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Guard Offense – Half Guard – “Old School Sweep”

Years ago, when I began learning and training the Half Guard position I researched and absorbed anything I could find on the subject. Of course, like many before me, I gravitated right to the 10th Planet system of Jiu-Jitsu. Their game plan back then was centered around having a strong Half Guard game. I’m not sure if he started the whole Half Guard explosion, but I believe it was the system’s creator Eddie Bravo who created the name “Old School” for this particular sweep.

From the standard bottom Half Guard position, you have one of your legs hooked over the calf of one of your opponent’s legs. This is a must in this position. Next you must get a good underhook on the opponent’s arm on the same side. Using your free hand, check their other arm and then tuck your head low underneath your opponent’s torso.

Now this is where it gets tricky. Reach down under the opponent’s free leg and attempt to grab the toes of their foot. Some folks will grab at the ankle, which is okay. However, for better leverage and control get on those toes instead. Now release the underhook, reach around their leg and meet up with your other hand on the toes to reinforce the grip control. I can’t stress the importance of committing 100% to this sequence of movements. Over the months and even years of developing this position and sweep, I’ve had my neck severely cranked by my training partners and opponents via D’arce Chokes. Don’t be afraid of going super low to get control of their foot.

Side note: Some players can do the sweep with only one hand is grabbing the toes while the other arm remains in the underhook. If that is you then congrats. However, for better control, get both hands onto their foot. This will really help with shutting down the opponent’s ability to counter the sweep.

Finish by pulling in on their leg as you get onto your side and eventually your knees. Posting now on your bottom hand, with the opponent’s leg in between your legs while kneeling over it, drive into your opponent taking them over and onto their back. At this point you are either following up with a pass or moving towards their back, depending on how the opponent responds.

With practice and determination while rolling, this sweep can become big for anyone’s game if they are willing to put in the time. I highly recommend Eddie Bravo’s book Rubber Guard if you want to dive deeper into the position and the sweep.

Learn. Drill. Roll. TRANSFORM!

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