Underhook problem

Head position can not be stressed enough. Underhooks can get you into just as much trouble as good if your doing it wrong. Most of the "hook" situations are used for set ups. It might work on a lower level (high school) but rarely in college or even international do you see someone going the upper body route since like I said before will get you in more trouble than it's worth. My case in point is well demonstrated by my good friend Les gutches. Here is his site: www.lesgutches.com. Than go to "techniques" Les is one of the best on underhooks. Learn from his drill set ups.

Have fun and I hope it works out for you.


Thanks so much for that post Chip. The part about the snap down definitely feels right. I've been doing BJJ for a couple years now and decided to complement it with wrestling. I feel fortunate because at the place I train they have both freestyle and Greco(actually more Greco). I've been picking up the belly-to-belly suplex quite nicely lately. :)

Another question: What is considered a superior head postion? I figure it also depends what kind of tie up you have as well.

Lets say I take my right arm and underhook your left. I keep my head tight to your left shoulder and with my left hand I hook your head. I like using this position, but quite often, my partners will whizzer my right arm very hard. They don't necessarily try to throw me, but they whizzer my arm so hard that it wrenches my shoulder thus comprimising my balance. What can I do to deal with this? Anybody?

The problem is that you're getting into an underhook just fine, but could probably improve your use of it. Keep this in mind: an underhook is a means to an end, not an end in itself. You don't want to just "hang out" in an underhook.

#1. - If you get an underhook, I would not recommend that you then hook his head with my other arm. Ideally, I want an underhook and wrist control, or an underhook and an inside tie, or something similar. You're just helping him re-adjust into a defensive position (overhook or whizzering) by hooking his head. I'm not saying that hooking his head is necessarily "wrong", just that I haven't seen a lot of success there. The only time hooking his head in that position might be a good idea (IMO) is if you want to snap him down into a front headlock.

#2. - One of the hardest things to develop in terms of using the underhook properly is that you should never have an underhook for more than one or two seconds. Underhooks are best put to use to RAPIDLY transition into a takedown. Best case scenario: I jam in an underhook and, while my opponent is still reeling and worrying about getting out of my underhook, I'm already changing off into a takedown before he knows what hit him.

**Note: the following "statistics" are hardly scientific, :o) but I think it helps explain the point.

One way to think of it is that your underhook has an "expiration date." For example: I jam in an underhook and I know that if I hit something from it within the first one or two seconds, I have a 75% chance of success on my attack. 3 to 5 seconds, a 50% success rate. 5 -10 seconds, a 25% success rate. 10 seconds or more, I've lost whatever opportunities that the underhook gave me. I've given him more than enough time to re-adjust into a defensive posture, or to start hitting his own offense from an overhook or whizzer, or even for him to simply get out of it.

How do you get good at these rapid transitions? Like so much else in wrestling... Drilling, Drilling, Drilling until it becomes Habit, Habit, Habit.

True Ryan, superior head postitioning is ALWAYS a good thing! :) BUT... does simple head positioning garauntee that the underhook will be useful to you? Remember: an underhook is not really a "position" that you want as your end goal. An underhook is used to transition to a takedown.

Won't a superior head position along with the underhook
help lessen the whizzer pressure?