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Back Takes Are Not a Bad Plan B
In the earliest stages of our jiu jitsu training and study, it is easy to become used to thinking about techniques in isolation. It's in our nature to work to understand all the details of a technique and try to compartmentalize them and move on to the next move. There is the armbar and there is the triangle and they are two separate techniques. But as one progresses and the synapses and muscle memory begins to open us and connect us to the bigger picture that is BJJ, we begin to see the interconnection between techniques. The armbar and triangle have some similarities and develop from the same paths. This is another reason that the road to mastery of jiu jitsu is so long, arguably never ending. One, because there are so many options that can be entertained based on the reactions of both grapplers in a match. We must begin thinking of chaining techniques together to create insurance policies for themselves as early as you can to ensure that we are succesful.
This idea of interconnectedness comes into play when launching submission attempts. We are not grappling with static partners or grappling dummies. We are training with and competing against living, breathing humans, with hopes and dreams and plenty of escapes to throw our way. It's important to have a Plan B at least and probably a Plan C and that's just for one of your opponent's possible reactions.
Similarly, failed attempts at certain techniques can also be used as baits or traps for the techniques we are truly aiming for landing. In the video below featuring UFC veteran Tim Credeur and BJJ world champion Bernardo Faria, Tim demonstrates a back attack that plays off a failed half guard sweep attempt. By combining techniques, one ensures that they will end up in the most favorable position, rather than banking on the isolated technique working.
It pays to study all angles of a position or submission as you're working to implement it in your game plan. To further broaden your back take arsenal, check out this article by BJJ Fanatics on the topic here.
Another example of a great combination technique that links together very well is displayed in the video below featuring Atos superstar Jonathan "JT" Torres. From knee on belly, JT goes for a cross choke and when the opponent defends, he transitions smoothly to a back take.
Once you begin to build a bank of plan B techniques, you will find that catching your opponent in dominant positions will become easier. They counter A and your catch them with B. And what better position to trap someone than arguably the most dominate position there is, back control.
After seeing the excellent back take in the last video, it's time to take advantage of the opportunity to learn the most effective passes, back take entries and submissions from the one and only Jonathan "JT" Torres. You can get his 4 DVD series where he shows his entire bag of tricks here!