Exploring the Back Position and Rear Chokes in BJJ

The strongest position in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the back position allows you to have complete control over your opponent’s upper body. Not only does it give you the ability to manage their movements, but it also allows you to attack with chokes and armlocks. As a leading Sydney martial arts academy, ICC is the trusted choice for a wide range of karate, MMA, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes. Summer Hill, Marrickville, and locals all over Western Sydney rely on us for highly skilled teachers, state-of-the-art facilities, and innovative programs. From the back position you have direct access to the neck, so chokes are typically the first attack you’ll perform. Here we will look at the back position and some of the common chokes you can apply from here.

The Back Position

The most powerful position you can be in as a grappler, getting the back means that you establish a chest-to-back connection to your opponent. This is where your opponent is at their weakest- they have no offence and can only focus on defence. Your arms and legs play an essential role in maintaining back control. An excellent way to secure the position is by using the seatbelt grip, whereby you lock your opponent’s torso in a similar configuration to a locked-in seatbelt. This prevents your opponent from sliding their shoulders down in an attempt to escape. Your legs should be used to block your opponent’s hips from sliding to the side. One way to do this is by inserting your hooks and placing them near the hip.

Rear Naked Choke (RNC)

Often considered the ‘king of submissions’, the RNC is an incredible submission to finish a fight. It’s so powerful that most top-level grapplers use it as their first option once the back is secured and it is one of the most commonly used chokes as it’s easy to understand and it’s quick to come on. The main goal is to restrict the blood flow to the head by blocking the side of the neck. Alternatively, pressure can be applied to the front of the neck to attack the windpipe.

Short Choke

Experienced grapplers will defend as much as possible, therefore an alternative option to the RNC that might be suitable is the short choke. Unexpected, difficult to defend, and requires very little time to learn, this choke is meant to crush the front part of the neck, so be mindful when applying this move to your training partners. As the name suggests, the choke is short, all you need is a forearm across the neck. Get a palm-to-palm grip over the shoulder and place the elbow of the free arm behind the back. This creates a strong frame which makes it incredibly difficult for your opponent to move.

Rear Triangle Choke

Also known as the Ura Sankaku, the rear triangle choke is usually applied from the weak side back control or when you are underhooking your opponent’s bottom arm. Utilising a closed wedge around your opponent’s neck, this choke is effective as the wedge includes one of your opponent’s arms, making it extremely difficult for them to get out. The rear triangle choke ticks is a top BJJ position; you can enter form a multitude of other positions, you can control an opponent, decide to transition towards the back or top control, or finish in a variety of ways.

Practicing these techniques will be sure to improve your submission rate from the back position. t is also recommended to practice different entries to the back position in order to make your game more unpredictable.

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