Ultimate Guide To The Different Types Of Hooks In BJJ

Generally speaking, “hooks” are used to attach itself to another object. In BJJ, hooks are also used to keep our limbs and body attached to the opponent. While unnoticeable at times, hooks provide utility for grapplers. Besides allowing you to stay attached to the opponent, they also help you push, pull, and manipulate the opponent’s posture. In this article, we will discuss the different types of hooks in BJJ.


Hooks In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Hooks in BJJ can be applied from the standup and on the ground, both for offense and defense. It is a configuration widely used to set up sweeps, takedowns and maintain dominant positions. Below are the different types of hooks commonly used in Jiu-Jitsu.


Lasso Hook

The lasso hook is a type of hook applied in conjunction with the lasso guard. Your foot goes through and on top of the opponent’s biceps while applying sleeve control to restrict your opponent’s arm and upper body, thus limiting their movements. Usually, the traditional lasso hook is used above the opponent’s biceps and through their armpit.

On the other hand, the shallow lasso hook is applied only on top of the opponent’s bicep for easier transition. Most of the time, the lasso guard with the hook is partnered with the spider guard, known as the spider lasso combination.


De La Riva Hook

The bottom guard player typically uses the De La Riva (DLR) hook by looping their leg around the opponent’s lead leg, wrapping it from the outside and behind the opponent’s knee or hamstring, and sometimes to their opposite hip. As the name suggests, the DLR hook is the prerequisite of the De La Riva guard, mainly used to sweep the opponent and sometimes take the back.

The DLR guard is efficiently used when the opponent is standing and is an excellent way to control the opponent’s lead leg, even enabling submission entries and transitions to other open guards.


Reverse De La Riva Hook

Unlike the DLR, the reverse De La Riva (RDLR) hook is when the guard player applies a hook using their leg on the inside of the opponent’s leg (inside position) to control their movement. Like in the previous technique, the RDLR hook is the prerequisite to the Reverse De La Riva guard, a powerful position that opens up back takes, leg entanglements, and a great option to stop the annoying knee-cut guard pass.

The body positioning of the RDLR is similar to the half-guard, which is why half-guard players are also keen on using this guard.


Butterfly Hook

Concerning the butterfly guard, the butterfly hook is commonly applied from the open guard position. It is also used to enter the butterfly guard, a prime position for sweeps, leg entanglements, and backtakes. Simply put, the butterfly hook is when the guard player places their foot on the opponent’s inside thigh (near the groin area), using it as a hook. This hook prevents opponents from passing the guard and is a tool to create kuzushi (off-balancing), a prerequisite for sweeps.

Using both feet to apply hooks while controlling the opponent’s upper body is called the butterfly guard. It is one of the most powerful open guards, allowing you to lift your opponents directly above you using your hooks. However, a single butterfly hook (half butterfly) can also utilized in some situations.

Inserting the butterfly hook allows you to return to the same fundamental principles as the RDLR, but the unique thing about the butterfly guard is that you can play both sides and be a bit flat on your back.   


Hooks From The Back Mount

As with the most dominant position in Jiu-Jitsu, the back mount also utilizes hooks to control the opponent. Controlling the opponent from the back has many moving parts, and applying your hooks is a critical ingredient that allows you to essentially limit the opponent’s lower body from escaping.

Applying hooks from the back mount is the traditional way to secure the position, although as an alternative, grapplers also utilize the body triangle when attacking from behind. However, to maintain control and freely move from the position, you may also use a single hook while your other leg controls the opponent’s upper leg.



The underhook is widely used both in standup and on the ground. In the standup, the underhook is used to clinch against the opponent by placing your arm underneath the opponent’s armpit or ribcage area, thus securing inside position to control the opponent’s upper body. The underhook can be applied using just one arm (while your other hand is used for control) or both arms (double underhook). Having an underhook enables you to set up different throws and takedowns.

Underhooks have various uses on the ground, such as setting up sweeps, pinning an opponent’s limb to secure guard passes, entry for submissions, and even a means to wrestling up.



The opposite of the underhook, the overhook, also works to control the opponent’s torso. As such, it can also be applied from the standup and on the ground. In the standup, the overhook is applied from the clinching position, where an arm is placed (hooking) above or around the opponent’s arm or shoulder as a defensive reaction from the underhook (aka whizzer). While it may be considered inferior to the underhook, a properly utilized overhook will still allow you to set up takedowns and throws.

The overhook is usually used on the ground to set up submissions like the triangle, armbars, and arm triangle chokes from various positions such as the closed guard, dogfight, and half-guard. A strong overhook, combined with proper use of your weight, will give your opponents a lot of trouble.



Learning grappling fundamentals, such as the proper application of hooks, will help you better understand how to manipulate a fully resisting opponent. Utilizing hooks can instantly elevate your Jiu-Jitsu in the standup and on the ground. We encourage you to find time and master this simple yet highly effective technique.


You may also like: 

Here Are 6 Partner Guard Passing Drills To Improve Your BJJ