Today I am here with Tom DeBlass, this is a huge pleasure for me to be here with Tom.  We are here at my new school, The Bernardo Faria Academy in Bedford, MA, the Boston area.  Tom is here filming some new techniques for his new instructional DVD that will be coming out where Tom will be teaching in the gi.  Tom is a half guard player like me, we both love the half guard and it is our favorite guard to play. We are both going to try and give you some tips on how to play half guard and make it easier for you.  Check out the video below of Tom and I giving some tips on the half guard that have helped us over the years and I will discuss below.

Breakdown of 5 Tips To Improve Your Half Guard by Me & Tom Deblass:

So guys the first tip that we gave in the video is super important, when you are going for a single leg or any sweep from the half guard you have to get as deep as possible.  Anytime you are playing half guard you have to remember that your opponent is going to try and flatten you and smash you.  If you try to go for the single leg and you are not super deep they will be able to get a cross face or a whizzer and flatten you.

Like Tom mentioned in the video whenever I do this single leg half guard position I am super deep, my head is inside and I keep the leg trapped until I turn on the knee so that they do not sprawl.  So the second thing we saw with Tom is that he has a great frame to control the distance, but Tom is not using the frame to be defensive, he uses to create a reaction.

When his opponent pushes against the frame he uses their momentum to try and get the sweep, or a leg lock, or something.  The frame is good for defense but use to create a reaction. The third thing that we are looking at is how to handle the shoulder pressure.  When someone gets the shoulder pressure on you, try and remain calm and eat the pressure.  Its not like an arm bar or choke it is just pressure and you can handle it, don’t freak out, this will make the pass or mount.

I like to keep calm when they get the pressure and try to find deep half, I control the pants the screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-6-47-41-pm whole time so that they don’t pass. The fourth thing is a different way to deal with the cross face and the under hook from the bottom.  Tom has a simple concept, make them post on the hand that has the under hook.  Tom does this by rolling his hip, using his legs and arm to turn them, when he turns them he does not go for an under hook again, he will get a frame on the throat again or attack a leg.

So guys the last tip we give you is how to be able to pull the half. Like I showed in the video you want to pull a good half guard.  You don’t want to pull a half guard where your opponent can get the under hook and the cross face, this will not be good, and like Tom said always closing the distance and taking away your opponent’s space!  Anyways guys I hope this helps you with your half guard, oss!