Keeping Underhook in half Guard?

From the bottom of half guard, I like to get the underhook and grab the guy's belt/skirt. Jamelo used to do this a lot and I like the sweeps from there.

A lot of guys in class are getting used to me doing this and are pummeling in and smashing me down as soon as I get the underhook. Are there any tips for keeping the underhook once I get it? Usually, I cannot plant my other hand and move to his back because he's controlling my sleeve. I just need to know how to maintain that underhook. Thanks!

A little trick I use when the guy tried to pummel is to unlock my legs around his trapped leg and knee him in the butt and pull him forward. This throws his balance off.

Another thing I like to do is pull his outside knee towards my chest and if he pulls it back, go back to guard.

Always pull him forward or push him backwards. The guy will need his base to pummell-so keep him off base.


let's say his right leg is in your half guard. When he pummels in with his right hand just pummel in back with your left hand. It's just like pummeling in wrestling with the underhooks without switching your head from side to side. You may have to re-pummel 2 to 3 times but once you get the underhook, grab his belt and sit-up using your right elbow on the ground to base with and tuck your head down keep it tight to his chest so that your left shoulder is touching your left cheekbone. You do this so he can't pummel again, and then you start going to your sweeps

gi or no gi?! eddie bravo uses a sweep with the gi from the overhook where he moves into a butterfly guard. i think JJM shows it on his tapes

Thanks for all the replies. I totally see what you're saying bbjj, I will definitly bump with my knee a lot more now.

Da Specimen, I know what sweep you are talking about. Problem for me is, guys get that underhook, and drop their hip (same side he has underhook on, same side I'm trying to hook sweep him on) and the hook sweep is killed.

I'm talking stricly gi, because of the skirt/belt grabbing. Keep them coming, this is very helpful. thanks.

No problem. I agree with sim as it is good advice.

Yesterday we did a drill where the guy on top with a deep underhook ande the guy on bottom had to get the underhook back. Doing this with resitance is very important so you technically know how to do it and you do not use too much force getting it done.

When you try to get that underhook back, you should shrimp out and reach high over your head and windmill with you elbow point leading you back to the underhook. The shrimp will open the space for you. If he over defends, go back to guard by pushing both of your hands against his far knee.


Just learnt something tonight, kinda like this.

I find that if you start with the underhook, and you are tucked up under his body, the only way he can now get the underhook is by sitting back and creating space.
If he is getting it while he is still lying down on you, you probably aren't using it effectively as you could, Always keep him off balance, with a high elbow, and knee in the butt.

When he sits back to create space, follow him, keeping the underhook, from there you can go for a single or get the back.

Very good post, Unit91.


If you cannot get rid of the underhook, reach under the trapped leg and then clamp your hands together trapping his arm that is underhooked and his leg. Then you have to trust the move as his weight will be on your chest. Pull him over your head and bridge - unlock your legs and turn him over. Be careful of the triangle after you turn him.

This move works well and when it does not work typically I notice that I am not pulling the guy over my head, but to the side. It sort of looks like a firemans carry on the bottom.