Competition Guard Secrets – Half Guard Volume Review

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Jake Mackenzie

We all know who Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu is.….a little lesser known but still widely popular is his partner in the video Jake Mackenzie.

Most of you know Jake Mackenzie from this video

Jake is a freaking wizard when it comes to the deep half guard as well as the regular half guard. He’s used it to win a crap ton of competitions in Brazil and around the globe. Just in case here is a competition highlight as seen on BJJ HEROES

Main Titles/Record:
•    World Cup Champion (2010 CBJJO);
•    South American Champion (2010 CBJJE);
•    European Champion (2010 CBJJ);
•    American National Champion (2009 IBJJF);
•    Brazilian National Teams Champion – GF Team (2010 CBJJ);
•    X-combat Brazilian Cup Champion (2011 absolute)
•    Brazilian National Teams Champion (2011)
•    Miami International Open Champion (2009 – open weight);
•    Rio de Janeiro State Champion (2011 FJJD-Rio)
•    2x Campeonato Brasileiro Centro-Oeste Champion (2009, 2010 CBJJE);
•    Abu Dhabi Pro North American Trials Champion (2009, 2010);
•    Pan American Champion (2008);
•    US Open Champion (2007);
•    2x Rio de Janeiro State Champion (2007, 2008 CBJJO & FJJRIO)

Other important Achievements:
•    World Championships Silver Medallist (2012 CBJJE)
•    Rio Sport Show Black Belt GP 2nd place (2011)
•    Brazilian National Bronze Medallist (2008 open weight – CBJJE);
•    Rio State Silver Medallist (2008 open weight – FJJRIO);
•    2x Arena Buzios Champion (2008 middleweight and absolute under 80 kgs);
•    2x Rio International Open Silver Medallist (2008 & 2009 CBJJ);
•    2x Copa Novo Leblon Champion (2010 lightweight and Absolute under 76 kgs);
•    São Paulo Internacional Bronze Medallist (2010)

For the full bio of Jake you can check it out on the BJJHeroes website here…

There are 4 Volumes in the Competition Guard Secrets set.

Volume One – Deep Half Guard
Volume Two – Closed Guard
Volume Three – Drills
Volume Four – FightSports All-Stars

My main focus was the Half/Deep Half guard DVD. I mean come on…after seeing the video above of Jake showcasing his amazing ability in the Deep Half who wouldn’t want to see some techniques like that broken down?

The Site:

When going to the Competition Guard Secrets site, it’s a lot of Lloyd Irvin style of marketing. I f’n loathe that type of marketing and I wish Cyborg wouldn’t have gone down that route but alas he did and there’s not much we can do about it. You can’t buy just the Deep Half DVD (I wish you could) but the entire set sells for $179.

The Production:

It’s a decently produced set. Lighting and camera angles are decent, the audio is good but there is a slight echo and when they show the position from the opposite side, (when their backs are turned to the camera) there is even more of an echo.

Deep Half Guard Volume Technique list:

1/2 Guard

Elevator Sweep
Spin Under Lapel Choke
VR To Knee Tap Sweep
VR To Limp Arm
VR To Superman
VR To Roll Back Sweep

Deep 1/2 Guard

Waiter Sweep
Waiter Sweep to Leg Drag
Basic Out the Back Door
Slide Out to Double
Scissor Sweep
Counter when Opponent tries to switch base
Basic Back Take
Rolling Back Take
Taking Mount
Flying Submission (Triangle/Armbar Combo)

Reverse 1/2 Guard

Cyborg Sweep (ridiculous)
Double Sleeve Grab (variation of Cyborg)

One In/One Out Guard

Lapel Choke
Arm Drag

Instruction details:
Jake is very clear when speaking and the angles are good for most of the techniques. I wish some of the angles were a bit more clear and showing more details though on some of the moves.

When they want to show another angle they turn their bodies like most instructionals. The DVD is almost like a seminar type of setting, not quite like the Buchecha DVD where it actually is a seminar, but they’re teaching it like a seminar.

They run through the technique a few times and show different angles with the same details.

DVD Techniques Overview:
The first series of techniques are basic moves that a lot of people know already with the same details that most instructors teach. Very good techniques though that have a super high success rate.

Nothing revolutionary but it’s nice to see that they included.

Rating: White Belt +

The deep half series is explained very well and he shows all the techniques that are shown in the Jitizipedia x Avant Guarde Brand Video.

Most of these you will need a good understanding of the position and your opponents balance to perform these.

I would say Blue Belt and above for these

The reverse half guard portion of the DVD is something else. Not many people have shown techniques from here. I’ve watched a lot of instructional videos and I haven’t seen or remember anyone showing options from here.

Jake and Cyborg give you three great options from this position and explain them very well. The Cyborg Sweep from here is just ridiculous, a great tool if you can pull it off though.

I would say a competent white belt would be able to perform the first one, the next two maybe not.
The One In/One Out is something that I haven’t ever seen options from for the guy on bottom. We’ve all seen techniques from the top guy. Two great moves for the guy on bottom to attack from a very common position we all get caught in.


Jake Mackenzie

One In/One Out Position

Run Time:

One Hour, 10 minutes and 41 seconds

DVD Overview:

My opinion on the Half Guard DVD is a very unbiased opinion. And to simply put it I love it. Even the first techniques that we’ve all seen before are good to go back and revisit.

With the Deep 1/2, Reverse, and one in/one out it just adds on and gives you a complete half guard game that is easy to follow. Most of them flow into one another and can be used as a good chain of drills.

Like I said before I haven’t watched the other three videos so I can’t comment on how they are but I have read the technique lists and their is a lot of content on those DVD’s.

As long as the production is the same and they explain each move the exact same way they do like on the Deep Half DVD then I’m going to go ahead and say the set is worth the craptastic marketing tactics and $179 price tag.

I will reserve that judgement though and watch the rest of the DVDs to give you a full on honest opinion of the rest.

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