes from a combination of escape attempts. Most of the people I grapple with know the same escapes that I know. So, I have to go for one and have another one in mind to jump to if the first one is defended. Very rarely do I actually get a full on sweep. Most of the time, I start to sweep, they post, then I can either return to my guard or come out one side and try to take their back. Fabio mentioned that today. Sometimes the sweep is a distraction. But it only works if you actually go for the sweep and make them react.

The problem for me right now is that I forget so many of the options that I have. I have learned a ton of half guard escapes. But putting them together in a chain during a live grapple--especially one that is intense--is the challenge. For me, experimenting with the different options is key. I find out what I have a better chance of pulling off and what falls flat. Hopefully it will pay off in the next tournament I enter.

This is one I saw randomly. Haven't ever tried it, but I will soon! ;)

3 comments:

The Part Time Grappler said...

"I don't really have a favorite escape from half guard. Why? Because usually, in a live grapple, the actual escape comes from a combination of escape attempts." ...

"The problem for me right now is that I forget so many of the options that I have."

The above two sentences are very smart and true, especially for an advanced player. One thing I learnt recently, however, is that the closer I get to the Gracies, (thru Gracie University and training with Eddie Kone) the more they seem to focus on really really examining the original single technique and trying to make it work before switching to the alternative.

Think about it. If a few of your techniques become very high percentage, you don't need to remember as many :o)

Happy Holidays.

Joshkie said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family.

A.D. McClish said...

@ Joshkie: Thanks! Hope you had a great Christmas and hope your New Years is awesome! :)

@ Liam: You know, that makes a lot of sense because I think part of the reason why I have to go through so many escape attempts is because I get small details in the escapes wrong, which makes them ineffective. This is especially true when it comes to sweeps. Being smaller, my technique has to be spot on if I hope to make a sweep work against a larger, stronger opponent. Also, sometimes I get in the bad habit of just faking the sweep to make them react so I can do one of my other options. I need to actually GO for the sweep first.

Sorry for the rambling response. :)

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