The Nicholas Meregali Project Part 3: The Top Half Guard Kimura

A few of you guys mentioned that the video commentary from the part 2 was helpful, so I have decided to make this one text light and pass on most of the information in the video commentaries below.

Half Guard Passing Strategy

No matter how dynamic your passing is, it is incredibly dificult to prevent an opponent from wrapping both arms and legs around one of your legs at some point during a match, therefore all athletes must have some way of effectively dealing with the half guard.

Below I will outline some of the key features of NM’s half guard passing strategy.

Reverse crossface and scoop on legs
  1. The reverse cross face: When NM can lock on a solid crossface (CF) and underhook (UH) he will do so and pass in the conventional manner, however locking a CF on to a skilled opponent is really hard and while you are fighting past frames they will usually be recovering their legs. Instead NM will use the reverse CF. This is much easier to obtain than the regular CF and prevents the opponents head moving away, an important factor in the success of the Kimura.
  2. Scoop grip on the legs: the Reverse cross face is great but does not prevent the opponent turning in and attacking the legs. To address this problem a scoop grip on the opponents top leg is used to control the direction the opponents hips are facing
  3. Defending the back take: while using the reverse crossface, if the opponent can draw their bottom leg in front of NM, back exposure can occur. To prevent this NM’s free leg is in one of two places, the knee jammed into the opponents hip or the hip sprawled back on the opponents shoulder line.
  4. The Lapel Crossface: the reverse crossface is a great spot to set up one of the best grips in jiujitsu the lapel crossface: With the reverse crossface holding the opponent in place, their lapel can easily be pulled out and the transition to the lapel crossface can be made. This grip combines the strengths of the CF and the UH while only requiring one hand to maintain, leaving the other hand available to free the knee, post or address escape attempts.
The reverse crossface also assists in obtaining the lapel crossface and moving back to more traditional head and arm passing. Im not sure that predacated is a real word.

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