Back Control – The Strait Jacket System
Is having control of your opponent’s back the best possible position in Jiu Jitsu?
Could it be the most sought after position of all controlling positions? If we look at Jiu Jitsu as a sport, in point based tournaments you will always see that you are awarded 4 points, which is typically the maximum number of points, for both back control, or full mount control. It could easily be argued that either of the two positions were superior to the other. I think more commonly what you would find is that both are extremely dominant positions that enable the attacker to have immense control over their opponent.
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Regardless of if we are concerned with sport Jiu Jitsu or not, the point value assigned to a position is based on the positions effectiveness. Therefore, for back control to be awarded the maximum amount of points, it’s safe to assume, whether you are on the mats, or in the streets, the back mount control is a great place for you to be.
Back mount is a favorite amongst many grapplers because of not only the level of control you have over your opponent, but the lack of ability they have to attack you. In a street fight situation, a good back control will completely eliminate the possibility of the opponent being able to land any valuable strikes. What I mean by valuable is a strike that could cause damage. Sure, you may get hit a few times here or there, but if your back control is strong, the strikes will be dead on arrival, meaning they won’t have the strength of momentum to cause any harm.
The problem with back mount is, like most other controls in Jiu Jitsu, it can be challenging to maintain. Once the opponent is able to create a little bit of space and start to work their shoulders to the mat we have to abandon ship and come up to try to get full mount. Professor John Danaher has a system to most everything he teaches. His systems always seem to be focused on attention to detail, even the smallest detail, and taught in a progressive way, meaning that when the opponent does one thing, we respond with this technique, knowing the opponent will likely defend it by doing this, at which point we move to the next technique in the series and so on.
In order to learn from one of the best instructors on the planet we are going to break down how to maintain back control using the Straight Jacket System by Professor Danaher.
Professor Danaher starts off my talking about the biggest issue he sees when a Jiu Jitsu practitioner takes back control. He’s noticed that the most common mistake is that the person taking back control tends to only control the opponent’s movement on one side of their body rather than on both. This leads to the ability for the opponent to start moving on the side that is not being controlled, and ultimately, could lead to an escape.
The first step in controlling the opponent with the straight jacket system we first need to obtain what is commonly referred to as a seatbelt grip setup with one arm under the opponent’s arm and one arm over the opponent’s arm. To take this a step further thought, Professor Danaher insists that you have one elbow behind the opponent’s shoulder (this should be your under hooked arm) and one elbow in front of the opponent’s shoulder (this should be your over hooked arm). Professor Danaher notes that a lot of people rely on their grip in this position for control, while this will work, this method falls apart when you start to attack the neck, which then requires you to let go of the grip you are relying on to control them. It is recommended that you start getting used to using your elbow in front and your elbow behind the opponent’s shoulder to control and limit their movement.
There may come a situation where you are only able to get one hand on your opponent. Perhaps you are only able to get the under hook for whatever reason. In this situation we must rely on using our legs to control the opponent. Remember, if the opponent has the ability to move left or right, they can create the space needed to start working on an escape.
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So, if you are only able to have one hand on the opponent for control, and you’re only ale to get one hook, how are you supposed to maintain control of the opponent and prevent the seemingly inevitable escape? What we need in this situation is a solid understanding of a concept referred to as “diagonal control”. In order to properly execute diagonal control, we must make sure that our under hook, and our leg hook are on opposite sides of the opponent's body. Our under hook hand can come under the opponent's arm and grab their hand making it very difficult for the to turn away from that grip. However, the problem becomes, this does nothing to prevent the opponent from turning into us and ultimately, being able to escape the back mount we worked so hard to maintain. This is where the leg hook on the opposite side of the opponent’s body comes into play. Having this hook in place allows us to have diagonal control as we are controlling the upper body on one side of the opponent’s body and the lower body on the other side of the opponent’s body.
The last takeaway from Professor Danaher in this short video is the only remaining scenario. What if I can’t get an under hook on my opponent with either arm? If this is the situation, we still must find a way to control both sides of the opponent’s body. To do this we must achieve both hooks so that we are able to use our legs to control the movement of our opponent.
Contrary to what I see, and feel like I personally do sometimes, it does not seem that there needs to be a lot of strength involved when trying to keep your opponent in your back control. There is not a single time in the video that we hear Professor Danaher mention the need to squeeze your opponent with all your might, or reference strength at all.
It seems a lot of times strength is used to supplement a lack of technique. It is likely we are simply missing one small detail that will enable us to execute the technique properly.
Now that you know how to properly control the opponent when you get to the back, check out the plethora of submissions available to you in Professor Danaher’s video instructional “Back Attacks: Enter The System” and take your back control, and attack game to the next level. These videos are packed with the exact same secrets, details, and techniques taught to, and executed by some of the top grapplers in the world.
Learn the Secrets of Back Attacks With One Of the Greatest Jiu Jitsu Minds of our generation with Danaher's 8+ hour DVD / On Demand Series: Back Attacks Enter The System. Check It Out Here!
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