Finding Your Comfort Zone In The 50/50 Guard

 Dan Faggella is a BJJ Academy Owner, No Gi Pan Am Champion at 130 pounds, and recognized expert in the area of leg locks. Dan writes or Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, MMA Sports Mag, and more – find more of his leg lock articles and resources at

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I can’t preach this enough: if you want to become an elite leg lock artist, you have to know how to properly function in the 50/50 guard.  It can be a tough spot to be placed in, however it is something that can be super important when looking to latch onto a leg.

Sure, there are some inverted attacks you can use to isolate and attack legs, but trying to execute a proper inverted guard is extremely difficult.  Being comfortable in the 50/50 can be a difficult for grapplers, especially for younger, who may be more green behind the ears.

In order to be able to get to an adequate comfort zone, you must drill, drill, drill!  This is the only way you can become comfortable and it will also teach you how to move in a fluid manner and even learn where certain leg locks can appear.

Practicing The 50/50 Guard

First off, there is no such thing as drilling too much.  Proper practice can allow you to develop through leaps and bounds and get your comfort level to where it needs to be.  Drilling from the 50/50 guard, especially for the lower-level grapplers, can evolve your game in such a fantastic manner.

It can help with:

·         Comfort zone

·         Fluidity of movement

·         Muscle memory

·         Understanding Submissions

·         Body Control

·         Improving your skills

·         Confidence

Simply put, drilling is beyond important!  For instance, if you’re reading this and want to try to venture into the wonderful world of the 50/50 guard and have minimal experience, go and try it tonight with no drilling.  Get back to me on how it works for you. If you want to learn more about the protecting your own feet in the 50-50 (it’s definitely a vulnerable game if you don’t know how to play it), you can check out this other no-gi article on "Offense versus Defense" in the 50-50.

Give it some time and drill till you can’t see straight, then see how it works for you.  Everything that I listed above will come into play and you will see just how effective this spot can be and you’ll find yourself ending matches and live rolling sessions in the blink of an eye!

Go ahead and just give it a shot.

How to Drill From The 50/50 Guard

By now, you’re probably thinking how do you try and drill from the 50/50?  First off, you want to do it carefully as you are targeting legs which are notoriously susceptible to serious injury given their structure.

Coupled with that, you’ll want somebody to drill with that you can trust and has experience with the 50/50.  Their feedback and critique will be much more impactful if you actually hold that persons opinion near and dear to yourself.

Not too long ago, I hopped on the mat with one of my students to show how you can properly drill the 50/50.  Notice how I really stress body movement, and how I float from leg-to-leg, looking for the submissions. 

Train hard!

Dan Faggella

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