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Z guard / Deep Half Q's

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by bagelgod, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. bagelgod Green Belt

    Jan 28, 2010
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    Dear [your name here],

    Here's my conundrum. I'm usually a deep half guard kind of guy, and when that fails, I play the super traditional underhook half game. But there's a brown belt at my school that nullifies all of this by sprawling his nearside leg back, or pushing palm on my face is I get the underhook to keep me away. Additionally, he's the size of a small fire engine (very muscley), so I have an almost impossible time getting that underhook.

    So, I did some cursory research, and found that z-guard and deep half are kinda/sorta complementary in an antithesis sort of way.

    I won't lie, I'm a Z-guard noob. All I know is put my knee on top of his hip, cross that foot over my other foot, and use that to pry his dreamy muscley body off of me. From there I was working on a very futile Kimura; one time, when he backed up a little too much, I got full guard again, and another I failed a triangle attempt after pulling that leg out. The fourth time I tried Z guard he apparrently tired of my shenanigans and he sprawled out, hugged my legs, and crawled up me.

    My question is, what the hell do you do from Z guard? Sweeps? A super, super long time ago, a purple belt showed me how to transition to a crazy over the back arm bar from the z guard kimura, but I forgot it like an idiot. What do you guys suggest for this position in terms of instructional material? I thought my two half guard games would last me forever, so I'm pretty stupid on this.

    Failing that, what do you deep halfers do when someone is very adament about sprawling their leg back, and face palming you if you get too close to deep half?

    Forever yours,
    [my name here]
  2. yovan Purple Belt

    Mar 19, 2008
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    Seattle, WA
    Truth be told, I use Z guard mainly to keep stronger/heavier guys off of me. I keep the knee shallow on the hip, so my legs don't get pinned together.

    I do use one sort of sweep from Z. A hook sweep modification. I wait for my opponent to balance his weight toward the way I want to sweep. Then release my knee and continue with a standard hook sweep. It's kind of a balance thing I guess.

    I sort of do it here at :20> YouTube - Gil Narvaez vs Jay Yovanovich
    Although I never really establish the z guard in this video, more of a traditional half guard.

    I don't have much more to offer really. It's great for keeping aggressive guys at bay for a bit.
  3. ItsArun Green Belt

    Mar 9, 2007
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    Los Angeles
    I love z-guard...One of my favorite guards. You have so many options from there:

    -Loop choke
    -Hook sweep
    -Ankle pick
    -Scissor sweep
    -X-guard (if they post their leg)
    -Arm-drag (if they smash your legs)

    just to name a few.

    + easy transition to half guard.
  4. Calibur Jiu Jitsu Snob

    Sep 30, 2003
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    Fuchu City, Tokyo
    :eek: You sure you want our help escaping this position?

    Anyway, check out Robson Moura's 93 guard instructional. Part of his second Fushion (sic) set. It's gi based, and not quite Z guard, but the principles are very useful.

    If the guy sprawls hard on top of you, you can shrimp hard to the other side and replace guard or just use Z guard on the other side. To get the shrimp your bottom foot has to kick off the ground and your blocking leg/top leg can NOT touch your bottom leg. Once it does, you are pretty much passed. You gotta make the switch before your legs get pinned together.

    Basic attacks in no gi are

    The omoplata
    Electric chair sweep
    The old school sweep

    I use this sweep. YouTube - Tatsuya Onose Spider Guard Sweep #1 it works well when you have Z guard and your opponent postures in fear of the triangle or the omoplata. Instead of grabbing the sleeve like you would with the gi, you cup the opponents elbow to your top shin, butterfly that same leg and than just shrimp him over. It works great.

    You also have variations of this sub.

    YouTube - Braulio Estima Inverted Triangle Instructional Video
  5. redaxe Silver Belt

    Aug 27, 2008
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    Get your knee higher and your leg more vertical. If the guy can push your top leg down and hug your legs together, you're doing it wrong. The knee needs to be more in his chest as opposed to his waist.

    If he "sprawls out" just bring your bottom leg across and close full guard.

    As Calibur pointed out, you can use that top leg to entangle his arm and work a kind of half spider guard from there.

    I tend to use it to set up a triangle, too. You have two-on-one control on one of his arms in Z-guard, so if you can clear the other arm with your top leg (or he underhooks your leg) the triangle is yours.

    Or you can try the inverted triangle as Calibur mentioned, but I don't really screw around with those too much because of the risk of giving up position.

    Robson Moura has some tricky sweeps that he does from this guard, you can find them if you YouTube "93 guard" because that's what he calls it. I've been having trouble getting his sweeps to work for me, though.

    Another thing you can do from Z-guard is an armdrag to take the back, don't forget about that option. He's especially vulnerable if he leans on your top leg to put pressure on it and try to push it down. Just cross-grip his sleeve, kick the leg out of the way, and use his forward momentum to assist with the armdrag.

    And yeah, it's pretty tough to transition from Z-guard to deep half guard because he can just crossface you, move his leg back and stop you from getting the underhook. But again, if he does that, you can just go to full/closed guard.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  6. FuneralPyre Purple Belt

    Dec 27, 2009
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    What ones have you been trying and having trouble with? I recently started working this game and haven't been having too much success, but I mainly attribute it to my ineptitude. I've been trying the scissor and classica combination. It's the first moves on the tape, IIRC. I think I will be able to get it to work eventually because I'm getting the opponent off balance.

    I like to do collar chokes from there and of course the kimura. I also like to do knee bars.

    If you keep your leg in proper position people will try to do the over-under pass against you instead of the leg smash. It's hard to do the leg smash if you are doing the position right.

    @bagelgod: what's an over the back arm bar?
  7. mtruitt76 Purple Belt

    Oct 2, 2008
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    You can do everything from Z guard that you do from half guard. The knee shield is mainly a way to control distance and the posture of your opponent while you set up attacks. It also makes it a bitch for them to pass your half guard since they have to defeat the knee before they can work their passes.
  8. MUFC Brown Belt

    Nov 19, 2007
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    This is how I have used it.

    There are a few sweeps from there, but largely, you go into the 93 guard game.

    Generally, I use the knee shield to set up my attacks and to regain composure.

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