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Half Guard BJJ Instructional Video

The Overhook From Full Guard

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One of the often overlooked set up points for multiple attacks is the overhook from full guard. Maintaining a powerful overhook on an opponent while he/she is in your guard, allows you more controllable stability for different attacks.  It also works on slowing down an opponent’s pace and allows you to begin to impose your will.

Let’s start with why the overhook is so effective. When grabbing a strong overhook on an opponent, you essentially shut down an avenue of attack for that person. The overhook will prevent most guard passes and also allows for the guard player to control the posture of their opponent. By doing that, you open up many possible attacks.

The collection of attacks that become available are plenty. The arm that is controlled by the overhook becomes a mark of attack. Right off the cuff, triangle chokes and omoplatas are ready for use. In addition to those, a few different armlocks and shoulder locks are within the realm of attack as well.

Submissions and chokes are not the only techniques that can come from the overhook either. If you utilize the overhook, there are sweeps that will put you on top of your opponent. There are variations of sweeps including scissor, butterfly and knee push. These sweeps could be considered even stronger due to the stable connection of the arm being dominated.

What is possibly the best element of the full guard overhook is that it transcends gi and no gi. When it comes to guard grips, it depends on whether or not an opponent has a rash guard or a gi on. With an overhook, the control is strong either way. The nice part of using it in gi, means you have extra control as you can overhook an arm, then grab the collar or lapel, making it even stronger. In no gi, it can prevent an opponent that likes to scramble from getting to those points.

If you like to play guard, try using this facet of the game. You will undoubtedly have some success with it. The more you play with the overhook, the more success you will see.  Next time you roll in class, give it a go!

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