Butterfly guard with double unders

I'm going to start to practise some butterfly guard moves.

I was wondering why some people seem to prefer to get double underhooks when they have the butterfly guard. It seems to be harder to sweep that way, because your opponent has their arms free to post and stop the sweeps. One underhook and one overhook kind of makes sense to me, although then it looks like you have only one sweeping direction (towards the overhook). Does anyone know the answer? I know there is something I'm missing here.

And how can you sweep towards an underhook side without the move ending with him posting his arm out? My ideas are

a) to fall back and get him to post with an arm directly above my head and then lift one of my hooks and sweep him to the side.


b) sweep him to the side, get him to post with an arm and then either kimura that arm or whizzer it and work for a triangle or something.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.


This is just input from my own game as my bottom game relies heavily on the butterfly and half guard, but I only double underhook when I am intially trying to control my opponent. To keep him from backing out or working to pass. When I am comfortable and ready, then I always go to one underhook and overhook. Then its either sweep or triangle.

For me I always think sweep first, if there is resistance (baseing out, extending arm) - then I bring my knees up and go for the triangle.

Its a great position (protects your legs well from subs) so best of luck.

I would prefer to have double underhooks over one under and one over for no gi. Thats what you are doing, right? Double underhook gives me
- Better control
- if I just can get his weight on top of me I have the swep, this is easier to do with double unders than under/over.
- Sets up the X-guard...I like the x-guard:0)
- If he resist me pulling him on top of me, i can swep him backwards by bearhuging him and thrusting my hips forward
- Makes it harder for my opt to puncsh in vale tudo

If you pull him ontop of you and he posts his hand, just grab behind your neck with the underhook arm, you can also put that hand infront of his face. And swep him in that direktion.

Another good technique is to push him away and go for the leglock (almost like the mount escape). You can also slip out and take his back.

Like i said before you can go to x-guard, there are alot of good sweps from here.

one final advise is to watch Royler gracie in subgrappling, he is the master of doubleunderhooks from butterfly.

Good question and good answers.

TTT for more

I would also think that with double underhooks it is easiar for your opponent to make space from you by pushing your head with his forearm.

You would want to prevent his right?

On the spreadsheet I sent to you, goto the guard 2 sheet and search for butterfly. It should give you techniques 25-29. Kukuk shows the double overhook and over-under but not double underhooks.


Yeah, the triangle is a neat move from the butterfly guard. Actually, the guillotine is not so bad from there, either, and so is the armdrag.


Thanks for a great tip by grabbing your own neck! I learned a very similar sweep from there, but you grab the tricep from the outside just before you sweep. Your way sounds better as I think it would be a quicker move to block his arm by grabbing behind your own neck, like you said.

Some questions:

a) Do you lock your hands together behind his back or do you just cup his shoulders?

b) Do you grab behind your neck AFTER or BEFORE he posts with his arm?

c) What's the X guard again? Is it when you have half guard and hug his other leg with your arms?

d) Do you try to fall on your side when he pushes you or can you sweep him if he pushes you and you fall flat on your back?

Two more questions:

1. What are some good butterfly videos/books out there? I have the feeling that Sperry has some good ones.

2. Which is a better head position, forehead in chest under opponent's head or head besides opponent's head with opponent's chin on your shoulder?

Michael Jen covers this stuff in great detail on his butterfly guard series. He covers these positions specifically with various combos of under/overhooks and various leg/foot positions. Highly recommended.

Rodrigo Medeiros covers some butterfly and hook sweep positions in his "open guard attacks" DVD from islandmartialarts. This is my personal favorite instructional of all that I have seen.

Jonpall - I use the bearhug (which is what I assume you mean by double underhooks) to apply several different techniques.

1 - the most common is to hop your butt towards him and rock him up in the air over top of you. You start with the intention of driving him all the way over you, but of course that rarely happens against a similar-level opponent. Once he is on top of you you have a lot of options, including switching to X guard, going to a kneebar, going to an ankle lock, switching to an elevator sweep, dropping him back down and driving him backwards, putting your feet in his hips and ballooning him over you, etc.

2 - if his weight is really going backwards you can drive forward, come up onto your knees (or a knee and a foot) maintain the bearhug and sag him backwards

3 - If you lock the bearhug, put your head under his chin, and really pull in his lower back you put him in a very unstable, uncomfortable position. From here if you can get one foot out and place it on his knee you can kick out that leg and sweep him to that same side regardless if he posts his arm or not. Try it.

I am working on the script and content of a guard sweeps video/DVD and will likely include this material in a lot more detail. If I do go ahead with it it'll still take at least 3 months to produce properly, maybe more.

Stephan Kesting

I like greco clasping when in this position. I clinch very high on the back and pinch his shoulders together eliminating or lessening the chance he can post an arm to the side. Then I go for the sweep.

jonpall -

man I drank too much last night - lol. Yeah the armdrag is another one of my favs. I can't beleive I didnt mention that - I love that move.

as far as vids - sorry I dont have interest in any so I wouldnt be able to help you there. I have JJ Machado for an instructor, so I kinda have that area covered :^)

as far as head position - forehead in chest under opponents head. I feel any other position limits your mobility.

So many of you guys seem to WORRY MORE about your opponent posting a LEG than posting an ARM and would rather NOT RELEASE the double underhooks? Well, it would make sense to me to not release this very controlling grip.

I'm not sure I understand why a single arm post won't stop the sweep, but I'll try it and see how it goes. I'm assuming that the physics of that trick is the same as with a chair with one leg - if he posts with only one arm and not a leg, you'll only have to change the sweeping direction slightly and because his weight is all on the posting arm, he can't lift his arm and adjust his post. Am I right? So for you guys that like to sweep against an underhook - can you explain what you do when the guy posts? Nothing at all? Or change the sweeping direction slightly???

Stephan Kesting: I'm sure you're correct about "rocking him up in the air over top of you", but the way you describe it contradicts two butterfly guard principles I've learned. One is that your hips shouldn't be close and jammed to your opponent's hips. The second is that if you roll straight back, he's going to feel heavy when you try to sweep him to the side, so one should attempt to fall to one's side and not flat back. Can you, or someone, tell me what I'm missing here?

Thanks for all the help, guys!

The double underhooks are very good for control and preventing him from passing, as well as doing a lot of moves that have been mentioned. For doing the standard elevator sweep, usually what people do is right when they do it, they let go of one of the underhooks and grab the arm with an overhook and sweep to that side.

Just for doing the elevator sweep you would rather have the over under, not just for stopping him from posting, but also so you can tilt his body, pulling down on the overhook side and lifting on the underhook side.

The head under the chin head position is best.

the triangle from the butterfly guard? someone explain this please.

the bolo tape is good, there will be a review soon. The info at the start about the position of your head, legs and butt was totally new to be so made perfect sense.

Andrew, what you talk about is sweeping like Bolo talks about on his Butterfly guard tape, i.e double underhooking, waiting for his head to come around and then grabbing that side elbow to prevent the hand post before the elevator sweep to the side. But I would like to be able to sweep like Stephan Kesting, i.e. without giving up the great control of the double underhooks. Maybe it's a good idea, maybe not. Dunno.

Da Specimen: To get the triangle from the butterfly guard I suggest you watch Nathan's Guard tapes. Isn't he doing it to you? LOL. Anyway, you just whizzer one arm and grab the wrist of the other arm. To get that wrist and set everything up, you might want to try an elevator sweep towards the non-whizzed side and when he posts with his free arm, grab his wrist. Once you got both his arms, get your legs out of the butterfly position and high up his back. On the side of the wrist grab, you might want to put your shin in the bicep. Get the wrist grabbed arm out of your guard, on either side of the leg, outside or inside, and your whizzer arm holds the other arm inside your guard. Get a half-sunk triangle and work on completing it.

Hope this helps.

Jonpall - good questions, here are my answers

It is absolutely true that you don't want to jam your legs up tight when you are playing the butterfly guard. However when you initiate the 'Rock Up" motion you hop your hips closer to develop a bit of momentum. You don't stay in this position, you transition through it. It's a bit like taking a look at a picture of a boxer jabbing and critiquing his stance ('look at him fighting with his arm at full extension, his arm should be bent and his fist in front of his chin...').

Secondly, In the butterfly guard you have 5 basic options: 1 - sweep him to the left, 2 - sweep him to the right, 3 - sweep him backwards (away from you), 4 - sweep him forwards (over you), and 5 - take his back. The moves I was referring to specifically address option 4 (sweeping him over you).

Sweeping him to the side, using underhook and overhook arm position, is the bread and butter butterfly guard move. That sweep, the threat of that sweep, or the reaction to that sweep motivates him to give you the reactions required for all the other sweep directions.

Does this clear up my thinking for you?

Ahh so many questions!

a) I usually lock my hands. Butt remeber you must do somthing with the postion, not just hangon for dear life, the position in itself is not the goal.

b) After

c) Yes

d) I go for the leglock, do you know witch one im talking about? This is one of my favorit techniques from here.

1. Sperrys submissiongrappling video have som good no-gi butterfly info.
2. For double underhooks, under the chin.

Basicly my game from here is what Stephan Kesting said.

"So many of you guys seem to WORRY MORE about your opponent posting a LEG than posting an ARM and would rather NOT RELEASE the double underhooks? Well, it would make sense to me to not release this very controlling grip"

for me..I dont realy worry about him posting anything, i just pull him ontop of me, lift my feet and the swep depends on what he doues. Post on arm, two arms, on foot or lifts his hips.

If he resist me pulling him ontop of me..I take him backwards if he keeps his back straight. I he counters by moving his hips back, i let go and take the gillioutine/grip. There is alot of sweep from here.

I only go for the sweep to the side like stephen said in nr 3 above.

My game is alitte different with two underhooks, its not like when i work from one underhook or overhook.

i'll try that jonpall. i now skip that section of the tapes ;)