Dan Faggella is a BJJ Academy Owner, No Gi Pan Am Champion at 130 pounds, and recognized expert in the area of light weight BJJ. Dan writes or Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, MMA Sports Mag, and more – make sure and grab your FREE copy of the 7 escapes book for smaller grapplers.
There are certain positions that hold little to no weight in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world. Players can find themselves obtaining certain positions for the sake of just stalling and scoring points, and have no interest in advancing their position to do damage from here.
Back mount is not one of those types of positions. Take a look at the video below…
A dangerous spot to be in, when someone takes your back, they are going to make sure you don’t have much of a say in the matter. With the various options clearly laid out for them—hooks, body lock, etc—back mount presents various ways one can go about dominating their opposition.
Many grapplers—novice or experienced—struggle with escaping from back mount. It doesn’t take much to panic in this scenario, and fight off any potential threat with all of our might, hoping that we can extend the match for a few more seconds.
Having excellent escape techniques is one thing, yet being able to act cool under pressure is another. Knowing how to properly setup escapes is the first main step in freeing yourself of such a dangerous position.
Always Maintain A Grip!
Before we begin to break down any type of technique, it’s a must that you know NEVER to break your grip! What I mean by this is that you don’t want to let go of your opponents hands. The second your do, they will be able to attack the choke with a mean force, causing the quick submission.
Once they take your back, they will look to setup their over/under grip around your neck, which is when you should focus on their hands. Don’t allow them any space and make sure that vice grip is firm and isn’t going to budge from them NO MATTER WHAT!
This is truly the life source of any good back mount escape, and always keep that in mind.
Keeping A Tight Frame
A vital piece to this puzzle is making sure that you don’t give your opponent an inch of room to work with. By this I mean right when they obtain their position, you’ll want to turn your head into the side which the choke is being applied to.
Once you get here, tightly tuck your chin in towards your chest. Don’t give them any chance to sneak their hand under your chin to apply the choke. Think of it as if your chin is super glued to the top of your chest and can’t be separated.
Another way to keep a tight frame is to keep your elbows in nice and tight to their knees. If you allow your arms to float, then you become weaker which plays directly into their favor, allowing them to dominate from the back.
Once you maintain a time frame—a tucked chin and pinned elbows—everything will come together rather nicely for you and you will escape quickly from this spot.
Performing The Escape
Now that we have established firm control of their hands and now have a tight frame, we can go about executing our escape plan.
With our head turned, we now want to fall off to the non-choke side. This is because we have good leverage on this specific arm, and will be able to work rather well from this position.
After we fall off to the side, we want to clear that same side leg. Kicking free from their hook, the next focus is to clear their leg by sliding across it. As we do, they will see this and likely try to go for mount, which is exactly what we are trying to do. The classic ‘bait and switch.’
With our opponent thinking that they have us in prime position for a transition into full mount, we see them bringing their leg across our body. What we want to do now is time everything perfectly, if we don’t, then it could end poorly for us.
As they sweep their leg across, we want to catch it, with one hand going for an underhook. Once you we apply the hook, our hand should be around their thigh area. This is great, but it doesn’t end here as we want to make sure we can use their momentum against them in this spot.
Utilizing the underhook we just established for ourselves, the last major step to this move is to slide our body under their leg, and sneak out the back. If all goes well, we should be totally from their dominant position, and they should be in some sort of vulnerable spot, making it easy for us to continue out offensive attack.
Going For The Finish After The Escape
Once you escape, the first thing on your mind should be ‘attack, attack, attack!’ They were doing their best to try and finish you, but now with the tables turned, you should be doing the same exact thing! It’s a tit-for-tat sport and we must play by the rules.
After escaping from this spot, you now have a few options to choose from. Do you want to jump on their back and offer them some payback? This is a readily available option as they could very well be in a turtle position, making it easy to grab hold of their back.
You could also jump into a side mount variation if you should choose, as this will be sitting there for the taking as well.
The plethora of offensive options will be there, that’s for certain. However, none of those will matter if you aren’t able to execute this escape correctly. Give this the proper focus and attention it deserves, as it could very well one day win you a medal!