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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

13 August 2015

13/08/2015 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Rolling Back Attacks

Class #657
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Oli Geddes, Leuven, Belgium, 13/08/2015

I went straight from the plane to the train, then walked from Leuven Train Station to the Sportoase. There was already a class going on when I entered, but as it was wrestling I wasn't too concerned about missing it. I had plenty of time to get checked in with Vara at the BJJ Globetrotter desk, then get changed.

The class I wanted was Oli Geddes' session on rolling back attacks. This was perhaps a bit fancy by my standards and it was nogi: I almost never take the gi off for BJJ. Nevertheless, there were some useful techniques from quarter guard and half guard, handy given that it is currently half guard month back home at Artemis BJJ.


Oli kicked off with a rolling back take against turtle. Turn to face their legs, with your knee nearest their head looking to jam inside the space between their knee and elbow. Your other knee is blocking their leg, to make it harder for them to reclaim guard. With the arm nearest their head, reach over and grab their ankle (at least that's what my training partner Stacey and I ended up doing).

Your other hand grabs inside their leg, gripping the ankle. Lift that ankle up and outwards, to make it easier to get your waiting leg inside (slipping it under first), hooking around their leg. Thrust your hips into them, then diving over to the far side, roll over the shoulder nearest their head (I think? I need to check that with more drilling). Get past their hip, swinging through to grab their arm and take their back.

If you get part way through the back take, but can't reach their arm or hip to complete the motion, wrap up their near leg with your arms instead. Your legs will still be clamping around their other leg. Pull on their leg with your arms, extending into their other leg for the submission. You can put one foot behind the other for extra leverage. Note that this submission is entirely down to their flexibility, so it has some limitations.

If you are going for the back, but can't get hold of anything, you can still triangle your legs around the leg you do have. Pull down on their toes for the calf crush. Wrapping their leg with your arm can add in extra pressure.

We then moved to a rolling back take from quarter guard, a common position as you're passing half guard or they are trying to escape mount. Turn away from the foot they've trapped, adjusting your knee position so it doesn't catch on their leg. Roll inside (I think inside? Again, I need to check that during drilling), then you're back into the same position as before. Similarly from half guard, you can do this after moving into the opposite side pass.

In that opposite side pass position, adjust your feet so their leg is still controlled, then turn with your shoulder to begin another back take. I'm not totally clear on how best to adjust your feet: I think you hook your instep over their leg to trap it? I've seen this technique before, but the same thing confused me, along with the turn. Oli's instruction definitely helped, I just need to drill this more. Generally rolling back attacks are a bit fancy for me, but it's useful to have some options against quarter guard.

You can do the same back take from deep half, where this time you'll need to push on their head to step your leg through. However, I'm not sure I entirely got the rest of the technique. Once again, needs more drilling, I'll grab some people at Artemis BJJ when I get home. Judging by the picture Vara put on Facebook (there are loads on the BJJ Globetrotter group, so I asked if I could use them in my posts), it's the shoulder on the same side as the trapped leg, diving over to the opposite side.

Next up, more back attacks with Robson Barbosa.

Pictures courtesy of Vara from BJJ Globetrotters

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