Underhooking leg from half guard

I just realized that I'm being too defensive from my half guard. I came up with an idea on how to fix this and I want to know what you guys think:

From both the regular half guard (often starting with my knee in the hip) or the half guard with a butterfly hook inserted, I'm going to try to UNDERHOOK my opponent's free LEG much more often.

From the regular half guard, this sets up the combination of getting to your knees, rolling him over and taking his back. Granted, I could initiate this combo by trying to get onto my elbow, but seriously, it's simply much easier to snatch his leg.

From the butterfly half guard, if you can grab underhook his free leg, you are in a position to sweep him in pretty much any direction. It sets up the x guard and lots of related positions, all of which are very powerful to sweep from.

If you DON'T underhook his leg (from the half butterfly guard), you might instead try to switch to the normal butterfly guard and work from there, but lately I'm having the feeling that underhooking the leg simply gives you better sweeping options. Sure, do the other stuff too, but this just what's going on in my head these days


I have one comment, that is tied to what you're saying.
Do you think you can clasp your hands behind his leg you got in your half, behind his butt, and move your body lower, till you get a very deep half almost directly below his base?

That seems to work very well for me whenever I can continue from underhooking the leg.
Also, the way guys usually counter this underhook you're mentioning, is crossfacing and driving their weight forward to flatten me down.

Your method is valid, but I think that in general, your opponent will have less balance if you're controlling both his legs as opposed to one.

When you underhook his leg, you have to duck under his crossface and glue your head to his hips.

anytime i have half-butterfly i always go underneath their free leg. Not only does it set-up atigh x-guard since your deep under them, but also sets up taking their back if they post up.

I was working a sweep today i kind of stumbled across from there also. If you have the butterfly and are underneath their free leg. Then they post up on their traped leg. Usually i go for the ankle pull sweep but today i tried sitting into them and using my non-butterfly hook to sweep their posted ankle. Very similiar to a sickle sweep but they are not standing. If you try it be careful as the guys un-trapped knee gets bent funny lol.

Thanks, fullofbs. I also get what sweep you're talking about. I might try that one day.

"Your method is valid, but I think that in general, your opponent will have less balance if you're controlling both his legs as opposed to one."

Yeah, of course.

But what I meant was, that's just a way of getting a lower, better half guard whenever I can do it. Not the end.
So - you grip both arms around the captured legs and get lower.
And then you go for controlling both of his legs right away, as soon as you've done getting lower (catch the foot or whatever).
This move alone makes it easy to glue your head to their hips.

It's one way I'll continue almost whenever I can underhook his leg, because when I can underhook it, I can usually clasp my hands behind his but, and when I can do that, I can get a lower half guard.

That's one of my primary setups for sweeps jonpall. Don't wait for your opponent to setup his grips, crossface, lower his weight, etc.

I lockdown the opponents right leg, then I deep hook his free leg under his thigh. I try to bring his free leg up over my right shoulder. With the lockdown and his leg up on your shoulder, your opponent is basically doing the splits and has no base. You are under his hips. From there you can sweep to the rt or left side.

Sounds cool. I can't wait until next practise :)

if your going to fight ,its a bad habit

12, I'm not so sure how well it would work to underhook the free leg from your half BUTTERFLY guard in MMA, but doing so from the NORMAL half guard may be Nogueira's most high percentage sweep. The trick is to never stop trying to roll left or right.


half guard is my main position when i am on my back too :-). And i dont know why i have evolved to this position!! i dont know why i didnt evolved to a full guard when i started as a white belt. Half guard is a really claustrophobic position when you have a bigger guay on you 'amasando' :-).
anyway, i think that the secret of the half guard is not letting them stack you and dominate hands for balance. i think :-).

i can see that,your right.just stay away from the free leg so you dont get your arm trapped and leave your head wide open.thanks


but if you stay away the free leg, you will not be able to use one of the more powerfull techniques from half guard that is overhooking his free leg. From there you have three or four sweeps.