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The Best Drills to Improve Back Control
It Is The Most Dominant Position In BJJ. Drill It. Learn It!
Back control in Jiu Jitsu is often a battle in which the attacker must continuously retake the back while the defender continuously escapes. Because these movements occur quickly, it is vital to drill them at a high pace for increased effectiveness. Personally, I think high-pace drilling is the best way to improve at a certain technique quickly. Because of this, I want to highlight three important drills that grapplers can use to improve back control.
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Each of the following drills is based off how far in terms of defense the defender has moved. Since the typical defense involves the defender getting their hips over and past the attackers’ legs, the drills will progress based of how far over the hips the defender has gotten.
The first drill is for when the defender drops and hook but has not transitioned fully off of the hips. When the defender drops a hook, most grapplers respond by trying to force that hook back in, however, it never really works because the defender is now pinning the entire leg.
For the drill, the defender will drop a hook by shifting slightly over one side. The person doing the drill will extend the foot of the dropped hook out so that the toes are on the ground. From here, do a reverse hip escape so that you lift the defender up on top of you. From here, draw that same foot back in and hip escape to the other side. This will take you to the opposite side back control you were in. Do this drill side-to-side for as many minutes as you like.
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The next drill is based off the defender shifting over the legs to the point when their hips get to the ground. This is an extremely important moment for the attacker because if they don’t move correctly, they will lose the position. For the drill, the defender will drop a hook and slide their hips to the ground. From here, draw your elbow close to you, use your elbow and head as a base to turn over, lift the hips up, and slide the knee of the dropped hook to their head. This will take you to S-mount and allow you to retake the back.
Finally, some defenders, although uncommon, will jump their hips very far away after escaping the hook. The drill for this defense involves maintaining a very tight seatbelt grip, turning away from your partner so that your bodies form a straight line, and turning over to walk them up. After seating your opponent, tilt them to a side and put a hook in, fall towards the side of the hook and finish by placing the other hook. Now repeat on the other side.
I hope these drills can help you improve your guard control, as they have helped me tremendously over the years. Drill these to perfection until they are ingrained in your subconscious so that you can start dominating people with your back control.