Utilizing the 50/50 for Defensive Purposes

Utilizing The 50/50 For Defensive Purposes

Dan Faggella is a Leg Lock Expert in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World – winning the Gold Medal in the recent No-Gi Pan Ams without a single point being scored against him. Dan has produced over a dozen Brazilian Jiu Jitsu DVD Instructional Videos & Books. His FREE “50-50 Bonus Footage” Mini Course can be found online at: http://MicroBJJ.com/50-50-Bonus-Footage-2

Now I admit, given my affection for leg locks and anything that has to do with ripping the lower extremities off of your opponent, I’m almost obligated to be a major supporter of the 50/50 guard. A setup that allows nothing but lethal, painful, match ending leg locks, the 50/50 is a fantastic tool for every grappler to have in their arsenal.

However, the 50/50 isn’t just about going on the offensive. The 50/50 can also be used in a defensive manner, even if you were the one that initiated the position! A well rounded position to be in, the 50/50 offers many benefits.

As I stated, leg locks are ideal for anyone in this position. Yet, let’s say you may not be well versed in the art of the heel hook or the achillies, and then what can you do? Luckily, the 50/50 is a perfect wait to setup sweeps, which can open the door too many more options.

Failed 50/50 Guard-Using The Leg Drag To Get Side Control

As you begin to wage war from the 50/50, your opponent and yourself are intently focusing in on one another’s feet, heels, knees, etc. Without neither of you budging, you have to do something to score points and get the dominant position.

Luckily, getting out of this entanglement isn’t all that hard, and even beginners are able to execute this transition rather easily! The breakdown is rather simple, and very easy to follow. Let’s take a closer look:

  • In the 50/50, you must be wary of the inside heel hook.
  • With that in mind, the first major step is to break their leg free, allowing you to work with little restriction.
  • Grab their toes and twist it off to the side; this will cause great tension on their knee. Cupping the heel, pull their leg out and towards your shoulder.
  • Bring your leg up onto their thigh.
  • Push off of their thigh towards them; this will camouflage your heel.
  • Reach over the top and grab their opposite ankle.
  • Bring it over the top into a leg drag.
  • This will allow you to obtain side control.

Passing, Scoring and Finishing

The 50/50 guard is a fantastic tool. From the initial setup, the 50/50 opens up countless leg lock submissions that can end the match. We are starting to see the 50/50 implemented more and more in not just BJJ, but MMA as well. Ryan Hall was recently interviewed to see what he thinks the future of the 50/50 will be. If all else fails, you can easily turn it into a pass—as described above—allowing you to score points.

Not only does it give you the points, but the side control gives you another great position to work from.

Simply put, the 50/50 is far from a dying breed. It’s underutilized, but super dangerous and helpful. If you want to surprise your opponent and have the upper hand, then go out onto the mat and drill the 50/50 guard like there’s no tomorrow!

Dan Faggella

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