Grapplers Graveyard

BJJ Basics: Back Mount BJJ

back mount bjj

Hey guys and girls, welcome back to Grapplers Graveyard. In today’s post, we will be covering a very simple position that you will find yourself in when training Brazilian jiu-jitsu. This position is known as the back mount.

At the end of the day, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a game of body control and positioning. When you start training chances are you have no idea what your body is capable of because you’ve never tested its limits or simply were never taught how to manipulate it in ways that can make sure your opponent is uncomfortable. Back mount in theory is very simple but it is a position that is very dominant.

From this position, you are threatening attacks like a rear naked choke, bow and arrow choke, and possibly an arm bar if you continue to advance into a positon like a regular mount. We posted a video on our YouTube channel demonstrating what we will talk about in this article so if you learn better visually, check that out below!

back mount bjj

Video Breakdown:

Back Mount: BJJ Basics

The back mount in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a dominant position in which you (the attacker) have control of someone’s (the defender) back. Pretty simple in theory but there a lot of ways to build an entire game off of this position. The first thing you want to note is if you are planning on going the competition route, this position is rewarded 4 points when you get here and secure it.

Securing the position means having control for at least 3 seconds.

The second thing that should be noted here is that you can and should take your time advancing in this position. At the end of the day, you are the one in control when you have back mount. Hunting for submissions when the position is not secured properly can lead to an opponent’s escape and recovery to a position like a guard or in the worst case, a scramble.

Principles to Pay Attention to

Here are six principles that will be later broken down in the following paragraphs that you need to be thinking about when you find yourself in a back mount position:

  1. Hooks

  2. Seat Belt Grips

  3. Legs

  4. Ears/face Glued to Oppeonent

  5. Submissions

Positioning, Control, Pressure, & More (Hooks, Legs, Seat Belt, Glue)

There are a lot of moving pieces here when it comes to securing the position, controlling the position, and creating pressure on your opponent but I will attempt to explain it the best way my blue belt brain can.

The BJJ back mount starts with having proper hooks and a seat belt grip across the body of your opponent. In the video breakdown, we talk about the overhook and undertook placement on the defender’s body. You really want to get this right because a skilled opponent understands that the way you place your arms can determine whether or not they can escape the comprised positon they are in or not. Be sure to not crisscross your feet in the back mount position as well. Again a skilled opponent will be able to use that against you to actually submit you with an ankle lock.

In the back mount, to create pressure on the opponent you need to glue your ear to the person’s ear on the opposite side of the overhook you have on their back. When you are keeping your head glued, imagine that you are trying to sandwich their face between your ear and your shoulder. This, combined with squeezing your arms to the chest of your opponent creates pressure and makes it easier for them to make a mistake like giving up their neck.

Escaping Back Mount

Okay, so let’s reverse this and attempt to write out the ways to escape backmount.

Finding yourself here is common but when you have your back taken, you want to keep these things in mind:

  1. How much control does this person really have (hooks, glue, under/over hooks, etc)

  2. Protect your neck at all times and keep your chin down (protects you from a rear naked choke)

  3. Always try to move your shoulder to the ground on the opposite side of the overhook that they have

First things first, getting out of back mount means you have to get to the opposite side of the overhook that the opponent has on you. This traps one of their arms to the ground because it is stuck under their body and eliminates the threat of a rear naked choke (kinda).

After you get to this side, you need to peel off the bottom hooked leg and scoot your butt outside of their control. One arm should be still controlling the arms so they do not get underneath your neck and start to threaten that RNC.

Once your butt is scooted out of their control, you need to turn towards your opponent’s body. Once you do this, you have effectively escaped backmount and found yourself in side control, congrats! You just got three points in a competition for this sequence!

Attacking From Back

There are so many ways to attack from the back when you get here. Here are some attacks or progressions that I like (and have written about) that you can go over.

  1. Getting under the neck for a rear naked choke (RNC)

  2. Bow and Arrow Chokes

  3. Scoot out and bail the back mount to get on top mount

  4. Head and Arm choke (if you go for top mount)

  5. *While going to top mount there are ways to progress to arm bars

Final Thoughts

It takes time to become efficient with the back mount. You don’t need to have many weapons when you get the back. What’s important is you understand the control mechanics that prevent opportunities to escape.