John Danaher – HALF GUARD DVD Review

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What can I say, the evil mastermind of Jiu-Jitsu is back at it! That means two things for me. First up, extreme joy at yet another of John’s ultra-high-quality BJJ DVD instructionals. Second, it means a sleepless night, going through all the new material. How else would we be the first to bring you a detailed review of the latest installment of the Go Further Faster Danaher series? This third part of his Gi series is all about one of the universally favorite positions for most people that train Jiu-Jitsu. As of yesterday, the John Danaher Half Guard DVD is out, and this is the first-ever review of yet another masterful Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructional.

John Danaher – HALF GUARD

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Techniques List

This time around though, Danaher might just get the greatest response ever to an instructional. He does nothing new compared to previous instructionals. After all, his style of teaching has bee refined through decades and is proven to produce world champion grapplers. It is the subject of the DVD, however, that might just excite people even more than his leg lock and back control instructionals. Go Further Faster III covers everyone’s go-to safety position – the half guard. Хowever, this is a Danaher half guard DVD, so you can expect all the wild stuff we’re used to seeing from him and more! Suffice to say, there’s hardly a better half guard instructional out there, gi or No-Gi!

Go Further Faster DVD Series – Re-Shaping Gi Jiu-Jitsu

This new Danaher half guard DVD is the latest part of the Go Further Faster Series. If you have an idea what it is, let me explain. After an incredible six-part No-Gi series of instructionals “Enter The System“, Dnahaer has been explaining the fundamentals of his Gi system during the last few months. So far we saw an incredible DVD on escapes and defense, particularly from the turtle position. Next up, he made a great case for returning towards the good old closed guard. Now, continuing on the fundamentals trail, John goes over arguably, BJJs most universally liked position – the half guard.

Similarly to Danaher, there’s not much to say about the half guard that is not common knowledge. It is a position of safety, easy to maintain and offering extreme attacking options. Moreover, you get countless variations of it. In terms of safety, the half guard has all the advantages of the full guard. However, in an attacking sense, it offers just as much variety as open guards do. Plus, you need absolutely no athleticism to work from the half guard with lots of success. In fact, the half guard is a product of an injured black belt, that had to protect his leg.

Just like in the previous 8 Danaher DVDs, we’re in for a real masterclass, this time about the half guard. So far, Danaher has shown any inclination to work mainly off of the BJJ basics as his base. However, he is not against exploring even new positions, like he did when he included the Twister and Truck 10th Planet stuff in his back attacks instructional. Once again, the brand new John Danaher half guard DVD is a blend of fundamentals, innovative concepts and John’s own recognizable blend of uncontested teaching quality.

Go Further Faster 3: John Danaher Half Guard DVD Review

Some, once again, a Go Further Faster instructional. The format, as you can presume, is still in Danaher’s favorite format. In fact, he was the first to start issuing 8-part BJJ DVD series. This brand new John Danaher half guard DVD is yet another that follows this pattern. Also, in Danaher’s recognizable style, there’s a clear progression that starts off at the very beginning. Actually, when I say beginning I really mean it. John kicks it off with a real lesson on the origins of half guard. moreover, he has a real balance between using the half guard offensively and defensively, Most people that issue half guard instructionals, usually only cover one and mention the other. AS expected, there’s a lot more balance to this DVD, which is not hard when you consider that the total length of it is very near 11 hours!

The very first DVD is somewhat strange, even by Danaher standards. So far, we are used to Danaher going over things that seem unrelated to the subjects of his DVDs in his introductions. her, he goes straight to the half guard in a two-chapter DVD that covers everything you need to know about the position. Apart two covers some dark secrets of the half guard before volume three uncovers the half butterfly guard variation. Marking halfway is a volume that covers dominant gripping and attacking from the bottom half guard. Part five slows things down, outlining the integral laws and rules for the half guard, as organized by Danaher. Volume six offers the ultimate cure to every wrestler’s favorite half guard counter – the Whizzer. The penultimate volume takes things into lapel territory before John wraps it up with some crucial problem-solving.

The Introduction

As I mentioned, the very first volume is all about the fundamentals behind the half guard position. There are only two chapters in this portion of the DVD, but they both last quite a while. Actually, the first volume lasts for just over an hour. In the beginning, John covers the basics of the half guard, from origins to the reasons behind its success in Jiu-Jitsu. In the second portion, which is all about the bottom half guard, John actually outlines his entire system. This is where he shares the reasoning behind all the half guard variations he includes, and even those he doesn’t.

The Paradox Of The Half Guard

3a18if - John Danaher - HALF GUARD DVD ReviewVolume two of the  John Danaher half guard DVD from the Go Further Faster series starts off with a real bang. Danaher explains what he refers to as the paradox of “the half guard”. In common terms it is his genius take on why the position works, and what are the problems it needs to solve to be successful. Speaking of common issues, alignment is singled out first, as one of the most important issues you might run into from the bottom half guard position. One of the concepts that Danaher actually made famous: Kuzushi, make s an appearance again. As expected, it has to do with off-balancing your opponent before you do any sort of attack.

The second portion of part three covers the most important things you need to know about the defensive side of the half guard. As Danaher himself puts it, “the older you are, the more you need to play half guard”. Here, John teaches us how to use half elbow escapes and strategic grip placement to fight from an inferior position.

Half Butterfly

The DVD I certainly couldn’t wait to get to once I saw the techniques list! I am a big fan of the butterfly half guard, there simply isn’t enough information on it out there. Now, it is the evil genius of BJJ himself sharing his thoughts on it. However, before he goes into it, he covers a few single elbow escape,s rounding off the inferior half guard portion.

The butterfly guard depicted here is not just the regular one. Danaher calls it the scoop butterfly guard, which refers to the ever-present scoop grip he loves so much. Apart from lots of details on the grip, you also get options to move around the leg and open up countless attacks. The double elbow escape series round this volume off before a sole chapter offers a complete summary of fighting form the inferior half guard position.

Dominant Half Guard Grips

Now that the inferior half guard is out of the way, this volume of the go Further Faster John Danaher half Guard DVD moves on to explore attacking. The moment you get out of the inferior position, you get the chance to move to a dominant one. In other words, you arrive in the dominant grips half guard. Unsurprisingly, Danaher starts off with a half guard classic – the underhook. The tight waist series comes first, along with an explanation why this is your best possible version of gripping.

Once grips are done, it is all about ending up on top. Danaher’s method of choice is the rollover sweep. IN ahi own distinct style, he goes extremely deep when deconstructing this basic sweep. Moreover, he shows several different variations to help you sweep pretty much anyone. The fourth volume ends with an explanation of the basic movement that makes everything work form the underhook half guard.

Half Guard Rules And Laws

Halfway through, it is time for more of Danaher’s grappling brilliance. There’s nobody out there that as god as John at pointing out the most obvious things about grappling that somehow, we all miss. That said, all of Danaher’s systems are based on rules and laws, that, if you follow, success comes guaranteed. Here, he starts with the 90-degree rule, before talking about some foundational movements. The knee lift and hip shift get a lot of attention here. From an upper body perspective, it is all about the elbows, as explained in the law of the elbow.

Some things we did see before in other DVDs, like directionality of force make a comeback here. Thre’s even an essential section that you can’t really miss since it is labeled “the single most important section in this video”. A couple of back take principles follow before the limp arm concept brings DVD number 5 to a close.

Whizzer Solutions

This is the volume from this new Danaher Half Guard DVD that’ll really divide the BJJ world. It’ll bring joy to all underhook half guard players, and annoy everyone who’s hunting for Darces and Anacondas with the help of an overhook/Whizzer. Once again, the key concept of Danaher’s half guard system, the tight waist, is the centerpiece here. However, instead of covering techniques, John goes over common situations that occur while rolling/fighting. To be more precise, he covers 5 different Whizzer problems and offers easy solutions to each.

One key concept that most of us take for granted is foot fighting from the half guard. From basic practical applications to tight waist takedowns, it all works if you win the foot fight. In fact, it is mostly the double leg that John covers, exploring several different variations of it.

Lapel Attacks

This part of the John Danaher Half Guard DVD is a real representative of the Go Further Faster Gi system. Here, it is all about using the lapels to tie up your opponent in simple, yet inescapable ways. Since John was already covering takedowns, he keeps going, shifting to the single leg. There are several ways of using lapels to isolate a leg and proceed to take someone down. There’s another factor to success, though that most people do not usually associate with the half guard. It is the importance of posture. Here, John shares the general considerations of posture and how it can make or break your attacks.

The Knee Lever & Problem Solving

3a18my - John Danaher - HALF GUARD DVD ReviewFinally, Danaher covers something I haven’t seen anyone talk about since some decade-old Ryan Hall instructionals. It is the knee lever series, or in other words, ways of using leverage over a trapped leg. It is a deep half guard concept in essence, but it can transfer to other variations of the half guard. For example, the rollover sweep features again, however now, including lots more concepts than before.

A two-chapter portion on the reverse half guard concludes this latest edition of the Go Further Faster Danaher DVD series. The focus is on the common problems of the reverse half guard, and several ways of resolving them quickly.


Combining the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach in the world, and one of the best BJJ positions ever is a surefire way of getting something truly exceptional. that is exactly what the Go Further Faster John Danaher Half Guard DVD is. It is the ultimate way of going back to a more fundamental style of half guard while still introducing modern concepts. This DVD might not cover all possible half guard variations. However, it covers al those that work, and does it to perfection!

John Danaher – HALF GUARD

John Danaher Half Guard Cover Part 2   updated 1024x1024 1024x689 - John Danaher - HALF GUARD DVD Review
Techniques List

Best BJJ Half Guard Instructionals – The Complete Guide