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Getting to the Back from Knee-On Belly
Force The Back From KOB!
The back is the ultimate position to get to in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu because it offers important attributes such as safety from strikes and effective submissions that are difficult to defend. There are two major ways of getting to the back: when an opponent exposes themselves such as when they roll to the turtle position, or forcefully exposing the back from various positions. Because people are quite reluctant to expose their own back, we oftentimes have to find innovative ways to force that exposure.
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Gordon Ryan’s success with the back is not only from his intricate hand-fighting abilities or highly practiced movements, but his ability to get to the back from unique situations as well. In the recent Quintet tournament, I noticed Gordon go from knee-on belly to the back so quickly and smoothly that I had to re-watch it at half speed a few times to get it. Lo and behold, I then found a 2-year old video in which Gordon actually teaches this technique.
From a standard knee-belly position with a cross-face and under hook, force your opponent on to their side so they can face you. There are a variety of submission that can be attacked from this position alone such as the kimura, spinning armbar, or even a triangle. In order to take the back, maintain a low position while placing the under hook hand under the persons back. This serves two main functions, stability when moving to the other side, and it will also make it easier to lift the person to get the bottom leg hook in. It is then necessary to not only step your knee over to the other side bet slide the knee towards the head so that your shin is parallel to your opponent’s back. Then use the cross face and arm under the back to lift the person to the other side. You will notice that you will land with one hook and will only need to put the other side hook in place. You can use this opportunity to separate your opponent’s arm from them using your leg such as Gordon does in competitions. Here is a video of Gordon showing this technique on Nicky Ryan.