Help with the Bravo halfguard


White Belt
May 28, 2003
Reaction score
I've got the Eddie Bravo Jiu-Jitsu unleashed book and I was most interested by the stuff that he does in half-guard, I just have a couple of small issues that need to be ironed out. I asked my instructor but he didn't really like the technique and recommended i don't do it, but if its good enough to tap out royler then its good enough for me!

My main problem when i go for the lockdown is that to get it tight and my opponents leg stretched right out i need to have my back flat on the matt. Obviously with your back flat on the matt its going to be near on impossible to work any sweeps, but to get on my side it seems like I have to loosen the lockdown so I can scoot out using my legs and normally my opponent escapes. Is there a trick to this that i am missing or is it just a matter of practice to keep the tension on when scooting out to get on your side?
i have found myself doing the same ie getting a tight lockdown but getting flattened out and not being able to do anything from there.

i try to just use the lockdown while i get double underhooks, once i get them i have to loosen the tension on the lockdown just a bit so i can scoot my hips out and start to sweep.

if you're lucky you might get an answer from the man himself, but failing that buy the twister dvd to see how he does it.
If you have the half guard on your partners right leg, i think it helps alot if you put your main effort into not letting him controll your head or crossfacing you with his left arm. If you do this its not hard to go to the side and get the underhook when you need it.
I have a problem getting around to his left foot with my left underhook. I need to watch the video again to re-evaluate his technique.
We need to get Eddie in here. I just got a copy of the book and read the Intro yesterday. Good stuff.
Amazon need to get their arse in gear and get this book to me quicker - i've been waiting like 3 weeks now - i'm in the UK not on the moon!

Hopefully Eddie himself will see this and answer your question though
scorcho said:
We need to get Eddie in here. I just got a copy of the book and read the Intro yesterday. Good stuff.

He will come.
I'm not Eddie nor am I one of his students but I do play a lot of half guard. Personally, I switch from the lockdown to a more traditional half-guard when I'm ready to scoot my hips out and try something.
I just got this book last week, and tried out the half-guard techniques on Sunday. I had the same problem -- the lockdown doesn't seem to work when you've got underhooks and are going to the side.

I will say that I easily swept my opponent, who had much more experience and 40 pounds heavier, using one of the halfguard sweeps out of the book. He posted his leg out to prevent the old school sweep, so I did the one where you drop your leg down and pull him over you, going the other way.

It's very cool, I feel that if you study the halfguard sweeps from Bravo you will be very hard to deal with. It makes halfguard an aggressive position. But I would like to learn how to do the leg-locking part a little better. Hopefully one of his students can comment.
funny how its now the "bravo" halfguard. throw in the lockdown with a couple of basic half guard sweeps in the book and all of a sudden its yours. don't get me wrong, eddie has great jiu jitsu.

back on topic: rock back and forth (from your side to your back) between the old school/taking the back and the one where you roll the guy over top of you - each time getting deeper with the underhook. with each motion gets you a little closer to where you need to be...they set each other up nicely.
"the one where you roll the guy over top of you" is what Bravo calls the Plan B.
half guard is a dog fight, nothing is guaranteed.

once you have the underhooks, you must use the lockdown to disrupt your opponent's base by whipping up the lockdown.

While he's in the air for a flash, you should have the space to get on your side.

Whipping up is a technical move that takes lots of practice, so be patient.

Once you're on your side, the lockdown can not be as tight as when you're flat on your back because of the angle, so your knees should be squeezing together to control his leg.

Now you must chose your sweep and bully it through, or use it to set up another sweep.
Thanks for taking the time to reply Eddie - hope to see you in the North of the UK sometime soon.
Thanks Eddie. I bought the book. I have only been training for about 3-4 weeks now, so a lot of your stuff is too advanced for me. I have trouble intially gaining position, and end up getting side mounted a lot, so some of your half guard stuff helps. I still cannot get the left foot with my left underhook, I tried on 4 people last night. It worked on 1, but I released my underhook and went through the crotch with my left, grabbed with both hands and basically powered my way into it.

All of the other times, they kept that leg back, so I just went full guard and worked the one sweep I know from there.

PS: Not to nitpick, but I found a typo in the book. On the top of the one of the pages (I am at work right now so don't have it in front of me) choke is spelled something like schoke or schoke. :D
Yea. I just learned Old School from JJ Unleashed yesterday and got it to work every time. Really good stuff. I had few problems with the lockdown, but then again, I am tall (6'2") and long legs help.

Thanks a lot Eddie. The book is great!
scorcho said:
Yea. I just learned Old School from JJ Unleashed yesterday and got it to work every time. Really good stuff. I had few problems with the lockdown, but then again, I am tall (6'2") and long legs help.

Thanks a lot Eddie. The book is great!

I finally got the oldschool to work lat night too. I got used to the lockdown very fast but I would stay flat on my back and try to reach the foot with my arm and sweep from there and it wasnt working. I realized last night that I might have to only use the lockdown to get underhook and mess a biut with his base just to position myself and actually let it go when I try the sweep. Anyway so far its the only move ive used from the book but still im happy cause I used to HATE half-guard and now its not too bad.
ive used oldschool several times while rolling but we dont do no gi so a lot of the stuff is different

half guard no gi and gi are two competely different games.....

my philosophy on halfguard with the gi is either go for a sweep and if you dont get it just work on getting back to full guard
Odd, I usually don't get much difference in my half-guard game between gi and no gi. Everything I do remains the same. It's not very often that his grips on me make much of a difference.

Could somebody describe these positions you are referring to? I don't have the book (yet) but half-guard is my game.