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

28 August 2015

28/08/2015 - Teaching | Half Guard | Rolling Back Take

Teaching #380
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 28/08/2015

I originally learned this a few years ago and had trouble understanding it, but since the session Oli Geddes taught at the 2015 BJJ Globetrotter Summer Camp, it's become clearer. I've therefore been trying it in half guard sparring, where it has functioned well as an option when your partner is clamping really tight and not giving you any openings. For this technique, all you need is enough base to quickly roll inside and go for the back. It can be launched from a variety of positions: tonight, I demonstrated it from quarter guard (where you've almost passed, but they've managed to latch onto your foot), but it also works from the opposite side pass position, deep half guard and turtle, among others.

In each position, the basic idea is the same. Turn away from your trapped leg (i.e., twist towards your free side), circling your foot so your shin is pressed against their top leg. Your shoulder on the trapped leg side will roll into that free side: you're turning inside your free hip. Lock your trapped leg around theirs as you roll, reaching for their far hip. Use that to pull yourself around to the back, establishing a seat belt grip.

As Oli covered in his lesson, if you don't get all the way around, keep your legs locked around their leg. You've got the option of grabbing their other thigh with your arms and extending their legs apart for a submission (though it's entirely dependent on their flexibility, so the efficacy will vary). If you can't get that other leg, apply a calf crush on the leg you've locked with your own legs (noting that's not legal in IBJJF competition for anyone under brown belt, but then the IBJJF is not all of BJJ, it's just one competition rule set). Simply pull down on their foot for the submission.

Teaching & Sparring Notes: I started off showing this from typical half guard, but I'm not sure I've got all the details down. It works ok against white belts who aren't familiar with the position, but when I then did it on one of the students who likes rolling back takes, it was rather less successful. Quarter guard went much better, though the same thing happened when I went to demonstrate the back take from quarter guard against a much bigger student: that took some yanking on the hip to get into position!

I like giving myself a teaching challenge at least a couple of times a month, but I think I'll put this one on the backburner for a while. I need to be more convinced firstly that I can apply it against everyone, and secondly that it's a suitably universal option.

With sparring from half guard, I'm continuing to keep it simple, looking to recover full guard, using the double paw to get myself into position. I've been looking for the kimura every now and then too, but that's something that needs a lot more work. On top, it's the usual pressure approach. Once we got to open mat, I drilled some more Jeff Rockwell technique, which I'm intending to make my focus on Sunday as well.

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