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BJJ Instructional Videos
John Danaher Leglocks
John Danaher Back Attacks BJJ
Half Guard BJJ Instructional Video
How To Take The Back When Your Opponent Turtles Up

How To Take The Back When Your Opponent Turtles Up


Here is A Great Back Take vs Turtle For You To Try!

The turtle position is an often debated, much maligned defensive position. For years, it has been argued over whether the turtle position is weak, or an effective way to defend yourself, allowing you “shell” yourself from your training partner’s attack and submissions. While a novice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu player might see the turtle position as stalling, the reality is that it is often not stalling, but waiting for an opportunity to turn a defensive position into a sweep or a submission. You will often to see a lot of high level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitors end up in a turtle position at one point or another. It can be inevitable in a live roll.

Attacking The Back is not as easy as you think. In fact, John Danaher thinks the modern BJJ methods of attacking the back are flawed. His System of Attacking The Back has created some of the best submission hunters and finishers in the world.


If you are a beginner at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you may be a bit confused at what to do the very first time one of your training partner’s turtles up. A good turtle player will make it difficult for you to penetrate their defense. You will see often times a strong turtle leaves very little space for you to take any type of control. There are tons of training videos out there that show different ways to try to crack this defense open. Often times you will see high level BJJ players recommend things like wedging your knee into the space between the turtled opponent’s arms and legs. Or, you will see someone demonstrate a way to grab an arm and pry the turtled open. Others will look for leg and ankle control, or bump their opponent to try and break their posture. It is no surprise they call this the turtle position! It can be quite frustrating to figure out how to break the defensive “shell.”

Today we are going to look at a really great back take versus a turtled opponent. One of the reason some high level BJJ practitioners see the turtle position as a weak defensive position is because it gives your back to your opponent. A smart attacker will often look to use this to their advantage. By dominating your opponent’s back all it takes is some well set hooks and a bit of momentum to flip the turtle onto his or her back, exposing their neck to an easy rear naked choke!  This is exactly the type of thing we are going to look at exploiting today. Watch the video below of a great back take versus an opponent who is in a defensive turtle position. After we will break down the back take technique. Check it out now!

This back take versus turtle can be broken down in to three, simple and easy to remember steps.

Step 1: Place your hips directly next to your partners hips. You should be square against your partner. Now from here, simply reach with your near arm around his waist and grab your training partner’s gi lapel. This establishes your connectivity to your training partner – a very crucial and important detail. From here simply close your elbow to your training partner’s hip.

Step 2: Step two is where things get really good for you, and really bad for your opponent. This is the key step to breaking down the opponent’s turtle posture. Pull your training partner towards you using your knee to block his knee. When your opponent starts to fall over, move your knee away. This will allow you to establish the very essential seat belt control.

Step 3: Congratulations, you have dismantled your turtled opponent’s posture. You are not done yet though, keep going. From here you want to slide your knee between your training partner’s elbow and body. Throw your foot hook in. Make sure you really get that hook in tight! Open (or close) your foot so you can fall to the side position. Finally, lock up your body triangle. It is all over for your opponent.

Once you have your training partner locked up in the body triangle you can start going for neck chokes. Keep in mind that from here, your training partner is going to do several instinctive things. They are going to, try and prevent you from securing a neck choke with both hands. They are also going to hip up and try to flatten you. And they are going to try and clear your triangle body lock. But the reality of the situation is, as long as you keep the triangle body locked up tight, they are screwed. They messed up along time ago when they allow you to dominate their back. This is ultimately, one of the biggest weaknesses of the turtle position. Your back is exposed and if you wait too long to try and mount some sort of attack you basically just give away back control.

As I stated earlier, there are a ton of different ways to destroy an opponent’s turtle defense. How you do it really comes up to what fits your game style the best. We all have different body sizes, and what might work on one guy could utterly fail on another. The key is to try and keep your techniques as simple as possible. Focus on getting good at the fundamentals, especially if you are new to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. With a solid understanding of the basic concepts you can really get good at controlling your opponent in any situation. That is why I love this back take vs turtle. It is so simple. It relies on basic concepts which you will see come up everywhere in jiu jitsu. Plus, taking someone’s back is a great way to guarantee your safety. Of course, nobody wants to get in a street fight, it can be an incredibly painful experience, especially if the fight ends up on the ground. If this were a real life street fight scenario, your attacker would not be able to land any kicks or punches. Controlling a person from their back is one of the safest ways to de-escalate a situation, or handle an attacker until the police arrive. So keep this back take in mind! It could help you in any situation on the mats or on the streets!

The Danaher Death Squad Athletes are some of the best back attackers in the world. There is a system that they follow from John that gives them the blueprint to become the highest rated finishers in EBI History.

By focusing on the same principles that created one of the most feared submission systems ever, John feels he has perfected and revolutionized the way his athletes can attack from the back. His athletes move from attack to attack, constantly creating more and more advantages for themselves, until they are getting the tap.

John Danaher States the Secrets of Back Attacks With One Of the Greatest Jiu Jitsu Minds of our generation with his 8+ hour DVD / On Demand Series: Back Attacks Enter The System



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