Ever been in a situation where you think that you have your opponent right where you want them… Only for them to escape within the next second, in such an easy manner that it kind of feels embarrassing? Such as, for example, when you are on the bottom and have them in Half Guard; everything is going fine, until – at one point – they effortlessly pull their leg out and you lose position?
Yup, it’s bound to happen every once in a while to every single Jiujiteiro out there. Luckily for you, Lachlan Giles has a great detail that will elevate the degree of your control by a whole bunch!
Here’s how you can develop a tighter squeeze in your Half Guard, or in any other position where you need to pinch the opponent’s leg between your own.
SQUEEZE WITH JUST ONE LEG
Lachlan begins by saying that, from the various forms of Half Guard, you will often want to squeeze with one instead of with both legs.
With Livia as his training partner, he gives an example from the ¾ Mount position. Livia’s leg is almost all the way through and Lachlan points out that, if he were to pinch it with both of his legs, sure; he could get a good squeeze. However, by doing it this way he makes it very difficult for himself to move or do anything of real substance, something which would put him ahead and out of this stagnant defensive position… For, if he opens his legs up – then Livia will pass to either full Mount or Side Control!
So what’s the alternative? You’ve guessed it: squeeze with just one leg, the way Lachlan does – in this case, almost over the top of Livia’s ankle. This way, he is able to escape with his other leg and recover position.
He does the same thing when Livia switches her base or when it’s a Reverse Half Guard situation; he just uses one leg to squeeze Livia’s, which enables him to move much, much more freely.
But, wait a second. How is Lachlan able to utilize such a tight squeeze by using just one leg, so much so that Livia cannot get her own leg out at all? It’s quite simple, actually.
Laying on his back, Lachlan explains that the degree to which your knee can flex is very limited; when trying to bring his heel towards the backside by actively trying to curl his leg, he fails to do so. However, if he tries to do that passively – by relaxing his leg and then pulling it down with his hands – then it’s a success without much effort!
What this means, Lachlan points out, is: instead of using your hamstring muscle, simply point your toes down. Then, collapse your whole foot to the ground, going from toes towards the heel; and with your heel now touching your backside.
Lachlan shows the functionality of this principle on his own hand first. By trying to just curl his leg up in order to trap his hand, it can slip out easily. However, if he puts his toes to the mat and then collapses his heel second – then he has established an incredibly strong squeeze, with his hand definitely „locked“ in place.
When doing this on an opponent, as he shows in the ¾ Mount position with Livia, you can also drive your knee forward, as this will maximize the squeeze yet again. From there, you have a strong position and you can progress ahead to your next steps.
Lachlan demonstrates this neat little detail on the video below:
Lachlan Giles is an ADCC bronze medalist, Pan Pacific Champion, and coach to one of the fastest rising starts, Craig Jones.
At the last ADCC, he used his half guard and leg lock game to submit the much bigger Kaynan Duarte, Patrick Gaudio and Mahamed Aly.
Lachlan Giles is here to change your entire half guard game with his instructional Half Guard Anthology.
This is your opportunity to learn how to manipulate anyone from the half guard and use their weight against them.