How Important Is the Under Hook?

How Important Is the Under Hook?

How important is the use of the under hook in your training? Is it something you over look, or is it already an integral part of your game? The under hook was introduced, drilled, and reinforced over and over again in my early days of practice. I still refer to it often in my teaching, and I try to communicate its importance and effectiveness to my students.

In the top position, it can be essential to obtaining the pressure required to keep your partner flat-- think classic under hook and cross face position in top side control. On the bottom the under hook can aid in many different escapes, and also be the jumping off point for some incredible offense. It lends itself to both sport and street, and its importance in the bottom half guard can be discussed at great length.

I recall something I heard Adem Redzovic say one time in great instructional he released called “Basically Escaping Side Mount.” He says something to the effect of, “the under hook is like a gun. Don’t show it to anyone, unless you’re going to use it.” That changed my view of the under hook forever, and actually helped me to use it more effectively. Think about it. There are many ways to counter the under hook-- the backstep, smothering it with bodyweight, various submissions-- BUT most of these counters rely on a moment of hesitation when attempting to use the under hook.

The moral of the story: fight for the under hook. It can almost always be advantageous. Don’t underestimate its value! But when you decide to launch that under hook, commit to it, and don’t stop moving. When we remain idle, it gives our opponent the chance to adjust to our position and shut down the remarkable abilities of the under hook!

Here’s a great example of the power of the under hook by Lucas Leite! Enjoy!

For more from Lucas Leite, check out his best-selling instructional "The Coyote Guard" from BJJ Fanatics.  You will see additional techniques that make use of the powerful under hook throughout.

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