3 Tips To Improve Your Rear Mount

One day at my academy, a black belt told me that he was disappointed in his rear mount position. He said that he could get there, but could rarely finish.

“If you get the back, it should be a kill!” he said.

I thought about it later and became aware that my own rear mount was deficient. I would catch the back, but my rate of finishing was pitifully low. This motivated me to resolve to get better at controlling the rear mount.

After more than a year of heavily concentrating on it, my rear mount became significantly stronger.

Here are 3 tips I can share from my study of rear mount.

1) Concentrate on the harness / seat belt.

I had never fully understood the power of the rear mount until a brown belt with a strong seat belt position put me in the position and challenged me to escape. Even without hooks I could not break away from his seat belt.

I used to think that the hooks were the most important part of the rear mount, but I changed my mind to focus more on the seat belt. My retention vastly improved!

2) Don’t be stiff.

I thought that controlling the back meant clamping on as tightly as humanly possible. However, this made my body stiff and immobile. When my opponent started to wriggle, I stayed in one place and inch by inch they created the space to turn and escape.

However, when I exchanged my stiffness for thinking more about connecting my chest to their upper back,then  following the opponent and adjusting, suddenly it became difficult for them to wriggle free.

I like to say, “Think of sticking to your opponent’s back like a parasite!”

3) Learn the rear naked choke.

Everyone knows the rear naked choke, don’t they? Not really!

It might be the first move that you learn in BJJ, but it is not simple to master! Things get complicated when your opponent is fighting your grips and sinking their chin to protect the neck.

Study hand fighting to overcome the opponent’s stubborn defenses and your finish rate for the RNC will leap upwards.


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