Video: Gordon Ryan Previews His New Half Guard Instructional

Gordon Ryan is widely considered the best pound-for-pound no-gi grappler on the planet. It’s no surprise, then, that he’s also one of the most sought-after instructors. As a part of the rollout of his new half guard instructional, Ryan sat down with BJJ Fanatics front man Bernardo Faria to discuss the focus and theory behind his half guard game.

The key to his approach, says Ryan, is understanding how the half guard interactions with other guards and positions.

“What you’re gonna find,” Ryan explaine, “is situations where if you are only good at half guard, you’re going to find yourself getting to 95% of what you want, where you’re almost to a sweep or almost to a submission, and then that last five percent is gonna inhibit you from not actually getting to your partner’s back or getting to a sweep or getting to a leg entrance or what have you.”

By way of example, Ryan explains that we can attack from a butterfly half guard with the intention of moving to another position, like a typical ashi garami leg entanglement. Like his coach John Danaher, Ryan appears to be adopting a big picture approach; he doesn’t just look at one position in isolation.

The instructional will cover three main types of half guard: butterfly half, knee shield, and deep half. All positions work together.

“So we start with a series from each position, then by the end of the instructional we have a full system from start to finish,” he said.

Ryan’s “Systematically Attacking From Half Guard, Part 1” is now available on BJJ Fanatics.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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