DVD Review: Caio Terra 111 half guard techniques
First let me start out by saying that 111 techniques is a lot of material and this set will last for years. Caio also puts in a nice amount of details so you really can’t fast forward this set and think you really got it all. I feel that the set is also quite gi centered as many techniques rely on lapel grips etc.
At first glance the structure of dvd seems unclear. I was very puzzled in the beginning with things like “underhooks and hooks” but once I got used to it, it’s actually quite clear. The structure of the dvd can be seen at:
The DVD starts in a logical way with “getting out of bad spots”, explaining how to escape to a better position when your opponent has established a dominant control against you half guard. Usually this means getting a good cross face and flattening you out or getting close to completing the knee slide pass. Caio shows very good techniques how to put your opponent back into your preferred distance and re-establish the knee-shield.
“Getting out of bad spots” section 2 is more about reversing the situation when the opponent does something to disrupt your knee shield distance control. Aka, the situation is not as bad as in section 1. The disruption can be a switching of the hips and turning or simply underhooking your leg etc. Caio goes through almost any reasonable scenario and presents good solutions.
“Underhooks and hooks” focuses first on the traditional underhook sweeps you can hit when you get to your side with an underhook. As in many modern jiu jitsu DVDs, the knee shield is used as means to getting into a proper underhook half guard position on your side. This is a good thing and I feel this DVD overall helps to speed up the understanding of linking these half guard positions (knee shield & underhook half guard). Caio variations of the classical sweeps were also a bit different that I am used to seeing, which was refreshing.
After these sections the dvd goes through different half guards and half guard related guards one by one. The sections that stood out the most were the single leg guard, scissor guard and the kimura. Probably because they are the most basic sections. I find myself watching the basic stuff on this dvd over and over again, while with many other lesser dvds I tend to get bored and skip to the fancy techniques. This is most likely because Caio’s ability to explain details is very good.
The single leg guard section is about the sit up guard with one of your opponent’s legs between your legs and your front leg pushing his far leg. I usually go to this from the De La Riva guard. What really astounded me was that Caio did not focus on a single preferred grip position or a single way the opponent bases, but basically went through them all. Even for a single leg guard player, many of the grip variations were completely new.
The scissor guard (low knee shield guard with cross grip on the sleeve) and kimura are short sections but the reason I liked them a lot was that Caio explains the guards in a very tactical way. In scissor guard for example he goes into great detail about the exact moment when to push your opponent over in the scissor sweep (the moment he tries to move his arm a little bit further out). A good tactical detail in the kimura section is how to roll into armbar using your shin if your opponent is too strong for the kimura from half guard.
I also have to mention that the deep half guard section is probably the most complete deep half guard sweeping set out there. It has more sweeps than Jeff Glover’s set although Jeff goes more into how to get into the deep half guard. Some of the variation are different to Glover’s set. The leg work in the Homer Simpson sweep is different etc.
Overall, I see lot techniques that are useful and very suitable for competition. What is crucial, the DVD gives options on what to do if you happen to lose a certain important grip from a certain position. This means it is a complete approach.
As a conclusion this set is a good set. It would be perfect for a person who has started out with closed guard (as the majority of us do) and has begun looking into half guard. For the more experience guard player, this is basically the bible of half guard.
OVERALL GRADE 9/10