The back mount. One of the most dominant and versatile positions in jiu jitsu. While we all may know that the back mount is a great position to seek out in a roll, oftentimes, we don't take the time to learn and understand the fundamental philosophy of back mount. Today, we are going to share 5 tips that will help you better understand the importance of back mount and level up your jiu jitsu game.
Why Is Back Mount A Good Position in BJJ?
With all positions in Jiu Jitsu, there are pros and cons as well as a list of sweeps, chokes and escapes that can be applied from both competitors.
However, the back mount specifically is one of the more dominant positions in BJJ where the person securing the back mount has more options to control their opponent and get the tap over most any other position.
Once back mount is obtained, the competitor has the ability to run a series of transitions to chokes where their opponent must solely focus on reversing the position and/or escaping.
Development of your back mount game in jiu jitsu is crucial. Certainly, getting comfortable in guard is a must, but it's just as important to get a good back mount game. Let’s explore 5 tips to develop a solid jiu jitsu back mount game.
5 Tips To Develop A Solid Back Mount Game
1. Learn To Take The Back Consistently
You can't develop your back mount game in jiu jitsu if you don't know how to consistently take your opponents back. So, number one is going to be getting better and learning how and when to take back mount.
While there are many ways to enter the back mount position, it's important to start with one or two simplified methods that you can focus on when rolling.
Practicing just 1-2 at a time gives you the opportunity to practice your back take without having your mind race through the 500+ Ryan Hall can take.
Preferably, go with two entry positions to back mount that you can practice. By picking two methods, you can have an alternate entry from another common position (like mount or side control).
Just like the first time you became proficient in a trap and roll sweep, you had to learn the timing, opponent’s movement, and angles to time your sweep just right. Learning to take the back is no different, you must learn to drill the fundamental movements, and then fine-tune your back take by repeatedly trying the entry in live rolls at class.
At first, your back take will not work (just like learning a sweep didn't work at first), but, with time, practice and feeling out your opponent's movements, you will start to dial-in the timing and movements to consistently take the back.
So, start slow, drill it, apply it in live rolls and get good at consistently taking the back.
2. Learn To Maintain Back Mount
What good is the back mount that you finally learned to take consistently if you can't maintain back control long enough to enter into a submission attempt?
Control in back mount has several fundamental steps that must be met before you will be able to maintain back mount without your partner escaping at will.
Start by focusing on a strong chest-to-back pressure. Once your partner feels you taking the back, they will often immediately start to turn inwards, placing their back against the ground to prevent a choke and start their own escape.
By maintaining a core fundamental like strong chest-to-back pressure, you start your back mount off with good control, limiting the space for your partner to roll towards you.
Even if your hooks fall out, your partner may scramble, but with solid chest-to-back pressure, you can follow your partner and maintain the backpressure.
3. Use Your Hooks
It's hard to discuss back mount while not discussing your hooks. “Hooks” in jiu-jitsu are referring to the control of your opponents’ hips and legs by “hooking” their inner thighs with your feet and ankles, effectively preventing them from kicking a leg out and escaping.
Traditionally, with a back mount, you will use both feet (hooks) to control your opponent's movements. Using both feet is considered a standard method, however, you can also use a single hook and use your other foot to control the upper leg of your opponent.
Play with both scenarios of a single hook and double hooks, you will learn that the single-leg hook coupled with strong chest-to-back pressure is an excellent method of limiting your partner's escape ability.
4. Focus On Your Partner
Oftentimes in jiu jitsu when we get to a dominant position we start focusing on how we can finish the match and get the tap.
However, if you take a mental step back and focus your attention on your partner's escape attempts, it can open a whole new world of opportunities to finish the match.
We can learn a lot from allowing our partners to escape a bad position. This “cat and mouse” approach really opens up your mind to the fundamental aspects of the move and also becoming aware of the vulnerabilities where you apply it.
5. Let Your Partners Break Free From Back Mount
Yes, let them break free from your back mount. Why? Because it is inevitable that your back mounts will be challenged by those you roll with and you need to learn to stop it and regain control.
By slowly starting to let your opponent escape, it's an excellent opportunity to study your opponents reactions as well as finding methods to regain that back mount control.
Start small with this to really level up your game. From time to time, let a hook fall out, or let your opponent start to turn towards you.
By allowing this to happen and then regaining that control back, you will find your problem-solving skills in this position will increase and your overall back mount retention will really start to improve.
Jiu jitsu is a marathon, not a sprint. You must learn to embrace the difficulties, the challenges and the confusion.
By applying these small steps in your live rolls, you will start to slowly see an improvement in your back mount game as well as your overall jiu jitsu IQ.But, that's enough of us talking about jiu jitsu training, the real results are in the work. So, put a couple of these tips into action, drill to win them at every opportunity and go train!