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Defending the Double Under Pass

Defending the Double Under Pass



The double underpass is an effective and popular tool to pass the guard. The main characteristic of the pass that makes it so successful is that with the proper grips, your opponent’s legs are unable to pummel to the inside to secure a guard.


The pass is typically achieved by wrapping both arms around your opponent’s legs from under the hips and either grabbing the leg or gripping the hip area on the pants. To make this pass successful, however, the passer has to prop the legs of the guard player onto their shoulders. If you have ever found your guard being passed this way, you’ll notice that it is very difficult to recover your guard.

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The most popular and effective defense to the double underpass includes this fundamental movement: spreading your legs so that the back of your knees rest heavily on your opponent’s elbows instead of shoulders and begin to hip escape away from your opponent to pummel your legs onto the inside of the passer’s arms or shoulders. This technique will help your recover your guard to either the open or closed form.


The main element required to become good at defending double under pass is timing. The earlier you begin your counter to the double under pass, the more likely you will be successful. Its also important to understand positioning. If you partner is in a standing position, the defense will be different compared to if they were sitting. In the following video, Black Belt Romulo Barral illustrates different defenses to the double under pass based on positioning.



Once the person establishes double under position, its extremely important to keep your grips. We often let go of our grips, as Romulo explains, and start pushing with our hands. Our grips will allow us to manipulate our opponent’s hands so that they are always disconnect and wide. If the guard passer can’t connect their hands, they can pass your guard.


When trying to keep the legs heavy, its actually better to try to keep them as straight as possible. This mechanic will allow you to put more weight on your partners elbow. Also, when pummeling to the inside, don’t be in a rush to go the arms. You can always go to the shoulders first, as Romulo does, to make space and get the grips you want.

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