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BJJ Instructional Videos
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Half Guard BJJ Instructional Video
Countering the Under Hook and Cross Face with the Half Butterfly

Countering the Under Hook and Cross Face with the Half Butterfly


The under hook and cross face can be some of the hardest things to deal with as a guard player, particularly a half guard player.  The under hook and cross face separately are very difficult to deal with, but the combination of both of them is next to impossible to counter.  Check out our articles “Power of the Under Hook” and “Power of the Cross Face” to learn more on them.

If you are having a hard time dealing with these positions, today is your lucky day, we are going to give you the secret weapon to defeating a good half guard passer who relies on the under hook and cross face.  Are you ready?  The secret is the half butterfly! This is a hybrid guard that is excellent for countering the under hook and cross face.

Half Butterfly vs the Under Hook

The half butterfly is an excellent counter to someone who is passing the half guard with an under hook.  This is because the use of the butterfly hook makes it harder to pass with a knee cut and it makes it easier to move your opponent with your shoulders flat on the mat. 

When someone gets an under hook from top half they typically want to flatten you so both your shoulders are on the mat.  This is a great position to utilize the half butterfly from.  The half butterfly is simply a half guard where your leg on the outside or the top leg acts as a butterfly hook.  You can use the hook to get full guard, butterfly guard, do butterfly sweeps, or force them to post or sit up.  You just have to have a strong butterfly hook.  Check out this excellent break down of using the half butterfly to counter the under hook.

Half Butterfly vs Cross Face

The cross face is another very popular element of passing the half guard.  The half butterfly capitalizes on the fact that you are getting cross faced and allows you to sweep your opponent, or force them to post. The cross face is used for many of the same reasons as the under hook.  Your opponent wants to put your shoulders flat on the mat. 

This means that their body weight will be distributed off to one side and that they may be so adamant about holding the cross face that they forget to post when you go to sweep them.  When they have the cross face you can hip out a little bit and get the butterfly hook in and try for a butterfly sweep, many times, they will hold the cross face and you will get the sweep. Check out this video of a half butterfly sweep below.

Half Butterfly vs Under Hook and Cross Face Combination

Beating the under hook and cross face combination is no easy task and there are very few ways to do so.  The half butterfly is one of the best ways to deal with this combination.  One of the best things to do from half butterfly is to extend your butterfly hook as you sit up simultaneously.  This will allow you to nullify their under hook and cross face.

Another great option is the butterfly sweep. The butterfly sweep is the most effective and simple sweep.  Marcelo Garcia is known for having an incredible butterfly sweep.  Check out another take on the half butterfly sweep below.

The half butterfly is a hidden bjj secret.  If you want to learn some more hidden bjj secrets check out Luiz Panza’s 4 DVD set “Hidden BJJ Secrets.”   Luiz panza had an unorthodox and extremely high level game, if you want to learn his secrets and put some new tricks up your sleeve check it out.



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