Easy Back Take with Travis Stevens
Attacking the turtle is among the most common pathways of getting to the back. Even though the turtle has evolved into a much more dynamic position, there is still a great deal of back exposure for us to take advantage of. Whether the turtle is used transitionally as more of a pit stop, or your training partner has decided to hunker down and fight for an opportunity to arrive safely at their next preferred position, both of these scenarios offer different challenges.
There's a lot to consider when you're attacking the turtle. What are the goals of the bottom player? Are they locked up super tight and giving up balance or are they positioned wider with a strong base? These are things we must consider as we approach a turtled opponent. Regardless of the bottom players intentions, we have to set ourselves up to respond so we can eventually regain a dominant position or preferably travel to the back. But things can get tricky here. If we don't find a way to keep the bottom player from transitioning or sitting back to the guard, our turtle attacking stint can end quicker than it started.
Travis Stevens has some ideas for you on this particular subject. In this video he demonstrates a back take variation that you can quickly and easily master to help give you more options when you're dealing with a turtle that’s tough to crack! Take a look at this!
With a partner that's turtled tightly, Stevens chooses to adjust his angle so that he's facing more toward the hops. He then drives his knee into the space between his partners thigh and rib cage, penetrating the first critical area of space that he needs to successfully acquire the back.He then reaches through the same space on the opposite side of his partners body with his hand and secures the shin. He also secures the leg on the outside as well. Stevens explains that it's ok if we can't reach the leg from the inside and the outside grip alone will still suffice here.
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With his partner's ability to post the far leg stifled, Stevens begins to drive his body forward, causing his partner's base to collapse and the turtle to be dismantled. As he enters into the roll, his partner's free leg begins to kick out. Stevens uses his feet to manipulate the leg into a position where he can set a hook for the back. Pressing on his own foot, he tilts his partner down toward the mat, he then reaches under the head, creates chest to back connection, and sets his second hook for a very slick back take!
This is incredibly simple and it's the perfect answer for that training partner that just wants to hang out and stall. If you're a fan of positions like the cross body ride that control the lower portions of the body you can clearly see this would be a great entry into that position as well. From here you could take a pause and attempt several submissions or just keep on moving toward the back as Stevens demonstrates.
The back is widely considered to be the king of the dominant positions and anytime we have the chance to acquire it, we should do so! Gaining control of the back is not only a huge positional victory it's also a mental one. You were able to catch your training partner in one of the most vulnerable positions in BJJ and that takes a toll on the mind as well as the body! Stevens has provided us with an incredible sequence here to help us get the job done no matter how locked up your opponent’s and training partners may be!
Check out Travis's No-Nonsense approach to Ne-Waza!