The deep half guard is a nuanced and specialized guard position in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that presents various sweeping opportunities. The position allows the practitioner on the bottom to control their opponent’s lower body by controlling and manipulating their center of gravity, thus creating opportunities to reverse the situation and gain top control. In this article, we will discuss a couple of essential sweeps from the deep half guard that every BJJ student should know:
Basic Deep Half Guard Sweep
The basic deep half guard sweep is the foundation of many other sweeps from this guard variant. It’s a simple yet effective way to reverse your opponent’s position. To do the sweep, start by securing the deep half guard, with your head close to your opponent’s knee and your arm wrapped around their leg. Remember to stay on your hip and keep your arms tucked tight. Use your other hand to control their far leg, preventing them from basing out. Bridge your hips and roll them over, following through to end up in the top position. This sweep is highly effective against opponents who are trying to flatten you out in half guard. It’s a basic but proven technique that can be used even at the highest levels of competition, and it’s often the first sweep taught to students learning the deep half guard.
The waiter sweep is another popular and widely used sweep from the deep half guard. Starting from the deep half guard, control your opponent’s leg with both hands, keeping it trapped between your legs. Now, extend your legs and rotate your body, turning your opponent’s foot in an outward direction. Use your legs to lift their trapped leg; this creates an off-balancing effect and makes your opponent lose their balance for a bit. Continue the motion to sweep them over, ending up in a dominant position like side control. The waiter sweep is an excellent technique to use against opponents who like to smash their way in. The sweep is founded on using leverage by removing the opponent’s base, as with all similar techniques. But what makes this one very effective is you use the power of your legs to sweep them over. The name “waiter sweep” comes from the position of your arm, as it looks like you are carrying a tray.
Homer Simpson Sweep
Named after the iconic cartoon character’s mannerisms, the Homer Simpson sweep is a dynamic and unique technique that will surely surprise your training partners. Starting from the deep half guard, grab your opponent’s belt or hip line with one hand. Use your other hand to control their far knee. Simultaneously, pull their hip as you push their knee. Doing this will force a circular motion that will off-balance the opponent. Complete the sweep by coming up to the top position. This sweep is excellent for creating movement and displacing your opponent. It can be used as a surprise attack, primarily when your opponent is focused on defending other sweeps in your arsenal. For those wondering why this is called the Homer Simpson Sweep – the circular motion resembles how Homer exaggeratedly moves in the animation, thus the name.
The Faria sweep is one of the trademark moves of multiple-time world champion Bernardo Faria. Basically, the Faria sweep is a basic deep half sweep with an extra layer of control via the lapel grip. Once you are in the basic deep half position, extract the opponent’s lapel and loop it against their hip and leg. Doing this multiplies your control over the body as you attempt the sweep. To finish the sweep, simply bump up by raising your hip and force the opponent to fall on their back. Doing this perfectly will place you in the double under position, ready to attack and pass. This sweep is simple enough but shows the chess-like nature of the sport, where thinking moves ahead is crucial to success.
Entries And Initial Approach
While the deep half guard is a superb position to attack from, going to the position can be difficult as your opponent will do whatever it takes to stop you from going under their base. Ryan Hall, one of the great practitioners of the deep half, shares his fundamental tips for entering the position. Notice that he mentions the importance of grip fighting, body positioning, and tactics to enter the deep half guard. Remember that in BJJ, you cannot just enter any position you like; expect that you’ll encounter a lot of resistance every step of the way.
We encourage you to study on this and find the time to drill every time you train. The deep half is a position that requires you to go under the opponent. One mistake in body positioning can spell disaster on your part, especially if you try this against bigger and stronger opponents.
The deep half guard is a rich and nuanced guard variant that offers many sweeping options. These four sweeps represent a mix of fundamental and advanced techniques that are guaranteed to enhance your deep half guard game. Understanding these sweeps’ mechanics, timing, and application requires many months of work. Don’t be discouraged if you find it difficult to pull them off, as they need a lot of practice to understand. Talk to your coach and express your interest in learning the deep half guard. Having an experienced instructor will make learning easier for you, and in time, you’ll be sweeping people left and right from the deep half guard.
Remember, the deep half guard is not just about sweeping; it’s a position that requires a lot of off-balancing your opponent and transitioning to other positions. It is best to learn the deep half in conjunction with different variations of the half guard so that you can easily transition from one position to the other. You’ll add depth and versatility to your Jiu-Jitsu game by mastering these sweeps, that’s for sure.
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