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Learning How to Defend yourself off your Back

Learning How to Defend yourself off your Back

Self-defense is not easy to learn, and many people are intimidated by thought of joining a martial arts academy and picking up the new hobby.  Learning the skills necessary to defend yourself has never been more important.  We live in dangerous times and every time we flip on the new we see a new story about a violent crime.

Whether it is a mugging, a shooting, kidnapping, or assault, there always seems to be some sort of violent crime.  People are always fighting, and this is something that we ought to be prepared for.  There is a statistic that says 90% of self-defense altercations end up on the ground.  We know that many fist fights end up on the ground at the end, so should we know how to defend ourselves off our back?

Yes! It is very important to learn your body mechanics and learn hoe to fight off your back.  Contrary to popular belief, humans can fight just as good off their back as in any other situation.  There is a martial art that some people say is the most effective for self-defense that specializes in ground fighting off your back.  This martial art is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 

If you have ever seen the Ultimate Fighting Championship or the UFC then you have probably heard of Jiu Jitsu and you haver probably seen it in action.  Jiu Jitsu is the most important martial art to learn for cage fighters because most of the fights end up on the ground.  Today we will give you a glimpse of some useful Jiu Jitsu techniques that work off your back and it’s up to you to learn them yourself.

Using a Side Sweep Off Your Back

We are going to look at a sweep off your back.  A sweep is when you go from having your back on the floor to putting your opponent’s back on the floor.  In Jiu Jitsu sweeps are one of the most practiced parts of the martial art. We are going to look at this position from the closed guard.  To understand this we are going to give you a brief introduction to what the closed guard is.  Guard was invented by Judo and it was used to fight your opponent on your back, in Jiu Jitsu they accelerated the complexity of the guard and evolved it.  From the guard you can use sweeps as we discussed above, be defensive, use strikes, and you can implement submissions that renders your opponent either unconscious or debilitated.

Many people don’t have a concept of the guard and they have no idea how to fight off their back.  This is what makes bjj (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) such a competitive edge on other martial arts.  Nobody has a preconceived notion of how to fight off their back, but people do have a preconceived notion of how to throw a punch or kick.  Let’s have a look at this “sweep” from guard.


So as you can see above the guard is when your legs are wrapped around your opponents waist.  What this allows you to do is use your legs and hips to keep your opponent moving, have defense, and ultimately sweep or submit your opponent.  If you noticed how he is controlling his opponents head through out the duration of the video.  This is so that he can keep his opponent close to him.

A rule of thumb in fighting on the ground is to keep your opponent close to you.  Close the distance.  If you can close the distance, there is less of a chance that some one can inflict damage. After he gets this control he can use his leg to elevate his opponent and once he does this he has gone from being on his back to putting his opponent on their back.

Something that is important to note is that techniques like this are difficult, but that is why they are extremely effective.  Many people don’t want to take the time to learn complex movements like these and they would prefer to just punch and kick.  Another thing to note is that he uses his legs as hooks and bjj will make you a master of this.  Learning to use hooks could save your life.  If someone tries to take you to the ground, you will be more then prepared with just the basics of bjj.  Let’s look at another sweep.

Going Over Head From Guard

Now we are going to look at a different kind of sweep from the same position.  The last sweep that we saw was from guard and it was utilizing hooks, this time we are going to look at a sweep where you go over your head.  You use your legs to pick up your opponent.  This is how you maximize your leverage and can pick up a lot of weight.  Think about it, how much can you leg press?  Probably a lot.  Let’s take a look at this sweep.

So this is again from the closed guard and again he is controlling his opponent’s head so that his posture is broken.  This sweep is occurring because his opponent is standing inside of his closed guard.  Many times, when you are able to solidify the guard your opponent or whoever you are fighting will stand because they are not sure of what is going on.

When someone stands in the guard it can actually be very beneficial for the person who is playing guard.  This is because it can present situation like we see in this video.  Although many people will assume that is someone is standing, and the other person is on their back, that the one standing has the advantage, if you are trained in bjj, this is not the case.

Not only do many sweeps like the one above opens up when someone is standing in front of you but there are also many submissions and you can strike very effectively.  Up kicks from the guard are some of the most devastating strikes that you can use.

There you have it, Jiu Jitsu will teach you highly technical things that will make you able to use your body as leverage.  Many people have always said that bjj is the best martial art for women and that it is the best for smaller guys.  This is because you learn how to use your body to the best of its ability and you’re able to generate a ton of leverage.  Like you saw in the videos above it is very technical and it is a science.  If you want to learn some basic bjj skills and many other self-defense techniques, check out our DVD “Unarmed and Dangerous by Rob Kahn.”  Rob is a brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under the famous Royce Gracie who learned bjj and many other self-defense techniques.  He has taught police, swat, military and many other organizations.