I have been trying to work more on my bottom game recently. In particular, I have decided to try building my bottom game around the 50/50 guard. Unfortunately, the 50/50 guard is not held in high esteem by some, as it is seen as a stalling guard. I agree with those that say this is more a function of the scoring system and the lack of familiarity with the possibilities of the 50/50 guard, than the position itself. In any case, I tend to think of the 50/50 as more of a sweeping and passing system than a foot lock system. In order to foot lock someone while in 50/50, the usual procedure is for both contestants to sit facing each other with legs entangled until someone makes a mistake or the match ends. This type of scenario usually makes for a rather boring match for spectators. My idea for the 50/50 is to use it more like X guard. You use your legs to trap their legs while you’re on your back, then you sweep them to get on top, and possibly pass their guard in the process. Either that, or you take their back. In fact, I’m considering how to use it in combination with X guard and foot lock X. I only was able to try out the 50/50 in one of my sparring matches tonight. On the other hand, the person I was sparring with was unusually good at defending the 50/50 sweep. He even smashed my 50/50 at one point and achieved side control briefly, before I was able to finally sweep him and get on top. I had to switch to a cross sweep, though, since it seemed like he was too good at defending my 50/50 sweep. That’s OK. I want to know what the strengths and weaknesses of the position are, and when to bail on the position for something else. I’m really starting to enjoy the whole experimentation aspect of learning jiu jitsu.

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