Painful Counter to the Double Underhook Pass by ADCC Champion Robert Drysdale

Painful Counter to the Double Underhook Pass by ADCC Champion Robert Drysdale

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, countering an opponent’s move can shift the momentum of a match and demonstrate high-level grappling acumen. Robert Drysdale, an ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) World Champion and a revered figure in the BJJ community, recently showcased a particularly effective and painful counter to a common guard pass—the double underhook pass. This technique highlights not only his technical proficiency but also his deep understanding of leverage and control in grappling situations.

Understanding the Double Underhook Pass

The double underhook pass is a popular technique used in BJJ and submission grappling that involves the top player gaining underhooks on both sides of the bottom player’s legs. The top player uses these grips to control the legs and pass the guard, typically moving to a dominant side control or mount position. It’s a powerful pass because it allows the top player substantial control over the bottom player’s hips and legs, reducing their ability to defend or retain guard.

Drysdale’s Innovative Counter Technique

In a detailed demonstration, Robert Drysdale shared his method for countering this pass, turning a defensive position into an opportunity for submission. Drysdale explains, “When they come in with double underhooks, you have a small window to act decisively. My approach capitalizes on this moment to not only prevent the pass but to go on the offensive.”

Key Steps in the Technique

Drysdale’s technique involves several critical steps:

  1. Recognition and Reaction: As the opponent sets up the double underhook pass, recognizing their intent early is crucial.
  2. Positioning: Drysdale positions his hips and legs in such a way to create a frame against the advancing opponent, using his knees and elbows effectively.
  3. Counter Setup: He then uses one arm to secure a grip on the opponent’s belt or gi, while the other arm blocks the opponent’s head or shoulder, preventing them from completing the pass.
  4. Execution: With the opponent’s momentum and position compromised, Drysdale then executes a sweep or submits directly from the compromised pass position.

Drysdale’s Insights

Reflecting on the technique, Drysdale emphasizes the importance of timing and precision: “The key here is not just to stop their progress but to immediately switch to an attacking mode. You need to make your opponent regret attempting the pass by making it uncomfortable and punishing.”

This technique not only showcases Drysdale’s expertise but also serves as a lesson in the fluidity of BJJ, where defensive positions can quickly turn into offensive opportunities. The demonstration provides valuable insights into the subtleties of counter-grappling, highlighting how advanced practitioners leverage their opponent’s movements against them.

Robert Drysdale’s counter to the double underhook pass exemplifies high-level grappling intelligence and skill. This technique is a testament to the strategic depth of BJJ and the constant evolution of its techniques. Practitioners of all levels can learn from Drysdale’s approach, which emphasizes quick thinking, precise positioning, and the seamless integration of defense and offense. His teachings help reinforce the idea that in BJJ, being on the defensive is only a temporary state before turning the tables on your opponent.