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Arm Drag To The Back With The KING!
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Arm Drag To The Back With The KING!

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It’s no secret or surprise to anyone that back control is one of the most dominate positions you can have in a Jiu Jitsu match.  In many point based competitions back control will earn you more points than almost anything else, typically tied with mount position.  Having control of the opponent’s back puts you in a unique position to work submission attacks, while also limiting the opponent’s ability to escape.  In a street fight or self defense scenario having control of the opponent’s back affords the same benefits with the added benefit of greatly reducing if not completely removing the risk of the opponent landing any strikes that could be harmful.  Needless to say, this is a very powerful position and the better you understand it, and how to get to it from various positions, the more dangerous you will be on the mats.  

There are numerous ways to take the back from various positions however we are going to look at an arm drag back take by Gordon Ryan where he shows how he likes to take the back when starting from a full closed guard position.  The first thing to note is the importance of winning the initial grips. Once again, to no surprise, gripping is everything in Jiu Jitsu. 

Gordon states in this video clip that whoever wins the grips in the beginning will have the advantage when working setups, and obviously whoever has the advantage working setups will have the advantage landing submissions so needless to say, getting the proper grips in the beginning is very important. 

Systemize your Closed Guard with The King! Click Learn More!

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From the closed guard Gordon is looking to arm drag.  In order to be able to do this he is looking to get a two on one grip on the opponent’s arm.  He shows various ways of achieving this in this video clip but my favorite is his 2 on 1 switch from what I feel is a fairly common position, inside bicep ties.  From the inside bicep ties position Gordon picks which side he wants to arm drag, in this example he is looking to arm drag the opponent’s right arm. Once he picks an arm to attack, in this case the right arm, he uses his right hand to reach over his chest and grab the opponent’s right wrist, pulling it to the center of his chest.  At this point he can switch control of the arm from his right hand to his left hand using a 2 on 1 grip.  

Now that he has control of the opponent’s right arm with his left hand gripping the opponent’s right wrist he can reach for the back of the opponent’s right arm with his right hand gripping the tricep just above the elbow.  From here he is in position to arm drag the opponent. To do the arm drag correctly he simply lifts his right elbow up to create space and then pushes the opponent’s right hand to his right arm pit, the pocket of space that was just created by lifting his elbow.  

From here he can now release his grip on the wrist as he pulls with his right arm on the grip he has on the back of the opponent’s right arm causing the opponent to lose posture.  As this is happening Gordon is reaching with his left hand looking to go over the opponent’s back and grab their left side lat muscle or arm pit area as shown in the picture below.

From this position Gordon shrimps slightly to get more onto his right side and then uses his left leg to kick straight out creating momentum allowing him to pendulum up while also pulling with his left arm.  A few quick notes here. Gordon notes that with any arm drag you don’t want your chest to be pointed at the ceiling, you must be on your side with your chest pointed into your opponent so that your weight can be on them rather than on you making it more difficult for the opponent to posture up and turn into your essentially negating all the work that you just did.  Gordon shows how he shrimps slightly to the side and then brings his right arm tight to his body trapping the opponent’s arm and also putting it at an angle that makes it more difficult for them to use is to build their posture, all the while pulling on his left hand grip to ensure his weight is on his opponent making them feel heavy and unable to posture up.  

Once you have perfected the transition, it’s time to finish our back take.  As Gordon comes up he is not just looking to sit straight up, but rather up and around the opponent’s back, he does this by using his left hand grip to pull himself around the opponent’s back as he is coming up.  This will require him to pull his right leg around the opponent’s waist putting his right knee on the mat in front of the opponent’s right knee he gets around to the opponent’s back and begins looking for his seatbelt grip.  From here he simply needs to secure the seatbelt and finish the back take.  

There are many options from this position including taking the back, or setting up submissions, it’s really up to you at this point to decide what fits best in your game.  If you are not sure where to go from here, check out “Back Attacks: Enter the System”  - by John Danaher.  John Danaher is widely known as the most detailed, technical instructor on the planet with the most systematic approach to Jiu Jitsu.  It’s no wonder why his video instructionals are selling so insanely fast. With over eight and a half hours of content on this particular topic, you will have the same level of instruction and detail that the best grapplers in the world are getting.  The only thing then that stands between you and greatness is your work ethic. Are you willing to work as hard as the Gordon Ryan’s of the world to be great at Jiu Jitsu?  

Systemizing Closed Guard by Gordon Ryan

Gordon Ryan has already changed the course of Jiu-Jitsu with his Guard Passing DVD now he is set to do the same with the Closed Guard! Systemizing Closed Guard will provide the road map to success when in Closed Guard. Update your classic Closed Guard technique with a modern HIGH PERCENTAGE approach to attacking from Closed Guard!

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