27 Jun 2020


The reverse kimura grip from guard offers a very effective way to control, attack and reduce options for your opponent. While the grip concept in this half guard set is the same as Drew Weatherhead’s previous closed guard tutorial, using it from half guard offers a different set of opportunities – notably the ability to transition to better attacking positions such as back control.

Available at: www.reversekimura.com
Price: $79.99

Following the success of his previous tutorial, BJJ black belt Drew Weatherhead turns his attention again to the Reverse Kimura – but this time working from the half guard.

From my personal experience using reverse kimura techniques (and indeed any techniques) from the half guard, this position has been a bit more successful compared to the same from closed guard. There is a better angle of attack from the half guard (albeit one-sided), and there is much more mobility and opportunity to transition to other positions from half. That’s not to suggest the closed guard version isn’t as good – it’s definitely a solid position to work techniques. It is just that I personally prefer to work attacking moves from the half guard than closed. If that’s also the case with your game, then this tutorial might suit you better.


1. FUNDAMENTALS: dynamic tension and half guard basics
2. FUNDAMENTALS: what is and what isn’t half guard
3. FUNDAMENTALS: getting the grip
4. FUNDAMENTALS: Beating the punch pass
6. PROPER HALF: Peel over back take
7. PROPER HALF: arm-in guillotine
8. PROPER HALF: sit-up calf slicer
9. PROPER HALF: truck roll
10. PROPER HALF: modified John Wayne sweep
11. LOCKDOWN: Twister
12. LOCKDOWN: Stomp to half butterfly/elevate to saddle
14. HIP CLAMP: setting up
15. HIP CLAMP: roll-over armbar
16. HIP CLAMP: sit-up arm drag
17. EMPTY DOGFIGHT: to turtle/log-roll backtake
18. EMPTY DOGFIGHT: to leg staple/dope mount
19. EMPTY DOGFIGHT: to rolling rear triangle
20. EMPTY DOGFIGHT: to D’arce
21. EMPTY DOGFIGHT: to Peruvian necktie
22. EMPTY DOGFIGHT: to crucifix


Just as with Drew’s previous tutorial, this set offers a neat picture-in-picture viewpoint so you never miss an angle. Audio quality is excellent thanks to the lavalier mic that Drew uses. This title is only offered in digital form via the Reversekimura website, you cannot download individual chapters for later viewing. The website marks your viewing progress, making it easy to pick up where you last left off. Drew does a great job explaining the moves without over verbalising. Each chapter is around 3 to 4 minutes long – perfect for going back for quick reminder viewings.

This tutorial was released during COVID-19 lockdown. I haven’t been able to test any of these techniques out with a partner. My opinions here are based solely on my own experience using reverse kimura and my experience as a black belt in general…

The first question you may ask is – do I need to see the first Reverse Kimura (closed guard) tutorial before getting this half guard one? The short answer is no as Drew does cover the basics of reverse kimura in both sets. The longer answer is it depends on your experience level. If you are fairly new to BJJ (ie white and new blue) I’d suggest getting the closed guard set first. In that set Drew goes into more detail on how to set up and use the reverse kimura itself (regardless of the guard). Building up this skillset will serve you well when applying it in the half guard. That being said, it is probably ok for you to go straight to this half guard set but only if you already know half guard is a position that you are comfortable with.

Drew opens the teaching component of this set with a refresher on the actual reverse kimura grip. As I mentioned in my previous review, his open version of the grip was a real game changer for me. Previously I used to form a figure four grip to achieve the reverse kimura, which was rather limiting. Drew’s open grip version is much more versatile plus it relies less on strength and more on tracking your opponent's attempts to withdraw his arm. Drew also runs through the basics of the half guard itself – he cites 5 different forms (‘proper’ half guard, lockdown, half butterfly, knee shield and hip clamp). An alternative way to view these half guard variations is to see them as close-range, mid-range and long-range.

The key to making half guard an effective attacking position is to undertand that it allows the player  to move to other (arguably much better) attacking positions. In this set, Drew spends much time focusing on transitioning from half guard to back control. Using the reverse kimura grip gives you the advantage of taking your opponent off his centre line and offering openings to take the back. I feel it's very similar to how a cross sleeve grip or a sleeve drag might also perform the same task, except with the reverse kimura you get a bit more control over the opponent's arm.
The peel-over back take, empty dogfight, sit up arm drag, the truck…these moves are all very effective at taking the back and follow on nicely from the reverse kimura grip.

Drew also shows a variety of submissions from the half guard where the reverse kimura grip really helps set up the attack – the Peruvian necktie in particular is a favourite of several members of my club so this one will definitely pique their interest.

One area Drew only touches upon is the knee shield half guard. He states that he uses it only for setting up the reverse kimura grip, but then switches to one of the other half guards. Me personally I prefer sticking with the knee shield for as long as I can and try to work something from there. The problem with that however is that being relatively far from my opponent means I’m less effective at maintaining the reverse kimura. In such cases, I’ll switch grips to collar and sleeve control and variations thereof. When I am back to full training, I'll be able to play with this position some more.

Other useful techniques that Drew showcases where the reverse kimura grip adds to the success of the move include getting to the Lockdown, the Twister and the Saddle. These aren’t positions I’ve spent much time playing with in the past. Perhaps I’ll give them a go now that I’ve studied this set and seen how they’re a bit more achievable if I use the reverse kimura grip set ups.

The half guard position in general offers advantages as well as disadvantages. From here you have a great angle of attack as well as being much more mobile compared to the closed guard. The main problem however is that you don’t get to control your opponent as much and there’s the added problem of your opponent bearing down on you and trying all sorts of things. Adding the reverse kimura grip is a handy tool as it nullifies your opponent’s ability to use his nearside arm against you. This then grants you a bit of space and time in order to move onto another position (or attack from within half).

The Reverse Kimura: Half Guard set offers a well taught set of movements based off a very easy to use gripping concept. I recommend this set to anyone, but perhaps would be of more use to those already happy using the half guard itself.

Trailer video:


About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.



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