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Escaping the Modern Back Control with Lachlan Giles

Escaping the Modern Back Control with Lachlan Giles


Escaping the back is a thing of beauty. It has always been my favorite escape as far as mechanics, body positioning, and strategery go.

Although it can be an arduous task, scraping someone off that’s secured the rear mount is an important part of the game. Having someone on your back, to me, is one of the most unfavorable positions in jiu-jitsu, and if they’re good at what they do, it can make for a long day.

Although the methods will vary, escaping the back usually involves some form of getting our head and shoulders to the mat, followed by the hips. Practitioners at every level add their own secret ingredients and special touches to the escape, but it’s hard to avoid these principals when you’re attempting to thwart off that pesky back attack.

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Developing your own version of the back escape will happen naturally as your own unique game matures, but it always helps to see how its being done at the highest levels. I wish I could say I had a devastating mount, or the most dangerous guard at the academy, but actually my ability to escape the back is probably my best attribute. I came up with some back taking machines, and I still find myself there often. It helped me develop a good set of defensive tools over the years, and I actually love cracking the code of the position. I’ve gained a lot of great details for escaping in my journey, and I continue to search for the best ways to unlock the back attack.

Let’s take a look at some content from Lachlan Giles on the subject. Giles is a phenomenal teacher, and I’m certain you will find something useful here to implement, or quite possibly an answer you’ve been looking for. Check this out!

There are different levels of control when it comes to the back. It all depends on how far we’ve let our opponent settle in to the position. The type of escape you use matters depending on how far the back take has progressed. Are we escaping in transition? Does my partner have hooks, but no seat belt, or vice versa? These are things we must consider. In this particular variation, Giles begins when both hooks have been set, and a seatbelt has been established.

Giles begins by focusing on his neck and his partners hands. The choking arm, or the over hook is of the utmost importance here. Giles recommends not using a chin up style grip to defend, as this may actually make it easier for your partner to secure your neck. Instead, Giles comes from the top with his left arm with a C style grip on his partners wrist. His other hand hooks his partners forearm, reinforcing the C grip. With both grips on the arm in place, Giles pulls down and secures the arm tight to this body.

With traditional hooks, it can be fairly simple to turn our hips and clear the legs, freeing our lower body. But this type of control won’t be the most common at higher levels. You’ll more than likely encounter a belt line style bottom hook, which makes escaping much more difficult.

So, this next movement is something I’ve never seen, and I really think it’s a phenomenal detail. To deal with this particular type of control, Giles uses his top hand to block his partners top leg, and then begins to walk backward, pointing his butt up toward the ceiling. At the peak of the movement, his hips pop free, and he pommels his top leg tot eh inside of his partners bottom leg. Brilliant. He then extends his leg away, opening the space, and freeing his hips completely.

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Thought he hips are free at this point, we’re not quite out of the woods yet. The next step is critical to make sure that we don’t get our back retaken in the process of escape.

With his hips free, Giles uses his arm closest to his partners hips to create a barrier in between him and his partner. He establishes a connection to the mat with his right elbow. This blocks his partner from bringing the bottom leg back underneath and his ability to recompose the back. From here Giles can now turn back toward his partner and begin to come up to the top position without the threat of getting his back taken again.

This is one the coolest back escapes I’ve ever seen. There’s quite a bit of relevance here also, as we don’t encounter the traditional “two hooks in” back control as much anymore. Most players have elected to use this belt line hook type of positioning and the body triangle to optimize their control of the back, and free up the hands to make attacking the neck easier.

Amazing details and phenomenal technique here from one of the best!

Get Lachlan Giles' DVD "The Guard Passing Anthology: Half Guard", and get to passing, taking the back, and mounting with ease from the top half guard! BJJ Fanatics has it! Check it out here!



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