In today's blog post, we're diving into a highly effective half guard pass that will give you an edge on the mats. 

As I mentioned in a previous post, the half guard is a common position in BJJ and submission grappling. 

Therefore, it is very crucial to understand how to play half guard from the bottom and the top.

This technique is also a game-changer because it's not only basic, but it can also earn you 7 points in competition under the IBJJF ruleset

Imagine being able to confidently execute this move and gain a significant advantage in your matches!

This technique is suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners alike, providing a solid foundation for your grappling game.

Without further ado, let's take a closer look at this powerful half guard pass. 

Check out the instructional video below for a step-by-step demonstration and explanation of the technique. 

You'll learn how to smoothly transition from the top half guard to the mount position, effectively neutralizing your opponent's defense and putting yourself in a dominant position.

Half Guard Pass Straight Into Mount: A Step-By-Step Guide

Step #1: Attach your free knee to your opponent’s hip

The first step of this half guard pass is to attach the free knee to your opponent's hip.

An important step to prevent an underhook on your legs.

One crucial step in executing any half guard pass is to attach your free knee to your opponent's hip. 

This simple yet essential maneuver effectively prevents your opponent from securing an underhook and launching attacks from the bottom half guard.

Despite its importance, this step is often overlooked by many practitioners. Don't make that mistake. 

Study the animated image above and ensure that your knee is firmly attached to your opponent's hip

Remember, attention to detail is key in BJJ. 

Don't underestimate the impact of this seemingly small step – it can make a big difference.

Step #2: Flatten your opponent with a deep cross face

Get a deep cross face to flatten your opponent and to do the half guard pass.

You can complete the half guard pass only if you can flatten your opponent first.

In BJJ, one of the fundamental rules when you're on the bottom or playing guard is to never be flat on your back. 

As a half guard player myself, I always want to be sideways so I can launch attacks from the bottom.

Logically speaking, therefore, if you are playing top and are inside your opponent's half guard, you want to flatten his back to the mat.

To do just that, you want to get a deep cross face.

To get a deep cross face, your arm should go all the way across your opponent's back, reaching their shoulder, and then make a strong grip either on the fabric (in gi) or on their armpit (in no gi). 

This deep cross face will allow you to control your opponent's upper body and set up for further attacks or passes.

It is important to note that getting a deep cross face in a real match can be challenging and may require a lot of grip fighting to establish.

Refer to the animated image above to see how I execute a deep cross face effectively. 

Step #3: Switch your hip base

How to switch your hip for the half guard pass.

The hip switch.

The next step in the half guard pass is the "hip switch". 

This involves establishing a strong base on the side of your arm that is cross facing your opponent.

To execute the hip switch, position your butt on your heel while staying on your toes to maintain stability. 

This will allow you to establish a solid base and maintain control as you continue to work towards finishing the half guard pass.

Refer to the animated image above to visualize the proper technique.

Step #4: Reinforce the cross face using your opponent’s lapel

Open your opponent's lapel and pass it to your hand on the crossfacing arm to reinforce the cross face.

Reinforcing the cross face using opponent's lapel.

In the gi, you have the option to reinforce your cross face by utilizing your opponent's lapel, and I highly recommend doing so.

After establishing a solid base with the hip switch, you can start opening your opponent's lapel.

Once the lapel is opened, pass it to the hand that is on your cross facing arm.

By gripping the lapel, you'll add more leverage to your cross face, making it stronger and more effective in completing the half guard pass.

Refer to the animated image above to see the technique in action.

Step #5: Free your trapped knee

Freeing your trapped knee.

Freeing your trapped knee.

With a strong cross face firmly in place, you can now focus on freeing your trapped knee.

To accomplish this, start by pushing your opponent's knee away from you.

Simultaneously, slide your foot, which is on your trapped leg, towards your opponent's butt.

By executing the knee push and foot slide with precision, you can effectively free your knee from the half guard position.

Take a look at the animated image above to see how I do it.

Step #6: Get your freed knee to the mat

Put your freed knee on the mat.

Knee to the mat.

After successfully freeing your trapped knee, your next objective is to place it on the mat, thereby forcing your opponent into the weak side quarter guard position.

Usually, your opponent will react by trying to push your knee back into the half guard using his arm.

You are going to deal with his reaction in the next step.

In the meantime, you can see the animated image above as reference on how I put my free knee on the mat.

Step #7: Separate your opponent’s elbow with his rib

Get and underhook to separate your opponent's elbow and his rib. This will open up space for the half guard pass.

Separating your opponent's elbow and his rib.

In case your opponent reacts by pushing your knee back into the half guard, you must quickly secure an underhook on the arm he is using to push.

With the underhook obtained, you can then begin finger walking to create separation between your opponent's elbow and his rib cage.

This will create a significant gap for you to execute the half guard pass.

To further solidify your position, use your head to trap your opponent's arm, which is now completely isolated from his rib cage.

For a visual reference on how to execute this technique, please refer to the animated image above.

Step #8: Complete the half guard pass to the mount

Finishing the half guard pass into mount.

Finishing the half guard pass into mount.

To complete the half guard pass, place your free foot on your opponent's knee.

With your foot's shoelace on their knee, start peeling to free your trapped foot.

As soon as your trapped foot is released, you will secure the mount position, and in an IBJJF competition, earn 7 points.

For a visual reference, please refer to the animated image above.

To wrap it up....

Mastering the half guard pass in BJJ requires a series of crucial steps. 

It's important to pay attention to details and drill this pass regularly in order to effectively execute the half guard pass and gain a dominant position. 

By following these steps and incorporating proper grips, positioning, and leverage, you can improve your half guard passing game and increase your chances of success on the mat.

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