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On Monday as I rolled with one of my training partners, he told me that I had a submission available to me from the position I was in. He stopped mid roll and pointed out this opening for me. Remember, I’m just a white belt with only limited experience so there are many things I won’t “see” yet.
By the way, speaking of white belts, this just triggered when I made a mega rookie mistake my first couple of weeks back in training. I just remembered this as I thought of this story. So I totally ended up forgetting my damn white belt after class and it joined the ether.
When I gave up bjj the first time, I got rid of all my gis and my very first white belt. I regret that a lot. This time I intend to keep and collect all my belts up the ranks. Anyway, my school would have just given me a used one, but I wanted my own new one to collect my blood, sweat and tears! I ended up getting from one from amazon, cause I mean, from where else do we buy stuff these days?? LOL.
So yeah, my training partners are bomb ass training partners y’all! They always try and help us newbies grow. The fact is that I didn’t see it during our Monday roll, I’m not even thinking of submissions when I’m on the bottom. (More on that coming up.) I will say that I did see it today and I even went for it. He was ready and didn’t fall for it, but at least I saw it.
After our roll today, me and the same gentleman had a longer discussion about fighting from the back. He said he noticed that I went for the attack he pointed out to me and that this was a good development.
Lately, I’ve been working on improving my back game. I’ve started rolling and give up top position to start from my back. The thing to note is that I’ve only being doing this with the sole purpose of being able to get back on the top position if I am somehow caught on my back.
I’ve always been a top player, a smasher of sorts, it’s kind of how I’ve learned. But today I had a realization as I worked with my buddy. He told me that I should be attacking more from my back instead of defending and trying to sweep. If you keep me worried and busy defending myself, then I can’t attack you.
That’s when it clicked in my head. All this time, I’ve always tried to get to a top position, be that guard, half guard, side mount, etc. Nearly every time I am on top, I’m defending chokes, kimuras, sweeps, and more as I try to improve position. My training partners are trying to submit me from the back. However, whenever I am on my back, I am focused on getting back on top. This generally ends up with me in guard, trying to survive submission attempts as I try to improve position.
I’ve never thought of or even considered working submissions from the back. I’m not very agile in my hips, I’m short and stocky, so it never even occurred to me that I should be attacking from the back the way my team members do. If someone made a huge mistake and left and arm out, I’d go for it, but I was never initiating the attacks.
Why is that? Why have I been limiting myself and adding the extra task of sweeping or somehow getting into top position prior to looking for a submission? Just cause I’m a short, stocky, non-athletic man doesn’t mean I can’t find a few submissions to work from the back! I recently was practicing armbars and triangles from the back. I’m going to practice those techniques even more and I’m going to add the kimura and straight armbar to my repertoire of from the back attacks.
I’m grateful to my training partner Bobby for helping me realize this flaw in my approach. It was through organic discussion and training that this realization came to pass. It may not sound like a big deal to you, but for me this was a “WOW” moment. Like I said, I never felt that submissions from the back where an option for me, but why not? I end up on my back quite a bit these days, especially when rolling with higher level guys. So I do look forward to becoming a bit more active and challenging from the back position. I think that me and half guard need to become BFFs!