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Buckle Up! It's Gonna Be a Bumpy Ride!
The “seat belt” grip. It’s one of the most familiar terms in BJJ, referring to the method of controlling the back-mount position. It’s the standard for successful control of the back. Although its importance can not be ignored, there are many factors that determine the effective conquest of this favorable position.
Once the seatbelt has been achieved and some method of lower body control has been established (two hooks in, if we’re considering points), we can now begin to funnel our opponent down a more dangerous path. The methods of control, submissions, and transitions are endless, but there always seems to be a few key points that remain true when trying to maintain the back-mount position. Here are 3 tips that might be useful after you’ve secured your seat belt and set your hooks:
Back Control Tip #1
Try to keep your sternum on the center of your opponent’s back at all times. This will ensure the correct placement of your body through the period of control and gives us a reference point. Once you lose the center of the back, it may be the beginning of the end.
Back Control Tip #2
Keep your head next to your opponent’s head. Many times, our head gets above our partners head and this makes it more difficult to stay with them as they move. We commonly hear the term “back pack” used when we discuss the back mount. It makes sense. You don’t wear a back pack above your head. Try to position yourself so that your shoulders are at the same level and almost as if you’re trying to glue your ear to theirs.
Back Control Tip #3
Consider moving your heels down toward your opponent’s knees. Although there are various ways to control the lower body, we can opt to control one leg, or use a body triangle, for example, this tip will be more applicable for classic two hook control. The closer to the groin the heels get, the easier it is for your partner to turn their hips, which may lead to a loss of control. Try to keep your heels low to maintain control.
Check out this simple back maintenance drill. As you go through the motions consider the themes above. Aim for no separation from your partner and keep the movement fluid. This drill will also help you anticipate your opponent’s movements when trying to escape. Enjoy!
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