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If you make your way to the back of your opponent, it's universally understood that you shouldn't give it up without a fight. For a crash course in how to start a roll and why prioritising the back is important, check out episode 23 here.

The back is a position in which the majority of submissions can be slapped together much deeper whilst your opponents defenses, including vision, are pointed in the opposing direction of the danger at their back.

Now this isn't a be-all-end-all guide to the back, more of a starting point in the right direction. So let's get started.

1. Sternum to square, ear to ear.

First and foremost for a good back control is the alignment and positioning of yourself in regards to your opponent. Connection is vital as most escapes by your opponent will rely on avoiding or escaping connection with you. 

Keep your sternum as close to the square of your opponents back and hug them ear to ear with whatever grip you can manage, preferably a seat belt grip. If movement occurs and you find your opponent slipping, you have a point of reference in which to realign yourself and maintain the position. 

2. Keep the baby in the bath.

Think of your hooks (both arms and legs) as walls of a bath tub. Should your partner slide, roll or scramble it's your job to keep them in the tub or else the position is lost. They lose connection - you adjust as per step 1 using your bottom limbs as walls of the bath and keep them connected.

As a bonus you can utilise the top hook to keep them facing the way you want and manipulate the position further, keeping them on the side you wish to attack from. 


3. Ride the horse. 

When on back you want to monitor and connect to the hips of your opponent so there aren't any unwanted surprises when it comes time to control then attack with subs. Use your hooks to squeeze the opponent and from this connection like riding a horse.

Within the same analogy, tell yourself if you lose this connection and pressure you'll fall of the horse which is how dire you must feel about the importance of obtaining and maintaining the back.

So there you go to get you started.
Stay sqaure, keep the baby in the bath, ride the horse and you'll be striking back in no time at all.

- Jake Anderson


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