The Half Guard is a very detailed position and one you can easily begin to work on in your game. When I first started training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the half guard from the bottom was a defensive position. It was a transition to the Full Guard where I could begin to work for an armbar or triangle.
After training at 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu with Eddie Bravo it has become a very offensive position.
The Lockdown is a part of the 10th Planet system that makes the position dangerous. The reason is that it destroys your opponent’s base at the same time limiting their movement.
By isolating your opponent's leg and stretching it out you take away their base. This along with underhooks and overhooks used to clinch your opponent limits their movement.
The Lockdown puts your opponent in a very bad position where they are open to a number of unorthodox sweeps and submissions.
The traditional Figure 4 position to the outside is also very effective as well as the Deep Half Guard. You should be able to flow back and forth from these positions which will add versatility to your game.
Another option is the HG with the outside hook in which is called the Stomp in the 10th Planet system.
The Figure 4 and Stomp positions tend to be more dynamic because your opponent has more freedom to move. Your transitions must be quick and you have to be very aware to protect your neck and legs.
In a self defense situation or MMA where knees and elbows may be threatening to crack your dome it is vitally important to either clinch your opponent and stay close or create space.
By clinching it becomes very hard for your opponent to strike you. Your other option is to create space so that your head is out range of strikes. Be careful of the way that you create space. If you use your legs they will be vulnerable to leg locks and toe holds. Someone who specializes in leg locks or a good Sambo player may make you pay.
Check out the techniques that will utilize these principles below.
Start by adding 1 or 2 techniques to your game. Find a partner that is willing to drill the positions with you so that you can learn the mechanics of each technique. Drilling will make your technique sharp and increase your muscle memory so that you do not have to think about every movement while you are doing the move.
Next, you want to start from the Half Guard position and go for the technique while your partner is resisting 100%. This will strengthen your technique and bring you one step closer to doing the technique live.
Do not get discouraged if you can't get the technique at first. It takes time. Having 2 or 3 options helps when drilling because you can put them together in combinations. If your opponent stops one tech you go for the other. As you advance you can even use one tech to set up another.
The top game in submission grappling focuses on passing the HG and submissions. You can also transition to lower half positional fighting from the top. There will be a number of passes & submissions in the Technique Library with instructions and theory for each tech.
In MMA you may not actually want to pass the guard. Instead you may want to hold the position so that you can deliver strikes. Striking from the top position may also open up a pass or submission.