BJJ Poll: What Is Your Opinion of the 50/50 Guard?

A lot of discussion has been taking place in 2009 about the 50/50 guard. GracieMag dedicated several pages of their most recent issue to an article on the 50/50 guard, and the matter continues to evoke controversy on their website as well.

What do you think about the 50/50 guard? Vote in our poll and leave us a note in the comments of this post telling us if you use the 50/50 guard in your jiu-jitsu!

ryan hall fifty guard
Ryan Hall (bottom) uses the 50/50 guard against Scott Bieri in this 2007 match.

9 Replies to “BJJ Poll: What Is Your Opinion of the 50/50 Guard?”

  1. Though I don’t use the 50/50 guard personally(medical reasons, If I could I would). I know from training against it extensively its very, very versatile especially if you can spin into it while your opponent is still standing as it opens up sweeps ala Rubens Charles. The sweeps in turn set up back takes or side control(depending on your opponent’s reaction of course). The leglocks are just icing on a really really tasty cake. Its got everything you want in a guard. Control, Disruption, Sweeps that result in dominate positions, AND submissions. What more could want people?

  2. The only time I’ve come across the 50/50 guard is on the podcast – maybe it hasn’t hit the shores of Australia yet?

    What are the good sites for information about this guard?

  3. I can’t say at this point in my BJJ carrer I know much about the 50/50 guard, but isn’t one of the jobs of a referee to keep the action moving and prevent stalling? Couldn’t the guard, side control and the mount – some of the most basic BJJ moves/positions – be used to stall? This probably applies to almost every BJJ position and it’s the role of the referee to prevent this and deduct points, if necessary. Moves should be banned if they pose a high danger of injury to either competitor, not because of some unknown or undetermined fear of stalling.

  4. Well, personally I’m not a fan after watching the ’09 Mundials. (Relson also had some very unkind words in regards to it at the last seminar if you were there Caleb?) All the “lighter” guys seemed to “jump guard” simultaneously and end up in the 50-50. From there it was “I pull you, you pull me” for 9 and 1/2 minutes until a flurry of activity the last 30 seconds with one fighter trying to get an advantage…and the victory.

    Yes, yes, I know all those fighters are extremely technical and everyone of them would absolutely kill me, but it was just so boring for most of those matches. Then both fighters would stand up and raise their hands trying to whip the crowd into a frenzy and get the judges to award them the victory in their 0-0 matches (with no advantages.) Relson said he hated it and, “it’s not what my daddy wanted.”

  5. I made the same point as Relson in my blog (side control) before reading the Graciemag article. The 50/50 is largely (though not totally) a self-inflicted wound by the guard-pulling obsessed, sub-lightweights.

    When I start seeing medio and pesado matches won by the 50/50, then I’ll start to worry.

  6. I have just started seeing some good passes for this guard from Alliance on youtube. I think the more people play around with this position the more the counters will come naturally. I agree with Comprido, making something illegal in comp. because it is, at this point, hard to deal with is wrong. long live evolution..

  7. first off, 50/50 guard is just figure fouring ur legs for control. It basically sets-up heel-hooks or reverse heel-hook. Its been used alot in pancrase and shootfighting around japan in the early 90s. I thinks once u get ur bjj fundamentals down it can be a great unorthodox way of finishing fights but only if u understand positional bjj fighting. Thats why alot of pancrase guys in the 90s lost to the gracies or other bjj fighters cause they lost position. they had the 50/50 but lost position for the submission and got beat.

  8. hello everyone,

    just got back from the europeans, and i’d like to say that I really enjoyed watching the Mendes in action. For those who think that the 50/50 is a stall game plan, then that is perhaps for those who play it ‘close guarded”!! i’ve been training with it for a week and have noticed how interesting it is to swepp and take the back. my final word is “don’t stall just keep it flowing”

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