How to Counter the Hip Switch From Half Guard (or a Kimura Attempt): A BJJ Tutorial

Updated on April 10, 2020
revolutionbjj profile image

Andrew Smith is a 3rd-degree BJJ black belt based out of Richmond, VA (Revolution BJJ). He runs BJJ Path, a video tutorial website.

Dealing With the Hip Switch

The hip-switch half guard pass is a cornerstone of a basic Kimura submission series from the half guard, but it's also a fundamental method of passing the half guard when you don't have the underhook. It can be frustratingly difficult to deal with from the bottom, because it effectively takes away the traditional battle for underhook supremacy, conceding the battle in order to win the war (the guard pass). What follows has evolved from more than 15 years of working through this position, and it's the technical series I use most commonly against grapplers purple belt and higher.

Establishing the Position

From the initial movement into the hip switch position, two things need to happen for your posture to become established and for you to have a shot at this drill. Fortunately, a little drilling will have your hands going to the right spots more or less immediately, without you having to think about this too much. Assuming you have your partner's right leg trapped in half guard (as shown in the videos here), start by reaching your right arm straight down toward their knee. Keeping your arm as straight as possible, grab the outside of their pants leg. At the same time, circle your left arm (careful not to be too wide with your circle, lest you get caught in an Americana or Kimura!) around your partner's neck, ultimately gripping the fabric on the back of their gi, below their collar. Keep constant pressure up once you have the grip in order to eliminate the all-important space at your elbow (unless you just want to work on your re-Kimura drill). Next, establish a butterfly hook with your left leg (a tip for less flexible folks: try bowing your partner's knee out by dragging their foot toward you with the half guard hook).

Finishing the Sweep

The beauty of this sweep is that it relies on your partner to have a good reaction to your initial effort. With your butterfly hook, try to sweep your partner to your right (just extend your hook, and push up and to the right with your collar grip). Your partner will no doubt shut this down easily, being a pretty easy sweep to defend, but that's just what you're ready for. As soon as you feel this reaction, take your half guard hook (the one grabbing your partner's initially trapped leg) out and put your foot on the ground in the middle, and use this foot to shrimp your hips to the right just enough to trap your partner's left leg in your guard. While going to the back from here (and simply continuing to hip out) is a valid maneuver, if your partner has a really good Kimura set up, you might instead opt to go for the hook sweep to the right, a very simple alternative (and, for my money, much, much safer). Another nice thing about hitting this sweep with your initial defensive posture is that when you land on top, you're going to have an easy set up for an arm triangle from the top.

Tougher to deal with?

See results

Final Thoughts

Over the years, I've gone from feeling completely at a loss and helpless in this position, to knowing exactly what to do and constantly going for it any time my partner switches their hips in my half guard. This process certainly didn't happen overnight, but it did gradually open up new doors for me from the position. This is the highest percentage series for me, but you might find that another move from here works better for you based on the same posture, like a simple guard recovery, the aforementioned back take, or maybe even a different sweep. No matter what, hopefully this will give you a sense of control and comfort in an otherwise perplexing position! Have fun, work through the details, and don't be afraid to tap at the gym while you're learning. Let me know how it works for you.

© 2015 Andrew Smith


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • revolutionbjj profile imageAUTHOR

      Andrew Smith 

      3 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Any time!

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Love it! Thank you for adding this!

    • revolutionbjj profile imageAUTHOR

      Andrew Smith 

      3 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Great! Let me know if it works for you. Looking forward to hearing the results.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      great technique.

      I always look to get my left arm grabbing their belt behind their backs IF i can.

      I try to just be quick and release my halfguard and try to step over their bottom leg with my left leg, from there turn to my knees and slide to their back.

      But it isnt a solid way of doing the move, quick guys will just jump to side control when I release the halfguard. Will definately try your move and drill it.



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, 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:

    Show Details
    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 or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    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)
    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.
    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)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)