The Back Take: Securing the Most Dominant Position in Jiu-Jitsu

April 5, 2023
From: Spartacus
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The Back Take position in Jiu-Jitsu is a dominant position where the practitioner gains control of their opponent’s back. It is a highly advantageous position because it allows the fighter to control their opponent’s movements while also putting them in a vulnerable position for submission.

The Back Take is typically achieved by taking advantage of an opponent’s mistake or opening and quickly transitioning from a position such as side control or mount to gain control of their back. Once in this position, the fighter can apply a variety of techniques such as chokes, joint locks, and positional control to submit or control their opponent.

In Jiu-Jitsu, the Back Take is considered one of the most dominant positions and is often a goal of many fighter. It requires a high level of technical skill and strategic thinking to execute effectively, and mastering the Back Take can greatly improve a fighter’s overall performance in Jiu-Jitsu.

Through this article, readers can learn valuable techniques and strategies for executing the Back Take while also having fun and feeling inspired to improve their Jiu-Jitsu skills. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced practitioner, this article aims to be approachable and entertaining, while also providing practical advice that can help you achieve success on the mat. So put on your gi, grab a training partner, and get ready to take your Back Take game to the next level!

Different Variations of the Back Take Position

There are several variations of the Back Take position in Jiu-Jitsu, each with its own unique set of techniques and strategies. Here are some of the most common Back Take variations:

Traditional Back Take

The traditional Back Take is perhaps the most common variation. It involves transitioning from a position such as side control or mount to secure the opponent’s back. Once in the Back Take position, the practitioner can apply a variety of techniques such as chokes, joint locks, and positional control to submit or control their opponent.

 

Turtle Back Take

The Turtle Back Take is another popular variation. It involves taking the opponent’s back when they are in a turtle position, with their knees and elbows on the mat and their head down. The practitioner can use a variety of techniques such as hooks and grips to secure the back and take control.

 

Rolling Back Take

The Rolling Back Take is a more dynamic variation that involves rolling with the opponent to take their back. This technique can be useful when the opponent is defending the traditional Back Take or when the practitioner wants to surprise their opponent with a sudden change in direction.

 

Arm Drag Back Take

The Arm Drag Back Take involves using an arm drag to take the opponent’s back. This technique is often used when the opponent is standing or in a seated position and can be an effective way to take the back without engaging in a full grappling exchange.

 

Leg Drag Back Take

The Leg Drag Back Take is another effective variation that involves dragging the opponent’s leg across the body to take their back. This technique is often used when the opponent is in a seated position and can be an effective way to take the back while minimising the risk of being countered.

 

Each variation of the Back Take has its own unique set of techniques and strategies, and mastering each variation can greatly improve a practitioner’s overall performance in Jiu-Jitsu.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Back Take

While the Back Take is a powerful position in Jiu-Jitsu, there are some common mistakes that practitioners should avoid when attempting to execute it. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid:

  • Losing control of the opponent’s hips: One of the most important aspects of the Back Take is maintaining control of the opponent’s hips. If the opponent is able to move their hips freely, it can be difficult to maintain the Back Take and execute techniques effectively. Therefore, it’s essential to focus on controlling the opponent’s hips and preventing them from escaping.
  • Failing to secure the hooks properly: The hooks are an essential part of the Back Take and are used to secure the opponent’s back. However, if the hooks are not secured properly, the opponent can easily escape or counter. Therefore, it’s important to focus on securing the hooks and maintaining proper positioning throughout the Back Take.
  • Being too aggressive with submissions: While the Back Take provides numerous submission opportunities, it’s important to avoid being too aggressive and risking losing the position. It’s important to focus on maintaining control and position before attempting to execute any submissions.
  • Not transitioning to other positions when necessary: While the Back Take is a powerful position, it’s not always possible to maintain it for the duration of the match. Therefore, it’s important to be able to transition to other positions such as mount or side control when necessary.
  • Being predictable with techniques: Finally, it’s important to avoid being predictable with the techniques used in the Back Take. If the opponent knows what to expect, it can be easier for them to defend and counter. Therefore, it’s important to mix up the techniques and strategies used in the Back Take to keep the opponent guessing.

Tips for Mastering the Back Take

tips for back take

Establishing grips and controlling the opponent are crucial elements in executing the Back Take position effectively. Here are some tips for the same:

  • Focus on maintaining good posture: Maintaining good posture is essential when attempting to establish grips and control the opponent. Keeping your back straight and your head up will allow you to maintain better control and prevent the opponent from breaking your posture.
  • Secure the collar and sleeve grips: The collar and sleeve grips are essential for establishing control and executing techniques in the Back Take position. To secure the collar grip, reach across the opponent’s body with your arm and grab the collar behind their neck. To secure the sleeve grip, reach across the opponent’s body with your other arm and grab their sleeve.
  • Control the opponent’s hips: Controlling the opponent’s hips is essential for maintaining the Back Take position. To control the opponent’s hips, use your legs to secure hooks behind their thighs, and use your arms to control their upper body.
  • Use pressure to control the opponent: Applying pressure to the opponent’s back and chest can be an effective way to control their movements and prevent them from escaping. To apply pressure, use your chest and shoulders to push down on the opponent’s back while maintaining your grips and hooks.
  • Be aware of the opponent’s movements: Being aware of the opponent’s movements and reactions is essential for maintaining control and executing techniques effectively. Pay attention to their movements and adjust your grips and positioning as needed to maintain control.

Timing and Transition Techniques in Back Take

Timing and transition techniques are essential for executing the Back Take position effectively and efficiently. Here are some tips:

  • Timing the Back Take: You need to wait for the right moment when your opponent is off balance or has made a mistake to execute the Back Take. You can also create opportunities for the Back Take by baiting your opponent into making a mistake or by setting up the position with other techniques.
  • Transitioning from other positions: The Back Take can be executed from a variety of positions, such as guard, half guard, or side control. To transition to the Back Take from other positions, you need to recognize when your opponent is vulnerable and execute the transition quickly and smoothly.
  • Chaining techniques together: Chaining techniques together can be an effective way to transition to the Back Take position. For example, you can start with a sweep or submission attempt, and then use the momentum to transition to the Back Take position.
  • Knowing when to let go: Knowing when to let go of a grip or hook is crucial for transitioning between techniques in the Back Take position. For example, if your opponent defends against the Back Take, you may need to release your hooks and transition to another position, such as mount or side control.
  • Using momentum: Using your opponent’s momentum can be an effective way to transition to the Back Take position. For example, if your opponent is trying to escape from side control, you can use their movement to transition to the Back Take.

Creating Angles and Space for the Back Take

Creating angles and space is essential for executing the Back Take position effectively. Here are some tips:

  • Use footwork to create angles: Footwork is crucial for creating angles in Jiu-Jitsu, and the Back Take is no exception. By circling around your opponent and changing your angle of attack, you can create openings for the Back Take. For example, if you are in half guard, you can use your footwork to circle around your opponent and create space to take their back.
  • Use your hips to create space: Using your hips to create space is another effective way to set up the Back Take position. For example, if your opponent is in your closed guard, you can use your hips to create space by pushing them away, and then use the opening to take their back.
  • Use fakes and feints to create openings: Faking and feinting can be an effective way to create openings for the Back Take. For example, you can fake a sweep or submission attempt to distract your opponent and create an opening for the Back Take.
  • Use your opponent’s momentum: Using your opponent’s momentum can be an effective way to create space for the Back Take. For example, if your opponent is pushing into you, you can use their momentum to create space and take their back.
  • Use your grips to control the opponent’s movement: Controlling your opponent’s movement with your grips is essential for creating space and angles in the Back Take position. By controlling your opponent’s arms or collar, you can limit their movement and create openings for the Back Take.

Techniques for Securing the Back Take

techniques for back take

Securing the Back Take position is a multi-step process that requires a combination of grips, hooks, and body positioning. Here are some techniques:

  • Establish a seat belt grip: The seat belt grip is one of the most important grips in the Back Take position. To establish the seat belt grip, reach over your opponent’s shoulder with one arm and under their armpit with the other arm. Then, clasp your hands together to secure the grip. The seat belt grip allows you to control your opponent’s upper body and prevent them from escaping.
  • Hook your opponent’s legs: Hooking your opponent’s legs with your own legs is essential for securing the Back Take position. To hook your opponent’s legs, place one leg over their thigh and the other leg under their knee. This creates a secure grip that prevents your opponent from turning into you or escaping.
  • Move to the side: Moving to the side is crucial for securing the Back Take position. By moving to the side, you create space to hook your opponent’s legs and establish the seat belt grip. You can also use your body weight to control your opponent’s movement and prevent them from escaping.
  • Use your hips to maintain control: Using your hips to maintain control is essential for securing the Back Take position. By keeping your hips close to your opponent’s hips, you can control their movement and prevent them from escaping. You can also use your hips to adjust your position and maintain control as your opponent tries to escape.
  • Control your opponent’s head: Controlling your opponent’s head is another important technique for securing the Back Take position. By controlling your opponent’s head, you can limit their movement and prevent them from escaping. You can also use your opponent’s head to control their posture and make it easier to establish the seat belt grip.

Countering Common Defences

As with any Jiu-Jitsu position, the Back Take position is not without its vulnerabilities. Here are some common defences that opponents may use and techniques to counter them:

  • Defending against opponent’s underhooks: If your opponent manages to get an underhook on one of your arms while you are attempting to secure the Back Take position, it can make it difficult to establish the seat belt grip. To defend against this, use your other arm to grab your opponent’s wrist and pull it across their body, which will create space for you to establish the seat belt grip.
  • Dealing with the turtle position: If your opponent manages to turtle up while you are attempting to secure the Back Take position, it can make it difficult to establish the hooks and control their legs. To deal with this, use your arms to control your opponent’s upper body and keep them from escaping. You can also use your legs to control your opponent’s hips and prevent them from standing up or rolling away.
  • Addressing counterattacks: If your opponent manages to escape the Back Take position and take top position, it can be difficult to regain control. To address this, use your momentum to roll and create space, which will allow you to establish a guard or scramble to your feet. You can also use your opponent’s momentum against them by using a sweep or submission attempt.

Drills and Training Methods

Grip strength and control are essential skills for securing the Back Take position in Jiu-Jitsu. Here are some drills that can help improve your grip strength and control:

  • Grip training tools: There are many grip training tools available on the market, such as grip trainers and grip balls, which can be used to improve grip strength. These tools can help develop hand and finger strength, which is crucial for establishing and maintaining grips in the Back Take position.
  • Pull-up bar drills: Using a pull-up bar is an excellent way to improve grip strength and control. You can perform pull-ups, hanging leg raises, and other exercises that require grip strength and control. Try to vary your grip positions and switch between overhand and underhand grips to develop strength in different areas of your hands and forearms.
  • Partner drills: Partner drills are an excellent way to improve your grip strength and control while also practising your Back Take techniques. For example, you can practise arm drag and collar tie techniques with a partner, focusing on maintaining a strong grip and controlling your partner’s movements. You can also practise rolling Back Take drills with a partner, which will help develop grip strength and control while also improving your timing and transitions.
  • Grip endurance drills: Grip endurance is just as important as grip strength, especially when it comes to maintaining grips in the Back Take position. To improve grip endurance, try holding onto a heavy kettlebell or dumbbell for as long as you can. You can also perform timed holds on pull-up bars, focusing on maintaining a strong grip for as long as possible.

Live Training Drills to practise Back Take techniques

Live training drills are an essential part of Jiu-Jitsu training and can help you to develop your Back Take techniques. Here are some live training drills that you can use to practise Back Take techniques:

  • Back Take sparring: The most obvious live training drill for Back Take techniques is sparring with a partner. Start from a standing position or from the guard, and work on transitioning to the Back Take position. Focus on controlling your opponent’s movements, establishing grips, and timing your transitions.
  • King of the Back: This is a game-like drill that can be used to practise Back Take techniques while also improving your control and timing. Start in the Back Take position with a partner and try to maintain control for as long as possible. The partner who can maintain control for the longest time is the winner.
  • Guard passing to Back Take: This drill focuses on transitioning from guard passing to the Back Take position. Start in your opponent’s closed guard, and work on passing their guard to establish the Back Take position. Focus on controlling your opponent’s hips and legs while you pass their guard. 
  • Scramble to the Back: This drill focuses on transitioning to the Back Take position from a scramble. Start from a neutral position with a partner and work on scrambling to the Back Take position. This will help improve your timing and transitions.
  • Shark tank drill: This drill involves one person rolling with multiple partners, with the goal of securing the Back Take position on each partner. The partners rotate in and out, giving the person rolling a chance to practise their Back Take techniques on different opponents.

By now, you should have a solid understanding of what the Back Take position is, why it’s so important, and how to master it.

Remember, the Back Take position is not only a dominant position in Jiu-Jitsu but also a fun and rewarding one to practise. With consistent training, you’ll develop the strength, control, and timing needed to secure the Back Take and submit your opponents.

So get out there and start practising! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced practitioner, the Back Take is a technique worth mastering. Have fun on the mats and always remember to train safely and responsibly.

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