Take The Back From Closed Guard?

Take The Back From Closed Guard?

Taking the back from positions like Mount, Side Control and Half Guard is something that you’re probably used to aim for, something that you’ve likely practiced for hundreds and hundreds of repetitions. But, what about being in someone’s Closed Guard? Can you take the back from this position, which is essentially a defensive one?
ZombieProof‘s Kent Peters says – and shows – that yes, you most certainly can! Follow his setup breakdown below, and you’ll start surprising your training partners and opponents from the very next roll.


To start your back take setup when in someone’s Closed Guard, Kent says that you first need to make your opponent think that they’ve planted your hand down to the floor. And how do you do that? It’s simple: once your opponent starts applying pressure and switching their hips in order to get you off-balanced, plant your hand to the side of their hip, to the mats.
However, before you do this, you need to be pinching their hip (on the other side) with your elbow. This way, once your opponent starts sitting up and reaching for the hand you planted to the mat, you will be able to bring your other hand from their hip towards their knee, and then block that knee by pinching it down.

It is very important that you get this setup going first, Kent explains, and not let your opponent actually plant your hand down. Remember: you’re making them believe that they’ve done this. Otherwise, if they have it their own way, you’ll simply have no time to pinch their knee and jump over their leg – which is your goal – and they’ll be able to freely attack your exposed arm.
So, bear in mind that it is of greatest importance that you both make them believe they’ve planted your hand to the mats and that you’re blocking their knee, pinching it down with a solid grip.


Once you’ve followed through the previous steps and your opponent reaches for your planted hand, you have a chance to take their back.

Your knee, which is on the same side of your planted hand, needs to slide through – towards your opponent’s other leg – in a knee-slice fashion. While pinching down on that leg with your previously established grip, step over it with your other leg and place your foot next to their hip. From there, rotate and get your grips, place your hooks in and you have taken their back.

Kent emphasizes that you must make sure that your knee does not get stuck to the mats, while your other leg is trying to come up over your opponent’s pinched leg. That simply won’t work; what you need to do is slide through with that knee in order to create space, which is necessary for making that step-over. Also, you need to absolutely make sure that you are firmly blocking their knee in its place.
In other words, Kent points out that you need to make sure that you’re „travelling the distance“ the right way so as to take the back.

To make sure that you’re doing so properly, pay a visit to Kent’s video below for a great demonstration of this back take setup!