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Critical Back Control Details: Stopping Rotation
The back mount may just be the most dominant position you could hope to achieve in BJJ. Consider the perks. All of your opponent’s defenses are facing away from you, making escapes and counters difficult. From a self-defense perspective, it can be a real chore to land a good blow when you have someone stuck to your back. But following someone around that doesn’t want you there isn’t easy. The rewards are huge, but it’ll take some serious focus on control before you can hope to submit anyone from this favored position.
So, what are some key points in making your back control a success? Check out this short video from the wizard himself, John Danaher.
Excited yet? John begins with a fundamental element of keeping the back. Stopping rotation. Once our opponent begins to rotate or turn his body in either direction, this can be the beginning of the end of our conquest of the position. John relies heavily on the pinch of the elbows to keep his partners rotational abilities restricted. His over hook elbow pinches the shoulder on the same side. The other elbow maintains a tight squeeze on the lat area. With these ideas in place, John is able to unlock his seatbelt grip in order to utilize his hands more efficiently. This can only be done if the elbows are continuing to maintain pressure.
He then discusses what he refers to as the principal of diagonal control. If only one hook or one upper body control has been achieved then the accompanying method of control must be on the opposite side of the body. In other words, if you’re controlling with the right arm as an over hook, you must at the very least also be using your left foot as a hook to compliment it.
This video focuses on a few of the aspects of upper body control. Of course, there is much more involved in the ultimate control of the back. But why not focus on one area at a time? We tend to try and digest too much at once when learning BJJ. It’s natural. We want to be good. The submissions from the back are many, but none of them will come to fruition if you can’t remain there. Study the controls, perhaps separately. Focus on shutting down the rotation of the upper body, then move on to the various controls and positions of the feet. Once you can establish a solid relationship between the two, you’ll be finishing from the back more frequently.
Just to get you pumped up, here’s a quick video of JT Torres hitting some killer back takes! Enjoy!
For more from JT Torres, get his incredible series "Passing, Back Takes, and Finishes" here at BJJ Fanatics and revolutionize your game!