How To Single Underhook Stack Guard Pass + Stacking Choke In BJJ

Here is the second part of our detailed tutorial on passing the closed guard in BJJ. (Part 1 is here) In this part we will be looking at how to pass guard using the single underhook stack pass or smash pass as its otherwise known with the optional extra of a stacking choke to submit your opponent at the end of the guard pass.

The single underhook pass is a form of pressure passing, hence the alternative name of smash pass or stack pass, as you use your weight bearing heavy pressure stacking down upon your opponent to control them and keep them still while you move your hips around theirs smash passing their legs and moving into your pin position or submitting them via this powerful stacking choke.

Single Underhook Stack / Smash Guard Pressure Pass

How To Single Underhook Stack Guard Pass / Smash Pass + Stacking Choke In BJJ

Step 1)

Optional Concept: Training Partner Blocks Knee Through Pass.

We are attempting to pass with our knee through pass as in tutorial 1 however our opponent perhaps blocks us from passing his guard in this manner by posting a wedge on our inside hip and shoulder with his arms or maybe we have just decided to do a single underhook pass. either way we reach in and secure the collar grip regardless, same as with the previous guard pass to keep him still and prevent any further movements. this first grip will also facilitate our second grip in the next step.

Technical Details:

(1) Partners Bottom arm blocks our hip.
(2) Partners top arm blocks our opposite Shoulder.
(3) We take collar grip anyway.


(1) & (2)  As we push our knee to the ground and reach forwards for the collar grip,  we feel our partner post his arms as a wedge against our incoming hip and shoulder to seperate us from applying shoulder pressure to his head and hip pressure against his hips.

(3) We reach forward with our  hand and take the collar grip same as before. this will stop our partner pulling away and keep him still for us to work with and allow easier access for our next grip.

Smash Guard PassStacking PassSmash PassStack Guard Pass

Step 2)

Concept: Reaching Under Knee for Single Underhook

We now want to set up our grips the same as our previous pass in order to keep hold of our partner so we can proceed to flow in a different direction away from the resistance of his posts.

Technical Details:

(1) Keep Collar Grip.

(2) Reach Under Leg for Single Under.


(1) We want to keep our collar grip and pull on it, this not only allows us to keep our partner still but sets us up for further steps where we want to pass it to our underhook hand.

(2) We then reach back and place our hand behind our opponents knee for a single underhook same as before whilst keeping his other leg pinned underneath our shin.

Pressure PassingPressure Pass

Step 3)

Concept: Stack Leg On Shoulder

By stacking my opponents leg up onto my shoulder using the single under pass grip i have around his knee with my hand and wrist, I am able to drive the leg forwards much more and keep it in a higher position, removing any slack ready for the single underhook pass. This will prevent my opponent turning into the knee shield position and enable me to keep him still while I move to a much closer position in relation to his upper body enabling me to stack him and compress his guard with lots of pressure ready to pass.

Technical Details:

1) Scoop Leg From Wrist To Shoulder.


1) Using the cupped single under grip I have around my partners knee, I lift my arm up brining his leg upwards allowing me to duck into the space I’ve just created and drive forwards with my shoulder stacking and locking him into a taught position where no movement is possible.

Underhook Guard PassUnderhook Guard PassingStacking Guard PassStacking Guard Passing

Step 4)

Concept: Reach into cross collar

I want to gain a far collar grip across his throat with my free hand, securing his leg locked into place, stacking his guard forwards ready for the pressure pas, this will enable me to put controlling pressure onto his throat enabling me to keep him still even more and freeing up my previous gripping hand to be able to move to a new grip of control in further steps

Technical Details:

1) Lean Forwards More.

2) Pass Hand Of Leg Scooping Single Under Arm Into Thumb Down Collar Grip Across Throat.


(1) We lean forward onto the leg further, taking away more slack and stacking it higher to compress him ready for the single underhook pass &

(2) pass the collar across to our other hand and taking as deep a collar grip as possible with our thumb on the inside, fingers on the outside. This will allow us to drive our elbow down, driving the blade of our wrist into his throat to apply pressure, locking his body into place, making the opponent unable to move while we smash pass his guard.

Pressure Guard PassPressure Guard Passingsmash-guard-passSmash Guard Passing

Step 5)

Concept: Grab The Knee

By grabbing his knee with my now free hand this stops him being able to turn back into me while I stack guard pass and keeps his leg still and in place unable to follow me once I remove the shin in the next step of the pressure guard pass.

This grip and replace method can be seen constantly throughout this single underhook guard pass and other many techniques and is a key fundamental concept that is important to learn.

Technical Details:

1) Switch Grip To Knee.


(1) I can now take my hand that was previously holding his collar and take a grip of the material at his knee.

Underhook Stacking PassUnderhook Stacking Passing

Step 6)

Concept: Switch Knees

Now i have both of his legs pinned and controlled with my arms I can move my hips and legs around the outside of his guard, using the single underhook pass while he is stuck in place by my weight, pressure and grips.

Technical Details:

1) Hand Grabbing Knee.

2) Outside Knee Down.

3) Inside Knee Up.

4) Leaning My Weight Onto Him.

5) Hips Driving Down And Around.

6) Shoulder Leaning Down And Across Towards Opponents Far Shoulder.

7) Pushing Knee Down.

8) Pressure on Throat.


(1) With my hand still grabbing his knee, (2) My outside knee now comes down as (3) my inside one goes up, 4) leaning my weight down onto him as 5) I drive my hips forward into his, while (6) pushing down with my shoulder in a twisting across motion (7) driving his knee up and back towards his opposite shoulder, as (8) I continue to lever my wrist down onto his throat keeping him compressed and under controlling pressure.

Underhook Stack PassUnderhook Stack PassingUnderhook Stacking Guard PassUnderhook Stacking Guard Passing

Step 7)

Concept: Switch And Roll Hips

This creates an open path for me to smash pass on this side, with my partner held in place, my hips, legs and shoulder are free to slide around him, pressure passing his guard.

Technical Details:

1) Hips Roll Around His.

2) Outside Leg Slides Backwards.

3) Body Weight On Him With No Gaps.

4) Leg Drove Down And Away.

5) Downwards Shoulder Shrug.

6) Leg Clears Head.


(1) I proceed to roll my hips around his by (2) driving my outside leg back (3) driving the weight down onto his hips moulding around them closing down any space and (4) driving his leg back and away until (5) with a simple downwards shoulder shrug it (6) clears past my head.

Underhook Smash PassUnderhook Smash PassingUnderhook Smash Guard PassUnderhook Smash Guard Passing

Step 8)

Concept: Block Hips & Secure Head Control & Underhook

Now I have passed my opponents guard I need to consolidate my side control position to keep him still and prevent him from returning to guard by blocking his hips and establishing head control and an underhook giving me seat belt control around his upper body.

Technical Details:

1) Keep Leg Grip.

2) Block Hips with Leg.

3) Gain Head Control.

4) Gain Underhook.


(1) Keeping the leg grip on my partner, (2) I block his hips with my inside leg, (3) then remove my far collar grip and wrist from his throat wrapping his head with my arm to gain head control. (4) I then remove my grip on his knee and pummel under his far armpit for an underhook, effectively giving me seat belt control around his upper body.

Single Underhook PassSingle Underhook PassingPressure Guard PassingTop Pressure Guard PassingSingle Underhook Guard PassSingle Underhook Guard Passing

Step 9)

Concept: Bring Leg Back

Now that I have control of my partners upper body and have removed all space between him and me, Ive flattened him out and he is stuck on the spot, this means i can remove my leg from his hips now as they cant turn into me as easily, this lowers my own hips for a heavier pin and means I can move closer to his upper body with a 90 degree angle where any future attacks and transitions will take place with my legs now also further away from the danger of his guard seeking legs.

Technical Details:

1) Bring Leg Back Lowering Hips.

2) Shuffle Body Closer To Head For 90 Degree Angle Pin.


(1) I move my leg back away from his hips straightening it and lowering my hips and (2) shuffle my body closer to his head giving my pin a 90 degree angle.

Single Underhook Smash PassSingle Underhook Smash Passing

Step 10)

Concept: Pull Arm Up

My partners forearm wedged in my hip is one of his primary defensive tools. It keeps my pin from being as tight as it could be and pushing on it is one of the key ways he can start to create space, by taking this wedge away, I can reduce his chances of escape and put myself a move another move ahead of him as he now likely needs to regain this to escape.

Technical Details:

1) Reach Under Elbow / Bicep.

2) Pull Arm Up.


(1) I reach back with my head control arm and take a grip on the back of my partners arm just in front of his elbow on his bicep and (2) pull it up out of my hip.

Single Underhook Stack Pass

Single Underhook Stack PassingSingle Underhook Stacking PassSingle Underhook Stacking Passing

Step 11)

Concept: Put Knee Under Arm

By sliding my knee under my opponents arm I can trap it into place between my own arm and knee, finishing my single underhook guard pass solidifying my own pin further and making it more difficult for him to escape and safer for me to advance my offence.

Technical Details:

1) Slide Inside Knee Under Arm.


(1) I slide my outside leg under his arm tight against his head, fully establishing my dominant pin and putting me in a great position to proceed to a submission or transition to another pin.

Single Underhook Stacking Guard PassSingle Underhook Stacking Guard Passing

Stack Choke

Technique 2 Optional Extra 

Step 2:1) 

Concept: Raise Opponents Hips

By raising my opponents hips up off the ground and squaring them, we can reach underneath them and secure a controlling grip with which to lift further.

 Technical Details:

1) Pull On Knee.

2) Drive Forwards With Shoulder And Hips.

3) Lifting His Hips Up Off The Floor.

4) Squaring His Hips Back Towards Us.


(1) using our grip on our opponents knee we pull it up and towards us (2) while driving forwards with our shoulder and hips, (3) this lifts and stacks his hips off the ground and turns them back towards us, creating space underneath him for us to reach into in the next step.

Guard PassingPassing The GuardPressure Passing The GuardSmash Pass ChokeSmashing Pass ChokeUnderhook Stacking ChokeUnderhook Stacking Gi Choke

Step 2:2)

Concept: Switch Grip To Back Of Belt

By transferring my grip from his knee to his belt, trousers or Gi jacket, I can lift and control his hips directly enabling me to raise them much higher and redirect his bodyweight towards my choking arm on his throat in the next step.

 Technical Details:

1) Switch Grip To Back Of Belt, Trousers Or Gi.


Stacking ChokeGuard Stacking ChokeStack Choke BJJGuard Stack Choke BJJ

Step 2:3)

Concept: Lift Hips Up Over Head To Apply Stack Choke

By lifting his hips up and stacking them with his own bodyweight directly over his head and my choking arm which is pressuring down into my opponents throat I can amplify the stacking choke with enormous pressure which is then amplified further with my the addition of my own bodyweight and elbow pressure and will cause my opponent to tap in submission.

Technical Details:

1)Lift Hips Over Head.

2) Drive Forwards With Shoulder And Body.

3) Push Down With Elbow Of  Stack Choking Arm.

4) Lean Own Bodyweight Onto Stack Choking Arm.


(1) I now lift his hips up (2) driving forwards, sending them over his head. (3 At the same time pushing the elbow of my choking arm down driving my wrist into his throat and (4) leaning my own bodyweight onto my arm intensifying the stack choke, resulting in a tap.

Single Underhook Stack ChokeSingle Underhook Stacking ChokeUnderhook Stack ChokeUnderhook Stacking Choke Jiu-Jitsu

Optional Step 2:4)

Concept: Move To Stack Pass If Opponent Escapes Stacking Choke

Our opponent may give us the smash pass as a means to escape the impending stack choke.

Technical Details:

1) Opponent throws his leg back and off my head.

2) Sending His Hips Down To The Floor.

3) Drive Forwards Smash Passing His Guard In The Process.


As I am driving forwards my opponent throws his leg back and off my head sending his hips down to the floor, I continue driving forwards to wards my single under hook, stack passing his guard in the process.

Stack ChokeBJJ Stack ChokePressure PassBJJ Guard Pass

Step 2:5)

Concept: Solidify Side Control 

As in steps 8 to 11 in our first technique, I now want to solidify my pin to control my opponent and reduce his chances of movement and escape, allowing me to score points and proceed to a submission or transition to another pin position.

Technical Details:

1) Gain Head and Underhook Control.

3) Remove Hip Wedge Arm And Trap It Between My Knee And Arm.


I block my opponents hips with my leg (see step 8 of technique 1) and (1) establish head control followed by an underhook to gain seatbelt control of my opponents upper body. I can now remove my blocking leg from my opponents hips moving round into a 90 degree pin position towards my opponents head away lowering my hips and taking my legs away from the danger of his, allowiing me to have a good chance of controlling the established position for around 3 seconds to gain my 3 points for the guard pass and be in a great position to further my attacks and submit my opponent.

Side Control PinSide Control Pinning