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Back Attacks: Getting There Is Half the Battle
Back mount is arguably the most dominating of BJJ positions that exists. From a self defense perspective, the person who's back has been taken has arguably the least amount of weapons or counters against the position. Sure I can try to grab or punch at the person on my back's face, but they can easily protect themselves by staying tight and protecting their face behind my head.
From a competition standpoint, the back position is one of the most highly rewarded with full back mount with both legs or hooks in controlling the opponent's hips being awarded 4 points. In an MMA match, having an opponent's back, even if the submission is not secured is typically seen as being dominant and controlling the fight which in most cases will secure the victory.
In this article, we are going to explore several ways to achieve the back position. Back mount is definitely a position with a variety of ways to secure it. One must drill and work the entries to make sure they can put their opponents there along with the submission attacks like chokes and arm attacks. If you can't get there and secure the back position, those techniques will do you very little good.
In the first video below, the demonstrator shares a very common back control entry from a side control position. This technique is a staple of the Ryan Hall back attack system and has three main components.
Initiating the Roll
Once side control is established, the shoulder crush is used to get your opponent to turn away.
Establish Seat Belt and Adjust Body
This prevents for your opponent to turn towards you to put their back down.
Bring Thigh Up Along Back and Establish Base
By staying tight and bringing the thigh tight it allows you to take the based leg and step over to "cement" their fate. You can then use the leg/thigh that is against their back to push off pulling them back towards you to take the back.
In the next technique, world champion Caio Terra shows an example of how to take the back from being caught in an opponent's half guard. Notice some of the same key points as the first video when Terra uses his thigh to control the back and use the sit back to pull the opponent into him.
In the next video, Garry Tonon demonstrates a back take from the mount position. In this example, his opponent is trying to work the elbow escape. By stepping back and controlling their legs, this opens up the opportunity for a smooth shoulder roll, using your hook and some hip movement to take the opponent's back just as they're thinking they are escaping.
In the final video, we see competition footage featuring some of the legends of jiu jitsu employing some key ideas that will help you maintain the position one you get there. Proper tight head positioning, wrist control, and lower body control are concepts that with drilling and plenty of live training will improve your back control maintenance.
Many times as we add new techniques to our arsenals, we don't pay full attention to the techniques or transitions that come both before or after those moves. And when things don't work properly for us, we give up those techniques and look for others. By looking at how to properly get to the back and how to maintain the back control once it is established, the submissions and attacks we have in our repertoire become infinitely more deadly.
For more bullets to add to your Back Attack gun, check out this past article by BJJ Fanatics here.
If you want to improve your overall back attack success rate, check out Matt Arroyo's Back Attack Blue Print DVD series here.