I’ll look at 2 different ways of escaping back position. Once comes from Saolo Ribero via his University book. The other comes from my coach Matt Thornton. Both are excellent methods of escaping when someone has their hooks in. I’ll look at each from a posture and pressure prospective.
Don’t forget to turn your bullshit meter on. This post will be somewhere between 5 and 95 percent bullshit…
This was taught to me by my coach Matt Thornton. I use it ALL the time. In fact it’s my primary method for escaping this position. I like it because it emphasizes correct posture and works in many different situations. As with all postural approaches they are more universal than a technique approach. The idea is that you work from posture to posture as you build your escape. This one does not have to be done explosively or quickly. You build the posture and let the posture do the work.
Here’s a video of what the postures look like-
I view postures as stopping points or places where you tend to do your battling. In this particular method there are 3 different postures. The postures are progressive. One posture leads you to the next.
You are seated. Your opponent is on your back with hooks in. In this posture he has lower body attachment and not upper body attachment. That means he has his hooks in but hasn’t established a harness or collar grip. He hasn’t attached his upper body to yours.
Your posture here is simple. Lean forward. Your head should be in front of your hips. You are attempting to create a ball structure. Elbows to your sides inside of his legs. Hands are protecting your neck. Use your elbows to remove his hooks not your hands. When you remove a hook close the door by bringing that knee up high building your ball.
If the opponent gets upper body attachment you have to go to posture number 2.
This is simply rolling to your side. This gives you access to the ground. The ground will aid your escape as it gives you something immobile to push against. When you are belly up with someone on your back you don’t have any real leverage. As soon as you get to the ground you have effectively closed a door and kept your opponent from moving to one side. You also now have something to use to “scrape” them off with.
Which side you roll to is important. It depends on your opponent’s hand grips. If he has a harness (one over and one under) then you always fall to the side of the underhook. That way when you turn into him you won’t be choking yourself.
You need to be protected as you roll so that you don’t end up in a submission. Your handfighting is what protects you. Grabbing and owning his underhooking arm before you fall to the side will keep you safe. It has the added benifit of locking him into position there so he can’t initiate a scramble.
Once you fall to the side you are attempting two different pressures. Basically you have hand fighting going on up high and leg fighting going on down low. Your hand fighting is keeping you safe. The leg fighting is setting you up to escape. You need both. If you only do hand fighting you’ll eventually lose because you aren’t working to get the other guy off your back. If you only concentrate on leg fighting then obviously you get choked or put into an armbar.
There are 2 main approaches to hand fighting. One is to tuck and protect. People use different postures for this. Some will grab their collar on both sides of their neck and hunker down. Other people will put both hands on the same side and shift their head to the other shoulder.
The other method is actual hand fighting. The guy on your back needs both hands in order to get a sub. Attacking or attaching to one hand puts him in a position where he can’t sub you. Pushing, pulling, grabbing and stripping grips is necessary here.
Legfighting is basically to get the bottom hook out so that you can build the next posture. What you are trying to accomplish is removing and pinning his bottom hook to the mat. Once you do that you are in a position to move to the next posture.
Up top you are either doing a tuck and protect or a hand fight to keep you out of trouble.
The third posture happens when you remove the bottom hook and pin the foot to the floor. Here you rotate into your opponent until your hips face the ceiling. Keep control of the underhooking arm as you do this and make sure you are still pinning his knee with your rear. This will lock him in place and prevent him from initiating a scramble.
What’s important is that you don’t have to hurry here. You don’t want this to be a scramble if you don’t have to. You actually want to pin him until you are ready to move.
Once you have the position locked in and are ready to move you have to address his free leg before you remove yourself from his knee. You can grab it or underhook it with your free leg. You are trying to prevent him from getting a mount as you move off his leg and turn into him. If you control that leg you can keep him from rotating into you.
Once you are in this posture you escape happens. If your posture is good you can do it without rushing. keep your strong grip on the bottom arm and your weight on the bottom knee. Before you slide your weight off the knee and turn into him you need to address his top knee so that he doesn’t mount. You can do this with either arm or your near leg. Once you have the free leg blocked out you can safely move your rear off his knee and turn your hips to the mat for cross sides control.