This week I learned about the main positions of Brazilian Jiu jitsu: Mount, Guard, and Back.
The mount position is one of the most dominant positions and any type of self defense. In the mount, you shift your entire weight onto your opponent’s hips. Anatomically, this makes sense as you take away their center of gravity. Without your opponent’s ability to lift their hips, it makes it very difficult for them to get up, or generate any torque to significantly harm you. Your head, which is the most vulnerable part of your body as it contains your brain, is more than an arms length away from your opponent, no matter your height. In this position, you have full range of motion to maneuver your opponent, as well as being able to strike your opponent with your arms.
The guard, is a common defensive position in Jiu Jitsu. Here, you lie underneath your opponent, with your back on the mat. Your legs are wrapped around their body, and your arms are ideally hooked underneath their armpits. When you are pulled this close to your opponent, it is tough for them to achieve any range of motion to strike you. By holding onto them in this way, you can generate your own leverage for submissions. It looks like a vulnerable position, but there are actually dozens of submissions that can be performed from the guard.
Another great position, second to the mount, is having someone’s back. From the back, your opponent cannot hurt you at all. This is a completely offensive position, and your opponent is vulnerable to strikes to the head and susceptible to the most famous submission in BJJ: the rear naked choke. Your opponent is trapped by your legs being wrapped around their mid section and your arms holding onto their arms, or wrapping around their neck. This position is akin to an anaconda wrapped around their prey.