Thursday, March 31, 2016

Take the Back

This is post 6 in a 6-part series.

For self defense, simplicity is key. You cannot afford to find yourself in a fight and have too many options going through your head. You must be able to react immediately. So that said, this series will attempt to give you a breakdown of what movements you should drill until they are automatic.

Naturally, different people will have different opinions, so the techniques suggested will be drawn from those most often used with success in MMA. Additionally, there are more options from each position than could ever be presented in a single blog post, so major alternatives will be presented in a list immediately following the highlighted techniques.

Also, note that the strategy presented will be from the point of view of a jiu-jitsu fighter. A striking oriented fighter might use the major alternatives presented here as their go-to moves, while using the grappling philosophy as their backup plans. This does not indicate one style as being superior to another. Rather, it is indicative of different fighting strategies, both of which are proven and tested to be effective.

Finishing the Fight
Of course, one can strike from the back - round punches, hammer fists, heel kicks, etc. However, these are best used as setups for finishes. The three main finishes you should focus on -
* Rear naked choke (RNC)  hadaka jime
* Straight arm lock   juji gatame
* Triangle choke (rear variation, or "trash compactor")  sankaku jime

Rear Naked Choke - RNC
You should master "strong side," "weak side," and "short choke" variations.

The short choke.
Often, when people learn the short choke, they wonder why it isn't standard. Simple explanation - with the short choke, it is easy to peel the choking hand off the neck in defense. So, try for the regular RNC, and if it proves difficult to sink in, attack with the short choke. But be wary - when they start defending the short choke, switch back to the RNC.

Strong side.

With the RNC, one always wishes to choke with the arm closest to the ground. This limits the opponent's escape options. Strong side is a way of saying that the seat belt grip high arm (over the shoulder) is closest to the ground. This allows the jiu-jitsu fighter to directly begin the choking sequence.

Weak Side

In this variety of the Back Control or Back Mount, the jiu-jitsu fighter's seat belt grip low arm (under the opponent's shoulder) is closest to the ground. To execute an RNC from here, one must transfer the neck to the bottom arm for choking.

Avoid attempting rear naked chokes with the top arm.

Another option for a good jiu-jitsu fighter from weak side is to attack with the straight arm lock, juji gatame. One already has hooked the bottom arm, so it's just a matter of framing the head away and moving the leg over the head.

With either the strong side or weak side RNC, it's the bottom arm that winds up doing the choking. The difference, therefore, is in the setup. Do you go straight into the choke, or do you have to transfer to the bottom arm?

An additional option is to use the leg to immobilize the top arm via a hooking mechanism.

Rear Triangle

Sometimes, if you've hooked the arm, they dig under it deeper. Sometimes, the opponent inexplicably digs under a leg on their own in a vain effort to escape. If this happens, you have a wonderful opportunity for a rear triangle - ushiro sankaku jime. Sometimes, this move can be called the trash compactor - especially when the jiu-jitsu fighter reaches forward and grabs the opponent's leg to increase choking pressure.

This can also be combined with an arm lock, just pull the arm and straighten the elbow via a juji gatame motion. Keep the triangular leg position, though.

Remount Technique
If the opponent begins squirming out of your Back Control, and you feel they may succeed - remount the opponent. It's best not to lose a dominant position. Don't hang on to the bitter end - you'll wind up in Guard (or worse).

Kyotsuke!  Rei!

Thank you for reading this series. Any quesions, please post or email. Who knows, maybe your question will make for a future blog post!

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