back mount

Armbar From Behind

When engaged with an opponent, the back mount position will always provide security and dominance in the fight. the opponent has not real offensive options and can only try to avoid submissions and strikes or try to slip through your grasp. This armbar setup can be good during either one of these situations. It is a quick and powerful submission that can surprise the opponent from the back mount.

This armbar set-up was seen in the Palhares Vs. Salaverry fight where Palhares caught his opponent in this submission with, what apeared to be, flawless technique. He makes it look easy in the video below but this is a more advanced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu move that takes much practice to use in a real match. With that said HERE is a link to a page with some information of the back mount position in general.

Setting Up the Armbar

Of course to start this submission you must first choose an arm to attack, for clarity’s sake lets say you decide to attack the opponent’s left arm. From a good back mount your left arm should be under the opponent’s left and your right arm should be over his right shoulder locking the opponent in position.

Now the right arm is removed and put on the left side of the opponent’s head and takes control of the opponent’s left wrist. Your left arm now reaches up from underneath the opponent’s arm, grabbing your wrist. This completes a Kimura grip, giving you control of the opponent’s arm.

To complete the submission your body needs to shift to the side of the arm that is being attacked so that the whole body can put force on it. To do this your legs need to shift first. The leg on the side of the arm that is being attacked is passed across the opponent’s waist. The other leg is swung behind the opponent, over his head, and placed across his chest to secure him.

The Finish

Finishing this submission is a piece of cake once you get the opponent on his back, it is getting him there successfully that is the challenge. To complete this submission there is a lot of shitting of position happening. Experience in BJJ and the back mount position help with that exponentially because of the sly and speedy change of position needed to avoid a counter.

The time where you shift from his back to the final armbar position is when your opponent is most likely to weasel his way out of the submission attempt. To avoid this speed can make the opponent not realize what happening until its too late if he is not very experienced. Also The leg that is placed across his chest needs to be placed there and stamped down with force to secure the opponent. By using this leg to pin the opponent to the ground it eliminates the possibility of him rolling into you to avoid the submission.

From here  the legs hold the opponents upper body to the ground while your arms hold his arm to your chest/upper body. The hips are raised up hyper extending the elbow and causing excruciating pain.

Below is a video explaining the technique from start to finish.


Twist Your Opponent into Submission

The Twister is a Devastating

The Twister is not a basic submission that you see all the time. However it can be an extremely effective way to finish off your opponent from the back mount.  What tickles my fancy about this move as well is how mean this move looks when you lock it in. You get the opponents whole body twisting in ways that it certainly is not made to stretch in.

For some evidence on how rare, and mean, this move is: Here is Jung Chan-Sung’s submission of Leonard Garcia with the first and only twister in UFC history.

Why to Choose the Twister Submission

The twister submission is performed from the back mount. The go to, classic, age old submission form the back mount is the rear naked choke. Because of this, everybody is ready to defend against it so it can be a lot more difficult to sink in than you would expect. This makes also helps make the twister, a relatively unseen move, more likely to surprise the opponent.

Again, the twister is just mean. It involves twisting the whole torso and neck. The lower body is pulled in one direction by a leg triangle, and the upper body is pulled in the other direction via neck crank. The whole submission tends to focus this pressure on the cervical vertebrae in the neck making it extremely painful and possibly dangerous if followed through with.

The Set Up

First and foremost you need to take the opponent’s back with a good seatbelt and good hooks. To get in position to perform the twister you need to then get you and your opponent on your sides. This is where you will pin your opponent to torque his whole body for the submission.

To pin your opponent to the ground you use your legs to control lower body position. The technique to do this is a leg triangle. From your leg hooks in back control, you slide your lower hook through your opponent’s legs and take your top leg out and lock in the leg triangle. Your top foot is placed over your bottom leg and under your opponent’s trapped foot similar to a the lockdown in the half guard.

Your upper body positioning is also essential to completing the submission. You need to get his top side arm behind you and slide your bottom side arm around the back of your opponent’s neck.  Your opponent will still be looking to defend his head and neck from strikes and submissions so separating his arm from his body, and getting between it and your opponent, is not always easy.

The Finish

Setting up this move against a comparable opponent is hard, finishing it is easy. The hands are locked around the bottom of the head/neck of the opponent. The grip used for this is referred to as an “S-grip”. This consists of bending the top digits of the fingers down essentially into a hook and then interlocking those two hooks together.

The hips are then pushed forward into the opponent to rotate the bottom half of his body into the ground and away from you. The S-grip is used to pull the opponent’s neck up and towards you. These two contact points forcing the body in opposite directions is what causes so much torque on the opponent’s spine and neck, forcing the tap.

Here is a video explaining the move in depth

You Need To Escape

Our friend in blue desperately needs to escape this back mount before things get hairy

If your get caught in back mount  you will certainly not want to stay there for as short as humanly possible. Its easily the worst position to be in during a MMA fight, or any type of grappling arena for that matter. Of course being the worst position, it is very difficult to escape from a good back mount position.

There is more to back mount than simply piggy backing the opponent. Any opponent with half a brain knows how to control an opponent from back mount and also knows exactly how to end the fight from back mount as well. I shouldn’t even have to explicitly state the name of the submission but, the rear naked choke is a deadly submission that seems all to easy to sink in once in solid back mount position.

To have a better understanding of, and hopefully counter to, back mount control and submission techniques CLICK HERE

The Basic Idea

Before knowing the specific technique behind this escape. The main security line that your opponent has to stay in back mount on you is the leg hooks. Good hooks pin the lower half of the choker’s body to the chokee’s so that it is much harder to move around and escape. Removing these hooks, or by some miracle fighting an opponent who carelessly performs rear mount, are a key part of escaping back mount.

Also when in back mount you are in a substantially worse position than your opponent so doing anything helps. By driving back into him the mat your opponent loses mobility options because his limbs are out of contact with the mat and he is being driven into the mat as well. So he really has no control over your combined position. This is still not a good position to be in, of course, but it can give you some control over the opponent in preparation for your escape.

Another thing to remember when escaping the back mount is to embrace the roll. Controlling an opponent’s spacial degrees of freeedom are easy because the hooks and arms are barriers preventing movement. However unless your opponent has the strongest leg muscles ever rotating your body inside the back mount is a good way to break their hooks on you and a choke attempt.

The Great Escape

The first technique (video below) is a very simple and effective escape technique to practice. Another aspect that this technique uses is the removal of the opponents hips from yours. Once the opponent lets the pressure up that is gluing your two bodies together your chances of escape increase dramatically. When the hips are stepped out and your control is regained you need to spin around in your opponents back mount to face him. .

This technique should not be used without confidence though because at one point your essentially in mount position. However, as the video shows, there are also more complete variations that end in other submissions for the original one who was going to get submitted,

This next video (below) shows a slightly different variation where you end up in their closed guard instead of mounted, which is exponentially better. It is a slightly more technical move that requires more twisting and turning of the body along with what seems to be more technique in general.

Easy as Pie

Wrong, remember during all of this escaping your opponent is in arguably the most dominant grappling position and smelling that win on the tip of their nose. There is no way the opponent will give up the back mount easily, but you also have no choice but to escape if you want to win.This is why back mount escapes needs to be worked on to have any hope of escaping if you get tangles up.