Butterfly Half Guard

Updated on July 8, 2017
revolutionbjj profile image

Andrew Smith is a 3rd degree BJJ black belt based out of Richmond, VA (Revolution BJJ). He runs the BJJ Tutorial Encyclopedia here.

Butterfly Half Guard

Butterfly half guard is the close range guard from which I'm most comfortable. Because of my inability to get underhooks against every opponent from a traditional half guard position, I was forced to start developing a game that didn't necessarily require having them, and so my butterfly half guard journey began in earnest about 15 years ago. What follows are three high percentage moves I have used consistently (and still use today) for the majority of my jiu jitsu career.

Starting in Butterfly Half, and the Heel Hook

Leg attacks are a must-have from any type of open guard position, especially a close-range guard like butterfly or butterfly half. Start with your left foot hooking your partner's inside right thigh, while your right leg is curling inward toward your butt, helping to facilitate keeping their right leg trapped (and, incidentally, keeping their right knee on the ground for the time being). Most people understand the butterfly hook intuitively, or at least after some time working with butterfly guard, but few really grasp the importance of the half guard hook here. Once you've stabilized the butterfly half guard position, use both hands in your partner's armpits, along with a nice knee nudge to their butt, in order to move them over to your left (their right), getting further underneath your partner. Next, bring your right foot all the way across your partner's waist (yes, this is a knee reap; if heel hooks are legal, knee reaps generally are as well, so you might as well take full advantage here). The general concept from here is to get to the over/under leg position.

The Entry, and a Sweep

Start with your partner smashing you from the top of half guard, giving them both the underhook (under your right arm) and the crossface (with them smashing your face with their left shoulder). Reach up with your left arm and grab your partner's armpit with your left hand, and use this to leverage their face away from your left side (use your shoulder here). Meanwhile, use the opportunity that they're crossfacing you to slide your right elbow in between your partner's hips and you, and use this leverage point to hip out to the side. This will facilitate getting the butterfly hook in. You want the butterfly hook to be higher up on your partner's leg than your half guard hook, or else the hooks will end up fighting against one another. Now you can safely take an overhook with your left arm, and then look to control your partner's left wrist with your right hand. Grab your own right hand with your left hand, and use this phenomenal grip to crank your partner over while using the butterfly hook to elevate them (remember, this is all about using your shin like a jack under a car, not trying to utilize leg strength to get the lift).

The Triangle

From the previous position (established butterfly half guard with the overhook and wrist control combo), go for the same sweep. When your partner leans back in toward you to prevent the sweep, this is an excellent opportunity to shoot the triangle. Retract your left leg first, or else your partner will pin it and then be able to pass your guard. Follow this by pulling your right foot free, and jump for the triangle. This setup works best (by far) when used in combination with the threat of the sweep; it's very difficult to prevent both moves at the same time once the grip has been established. If you can lock the triangle while you still have the overhook, that's ideal, but not strictly necessary to finish the triangle.

Leglock or Triangle?

See results

Evolution

Butterfly guard was a staple of sport BJJ and judo competition long before I became involved with both sports (1997). Because of this, and because I was fortunate enough to be exposed to some very good, technical butterfly guard stuff at an early stage. From there, it was a natural fit to discover butterfly half guard, particularly since entering into a proper butterfly guard can be challenging, and further because passing butterfly guard involves several well known systems (many of which I've taught over the years!). As always, please let me know how these techniques are working out for you.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • revolutionbjj profile imageAUTHOR

      Andrew Smith 

      17 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks! It's definitely go-to material for me.

    • profile image

      Fullblast 

      17 months ago

      Excellent material!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, howtheyplay.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://howtheyplay.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)