In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, certain positions are always going to be timeless. One such example is the half guard, one of the best positions you can end up in. It emerged totally by accident yet turned into one of the positions you can’t train JIu-Jitsu without. It works at every level and has so many varieties and modifications that it can be hard to keep track of them all. However, there’s a simple way of really systematizing the half guard and keeping tabs on innovations. Half Guard instructionals are very easily attainable nowadays, not t mention high in number. This can help you with finding sources for your half guard research, but how exactly do you know which actually work? Well, we decided to do all the heavy lifting for you by identifying the best BJJ Half Guard instructionals available today!
Playing half guard is always a fun thing to do. Yes, even when the person on top is trying their best to smother you with a cross face. Why? Because you always have options and lots of them. The half guard is a position the offers ultimate attacking options while keeping you relatively safe. Moreover, it is a position favored by many black belts because of the small amount of energy it requires in order to be efficient. That is exactly why so many of the world’s elite grapplers have variations of the position they call their own. Moreover, they all have half guard instructionals out, and you need to know which are the est BJJ half Guard DVDs to go for. That’s where we come in.
Modern Half Guard Instructionals
The half guard is a position that came about completely by chance. Well, not really, but it was not created intentionally. Roberto “Gordo” Correa, an old school black belt under Carlos Gracie Junior once injured his knee. Back in the days, playing guard was the same as playing closed guard. However, with an injury to the knee, Gordo suddenly found himself unable to play the closed guard effectively. This is when he started innovating. The main thing he did, was to hide his injured leg. That led to a brand new position – the BJJ half guard. From there on, the position never stopped developing and evolving.
Today, you can find just as many half guard instructionals as you can find variations. Looking at some of them, you really get information that can win you world titles, if you give it time. Actually, some of the modifications out there can be advanced and require a good knowledge of the fundamentals to really get the hang of them. Still, if there’s one thing you can expect in return, it is a go-to position that’s easy to get to, provides safety and a whole host of attacks. Seriously, there’s literally nothing you can’t do form the half guard. Whether it is sweeping, going back to full guard, chokes, armlocks or leg locks, everything is available from the half guard.
Sifting through all the information out there is not easy. Picking up instructionals form multiple time World Champions is one proven way of getting quality content. However, there are new names out there that also offer concepts of the highest quality. To that extent, we did review upon review of pretty much every half guard instructional we could get our hands-on. The result is our best BJJ half guard instructionals guide.
The Very Best BJJ Half Guard DVDs
The best BJJ Half Guard instructionals are the only surefire way to stay updated on all the innovations coming our way. You might be wondering how exactly we chose the best BJJ half guard instructionals. Well, we did have several criteria in line. Since most of the half guard variations are quite different from one another, we had to find a way to make sure we pick out the best ones. Speaking of which, the main criteria was effectiveness. Looking at competition footage and success of the people demonstrating the techniques was the main deciding factor. There was, however, one more key criteria – potential. Some of these half guard instructionals contain techniques that have the potential of becoming as household as Gordo’s original position.
In terms of technical aspects, nothing but the best of the best managed to get on the list. That means only instructionals with pristine audio and video quality made the cut. Moreover, the organization of the DVDs was also very important. You won’t find any instructional in our guide that doesn’t follow a clear progression. Moreover, most of the titles in the guide are multi-volume editions, meaning that you get complete systems. Furthermore, they all focus on not only demonstrating systems and concepts but also answering common FAQs. All in all, the best BJJ half Guard instructionals are not many, but they are extremely valuable to everyone’s game.
Kicking our Best BJJ Half Guard INtructionals Guide off is one of the most efficient systems in existence today – the Coyote Half Guard. The man behind it is no other than Lucas Leite, a Leo Vieira black belt and multiple-time world Gi and No-Gi Champion. Speaking of which, he won most of his World, Pans, and European titles exclusively with the use of his unique Coyote half guard system.
The instructional itself is a four-part instructional that is the perfect one to get you going with the half guard. Actually, it won’t just get you going, but rather offer you a flying start. The system is effective for two reasons – it is simple and it is technical. The instructional starts with the basics of the position, which is based on the underhook half guard. From there on ti explores a variety of sweeps and submissions that all tie in together as a closed system. Moreover, there are lots of back takes in there too, that gives the DVD even more weight. There are also a bunch of drills inside that are further going to help you understand the moves. All in all, this is one Half Guard DVD you can’t do without.
As far as original variations of the half guard go, you won’t find anything better than this one. Tom DeBlass has a different take on the half guard, one that actually blends it with another high-percentage guard. The result is the butterfly half guard, a modern position that will ensure two things. First, your guard will never get passed, and secondly, you’ll never have to deal with the crushing weight of an opponent again. Moreover, it is one of the best black belts in the world today doing the explaining.
This member of the best BJJ half guard instructionals club is as uniques as the man behind it. Tom is famous for being a fundamentals guy. However, he is also the guy that has not had his guard passed in over a decade. Nor has he been submitted. Now, he shares the secrets about one of his go-to positions from the bottom, if not his best one. The Butterfly Half Guard DVD has 4 volumes, three of which are the usual technique and concept DVDs. In them DeBlass covers sweeps, crazy back takes and some insanely effective leg lock entries. Of course, there are also headlocks, armlocks, and some deep half magic.
The final volume is different to most, though, In it, DeBlass shares an entire private class on the subject, featuring fellow black belt Michael Zenga. This is the value that’ll help you put the whole system together much easier than just watching techniques.
Paul Schreiner is one of the best old-school-style black belts in the world today. Despite not being one of the original old school guys, he has a distinct style that’s highly rooted in the fundamentals. The Claudio Franca black belt is a huge fan of working on nothing but the most effective positions BJJ has to offer.
The ½ Guard BJJ DVD instructional is a real depiction of Paul’s style. IN it, he covers the simplest way of playing the half guard you’ll find in our Best BJJ Half Guard Instructionals Guide. However, it is also one of the most effective ones. Moreover, it is great for students of all ages and experience. This is a huge instructional, one that covers pretty much every aspect of the fundamental half guard. Key concepts like manipulating base, establishing frames, dealing with Whizzers etc are all explained in depth. However, this is not where this instructional particularly shines. It is the Jedi Mind trick section that’ll really blow your mind, and surprise every opponent you face. Some interesting back take options also feature her, providing further attacking variety.
Here we are with one of the star instructionals, even among the very best BJJ Half Guard instructionals. Bernardo Faria is a 5 times World Champion, in addition to having multiple titles in every other major tournament in the world. Most of his success is down to his prowess in just one position – the half guard. Conversely, as with most world-class grapplers, he has his own take on the classic half guard. Moreover, he is one of those coaches that doesn’t spare any detail when it comes to sharing information in DVDs.
The “Battle Tested Half Guard” Bernardo Faria instructional is a four-volume DVD that revolutionized the half guard when it came out. It is another take on the half guard, from the perspective of one of the best. The information inside includes key details on just about anything, from pulling half guard to submissions. In fact, it is the portion on pulling half guard and combining it with takedowns that really catches the eye. However, that’s only in volume one. The other discs cover crazy effective sweep options and a bunch of classy pass preventions that are extremely easy to add to your game. There’s also a great way of using the Turkish Get up in order to achieve excellence form the half guard.
Finally, the fourth and final volume ahs no demonstration at all, and only contains live rolls. That is where Bernardo covers all the stuff he demonstrates earlier in order to further explain his system in detail.
One of the best competitors of today, Jake Mackenzie is very well known for his highly skilled guard game. In fact, he is a fan of two of the most fundamental BJJ guards in existence – the closed guard and the half guard. When it comes to the half guard, he is also a great innovator, one that has come up with one of the best half guard variations in existence – the reverse half guard.
A black belt under Cyborg, Mackenzie is a real wizard when it comes to that bottom game. Training with killers at Cyborg’s Miami gym is one reason his game is of such an elite level. Once again, this is a four-part instructional. It revolves mostly around the deep half guard, a half guard variation highly favored by most elite level grapplers out there. The instructional has a perfectly simple organization. Volume one covers deep half sweeps, while the second one is al about back takes. The third and fourth volume explore the reverse half guard, a position Jak Mackenzie has the strongest claim on. Here you’ll find lots of innovative ways to easily sweep and submit opponent much bigger and stronger than you, among other things.
If you have no idea who Lachaln Giles is, that you must have been living under a rock. The quiet Aussie is one of the best BJJ black belt s out there, particularly when it comes to No-Gi grappling. He is also the man behind one of the best rising stars of Jiu-Jitsu today – Craig Jones. Working out of Absolute MMA in Melbourne, Giles is constantly innovating and making huge contributions to the sport and art of Jiu-Jitsu.
One of his best works so far is definitely his Half Guard Anthology instructional. The sole fact that this instructional has 8 volumes and runs for more than 10 hours is enough to place it among the Best BJJ Half Guard Instructionals of today. However, that is only the beginning. Lachlan is meticulous in his organizing, providing different sections within the volumes themselves that explain half guard variations. Also unlike most other half guard instructionals out there, this one actually covers a huge number of half guard variations rather than just specialize in one. A true anthology, one that ends with an entire volume of narrated rolls to help put things in perspective.
Josh Vogel is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Phill Migliarese and an exceptionally technical grappler. He is also a big proponent of movement as the foundation of successful Jiu-Jitsu. Moreover, being a man with small stature, you can bet his technique level is unbelievable.
Josh’s take on the half guard is that of the most basic modern half guard variation – the underhook half guard. This half guard DVD is long and extremely easy to follow. It contains a whole host of underhook half guard tactics, ranging from the most basic ones to some of Vogel’s more innovative stuff. What I really love about it is that It contains lots of drills, each in aa section dedicated to certain techniques. Once again, lots of sweeps and back takes, as well as a huge insight into the Dogfight position. However, Here Vogel offers some key transitions into open guards that start with the underhook half guard and not many other grapplers really use.
Simple title, basic instructional and one of the best isntructors doing the teaching. How can it not be one of the best BJJ Half Guard instructionals out there? “Mastering Half Guard” is precisely that – a blueprint to becoming a master of the half guard in the Gi. You can expect lots of lapel setups in this one, along with heavy use of the deep half guard. After all, the goal of this DVD is simple – effectiveness with the least amount of energy possible.
This Lucas Valle instructional is one of those that cover multiple half guard variations. One of them is the deep half we already mentioned, while the other is a knee shield variation that’s probably the best one out there. It covers a huge variety of sweeps while helping you establish an unbreakable knee shield. A few slick submission from the half guard helps wraps this great DVD up.
Once again, we have Bernardo Faria instructional. This one, however, is all about playing the half guard without the Gi. In case you didn’t know, Faria is a two-time No-Gi World Champion, in addition to being one with the Gi. And, similarly to his Gi performances, most of his success in No-Gi came courtesy of his half guard.
The perfect thing about this Bernardo Faria instructional is that it is extremely similar to the Gi one. However, it covers the same tactics from a No-Gi perspective. This makes it the perfect companion to the Gi instructional, for a complete and unified half guard game. The DVD starts off standing, offering different ways of getting to the ground directly into the half guard. Some are half guard pulls while other work off of takedown counters. In the second volume, Breardo goes over lots of sweeps, but also throw in a submission or two to keep things interesting. Th third volume references Tom DeBlass’ butterfly half guard, while the final one ticks the deep half guard box. Faria is known as one of the best deep half guard player s in the world, so every bit of information here is of the highest possible quality.
Speaking of No-Gi counterparts to some of the best BJJ Half Guard instructionals in the Gi, Lucas Leite also has one on his Coyote Half Guard. In fact, this is one of the latest instructionals to come out. It features not just the Coyote Half Guard No-Gi system, but also the latest innovations by Leite on the subject.
Similarly to Faria, Leite is no stranger to No-Gi. He has three world titles in No-Gi so far. He is also a grappler who relied heavily on his half guard to get him through some of the toughest matchups we’ve seen. The Coyote Half Guard system is an easy one, and might even work better in No-Gi than it does with the Gi. Once again, Leite explains it across four different volumes. These include instructions on some crazy effective pass defenses, before moving on to lightning-quick attacks. A highly innovative system is the Russian 2-on-1 form the bottom half guard, which will be massive in the future. Leg locks also feature heavily in this Leite DVD, as do some nasty back takes. It ends with a few live rolls, helping you connect the dots.
The GOAT of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, at least if we’re counting world titles is, of course, Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida. He has a stunning 13 World Titles, two ADCC titles and 6 UAEJJF World titles. And that is without counting all his other titles, like the Pans, Europeans, and Grand Prix. How did he become such a BJJ phenom? Well, he likes to play the half guard, of course. While the half guard is not the only thing BUchecha uses, he is really famous for it. IN his “Buchecha Half Guard” instructional, he shares some of his best winning tactics and strategies from the bottom.
The instructional has four parts, like most of our Best BJJ Half Guard Instructionals. It starts off with a bang, directly addressing what to do when people try to smash you. The knee shield is the first variation Buchecha covers, explaining certain things better than anyone before. NO to mention the slickest Omoplata setups you’ll ever see from the knee shield half guard. Next up, every world champion’s favorite half guard – the deep half. AS far as modern deep half instructionals go, this one is at the very top. Some innovative switch-base half guard magic follows, before yet another DVD finale with a volume’s worth of narrated rolls.
So far we covered regular versions of the half guard, as well as modifications and developments by world champions. Still, when it comes to taking the half guard int a totally new and highly unpredictable direction, there’s only one man for the job. Neil Melanson is a real complete grappler with a black belt in Judo, BJJ and a catch-wrestling background to support them both. Oh, and he knows Sambo as well.
The ‘Ground Marshall Half Guard” is a NO-Gi half guard instructional unlike any other. Neil likes to blend all his grappling skills in one, so what you can expect are, well, unexpected things. First of all, this is an instructional which has the fewest chapters per volume. Melanson likes to demonstrate entire mini-systems as chapters so that they make sense, this approach is highly effective but it will take you time to get to the end of this amazing DVD. Options, unlike before, include a lot more submissions, and I mean a LOT, compared to sweeps. After all, he is a catch wrestler by trait. That means lots and lots of leg locks in this one. Moreover, every concept is highly innovative an effective, not to mention brutal in nature. If you’ve seen any other Nei Melanson instructional, you know precisely what I mean.
Our final entry (at least for now) in the Best BJJ half Guard instructionals Complete Guide is one by Stephen Whittier. He is a highly entertaining black belt under Roberto Maia. In fact, he is a third-degree black belt, currently teaching at SBG Portland alongside the legendary Matt Thornton. This should all be enough to point out that his DVD is going to be a conceptual, rather than a technical one.
Uniquely, at least so far, this half guard instructional has five volumes. It all begins with concepts on framing and keeping whatever half guard you find yourself into. Pass prevention is taken to a whole new level here, with detailed concepts on head control, arm positioning, and movement. The best part about it is that all concepts are easily applicable to just about any half guard variation. Sweeps feature heavily too, although based on concepts rather than just techniques. In terms of submissions, the focus is on proven fundamentals that we all know work, like the Kimura and triangle. Moreover, for all you Z and underhook half guard fanatics out there, this is a goldmine of brand new information on solving every issue these positions present.
If you’re looking to really improve your half guard, I’d say get each of the Best BJJ Half Guard instructional on our list. However, you’ll probably need time to get to such a vast collection. Our advice is to start as diverse as possible. Get a GI and a NO-Gi one. Get a conceptual one and a highly specialized one Until such time as you know what half guard variation you favor, go for the proven high safety ones, like the butterfly half guard. The combinations here are endless and only your imagination is the limit!