Spinning to take the back with Babu

If you guys know something about me it’s that I love leg locks and back mount. I spent hundreds of countless hours on my own game trying to perfect the techniques of attaining, maintaining, and finishing leg locks and techniques from back mount throughout my entire BJJ career. I’ve found so many little details and nuances in these techniques that most grapplers overlook and I attribute them greatly to my success. So when I learnt about Brazilian Top Team’s BJJ coach, Sergio “Babu” Gasparelli, released a DVD course I had to get my hands on it! Sergio is an extremely respected coach and I always want to learn from the best. Today I’m going to share one of the moves he demonstrates that has I’ve fallen in love with and implemented into my own game. It’s the spin behind to take the back from side control and it can be found in the fourth DVD titled “Defense Stoppers” in his “Babu: BJJ Mastermind Series”. You can learn a great submission from side control taught Babu in this article here from BJJ Addict.com!

The Glacier Game

If there’s one thing I would recommend to anyone it is to master the techniques in this DVD. If you are in a dominant position and you’re opponent cannot escape then there is no way you can lose a match. The transition he covers can be implemented two ways. The first way is what I call the “glacier game”. The glacier game is to be as heavy and mean on your opponent along with slow methodical movements that suck the will out of them. Let’s see how this

The glacier game includes transitioning to the north south position

goes down.

  1. I recommend that if you plan on using this spin that you are cranking on your opponents head making them face away from you. This way their back is flat on the mat and when they try to turn up into you their upper body struggles to follow.
  2. As soon as you feel them trying to escape side control, block their hips and transition to the north south with as much heavy, grinding pressure as humanly possible and consolidate your position
  3. When you feel them trying to escape the north south just transition to the other side in a heavy strong side control

That’s all there is too it! It’s an amazing concept because you are exerting almost no energy and your opponent is exerting all of theirs to escape. It’s in situations like this where people freak out and the submissions become available in your transitions that ensure you to finish the match.

The Tasmanian Devil

This is the approach I take when fighting bigger guys because if I tried to be in a heavy side control on them they’ll just bench press me off of them. You can check out the technique in the video below. The key to this is be fast and viciously attack what you are transitioning too.

  1. Your opponent will try to turn up into you in order to set up underhooks to escape this position. Let them
  2. There are tons of ways to spin to the back but I particularly like to stuff the head and push all my weight through my chest on them and spin to the other side
  3. When you get to the other side either go for your transition, submission, or consolidate with your sternum in the back of their spine.

This transition has helped my giant killer game immensely! On the spin I’ll try to set up a rocking chair back take or set up a fast armbar to try and finish the match right there. There’s so much valuable information in this DVD series that it will reshape your game. Rashad Evans put it perfectly when he said “Babu is a beast”. Babu trained Rashad and you can learn more about Rashad’s ground game here! Keep training hard folks!

Dan Faggella

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