Obtaining 50/50 Guard From Virtually Any Position with Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida

Photo: Tatame

Photo: Tatame

Written for BJJ Eastern Europe by Dan Faggella, a BJJ Academy Owner, No Gi Pan Am Champion at 130 pounds, and recognized expert in the area of leg locks. Dan writes or Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, MMA Sports Mag, and more – find more of his leg lock articles and resources at www.BJJLegLocks.com

If you haven’t already checked him out, take a quick moment to open up a new tab in your browser and YouTube ‘Marcus Almeida’ or ‘Buchecha Almeida’ and spend some time enjoying his handy work. If you’re even more interested in learning about Buchecha and his career highlights check this article out.

Done? Alright, so we can continue. What you probably witnessed was a monster of a man that is able to float around the mat with the elegance and grace of a ballet dancer. For a towering figure, you wouldn’t assume he could move in such a way.

Buchecha—or “face” or “cheek”—blends a variety of skills that allow him to dominate opponents of all shapes and sizes. Almeida, for a young man his size, moves like a smaller guy and can transition with the best of them.

In fact, today I’m here to do a quick breakdown of his match against Braga Neto, and highlight a specific strong point of his.

Ground Transitions With Ease

This match is marvelous to watch. It’s easy for many people to tell you how beautiful and poetic the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be, but it’s another thing to actually see a specific match that justifies such a statement.

When Marcus Almeida met Braga Neto, this sentiment came true when Buchecha Almeida flashed his brilliant display of skills. The speed, size, strength and ability of Almeida was awe inspiring, and worthy of its own write up.

  • After a failed takedown, Almeida found Neto getting heavy through his hips, keeping him on the mat.
  • Eventually, Almeida was able to obtain the back of Neto and begen working while Braga tried to fend off a body lock.
  • After sinking in his hooks, Almeida began fighting for a kimura/armbar that kept Braga thinking.
  • This caused Neto to bridge, and when he did, Almeida saw his chance to advance.
  • Sneaking away from the back mount, Almeida is able to gain top position.
  • Almost immediately, Buchecha drops back into the 50/50 guard.
  • Knowing he has the upper hand, Almeida finishes it with a leg lock.

The Power of The 50/50

For a position used so seldom—despite people like Almeida utilizing it—the 50/50 is an effective way to finish off a match. This clip is a perfect example of the power one can posses when they engage in 50/50 warfare. Take a glimpse at the clip, you’ll see that the leg lock was so brutal that it caused Neto to lick his wounds right there on the mat. Even Almeida looked concerned.

Simply put, the 50/50 guard is something that everyone can take some time to learn. The effectiveness of it from a submission standpoint can’t be overstated, and it even works well to set up sweeps and passes. The 50/50 is the missing piece to your Jiu Jitsu puzzle.

Dan Faggella


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