Half guard top – no need to rush: Of all the methods of passing guard, passing from half guard gives you the most ability to slow things down and dictate the pace. You must learn to use this in your favor. When you first get over your opponents knee and enter half guard – take a moment to to first solidify your top position rather than rush into the passing game. Your first goal should be to shut down your opponents ability to off balance and move you (if he can do that he will be attacking you relentlessly). This means there will be a contest for arm position (most opponents will be looking to get an under hook), head position (opponent will be looking to get your head far forward over his shoulders) and hip position (opponents will be looking to get under you and on to one side rather than flat). Who wins these three battles will generally dictate the overall battle from half guard. So when you first settle into half guard – look to win these three battles first before you go into your favorite passes. Here, Nicky Ryan loses the battle for arm position but compensated by winning the battles for head position and hip position, setting him up for some strong passes.