Half Guard Bottom and Distance Management

For this post you’ll find a series of videos detailing half guard bottom and distance management. I was thinking the other day as I was preparing for class on how to teach distance management as it relates to self defense and half guard bottom. In it’s simplest form jiu jitsu is about managing space. Sometimes you want more and sometimes you want less. The person who is winning the space management battle is usually dominating. Space management is especially crucial when you add in strikes.

In this first video we’ll look at body posture and how it allows you to create frames that keep you safe from punches.


In the second video I’ll show how to apply pressure from this position. You can generate a lot of pressure from this posture if you use your hips correctly. You’ll find a corkscrew type of motion will allow you to generate strong forward force.

Clinch Posture

If you are working to protect yourself from punches you can get yourself too close as well as too far. Sometimes moving in too close to be hit is a better option. A strong underhook with forward shoulder pressure is going to be key. Keep your head in the pocket and turn it away from punches.


Next, I’ll show you how to apply pressure from this posture. It’s basically clinch so everything you know from standing clinch will apply here. Keep your strong underhook and shoulder pressure as you use your hips.

Low Dive

Next I’ll show a low diving posture. This one looks a bit like deep half guard. If you do it right you’ll stay balled up and be protected from strikes. It’s critical to begin applying pressure right away though. You’ll be in a great position to begin to break their posture in a few different ways from here.


In this last video in this series I’ll show a few sweeps that work of the balled up posture. These are pretty high percentage if you get the posture. They work together so if one isn’t working then you can immediately go to a different one. In some ways they’ll set each other up. The sweepy motion will set up the leg drag motion.