When you’re a shiny new white belt, one of the first things you’ll get told when you start rolling is “Do not let your opponent take your back.” Not only will it cause you to give up points in a tournament, but getting your back taken also puts you at risk for all sorts of submissions. And if you need any more convincing, all it really takes is for someone to put you in a tight body triangle for most people to decide that they never, ever want a human being on their back again.
Body triangles suck, which I suppose is expected from a position that leaves your guts and ribcage squished together. Most people who do BJJ do not look forward to getting caught in one. But when someone gets a body triangle on me, an evil movie villain in my head starts cackling while lightning strikes somewhere in the distance. You see, I’m a big fan of a simple, but very effective ankle lock that can be done when someone is trying to turn their own legs into a corset around your waist. If you want to learn it for yourself, let the guys from Gracie Barra West Island show you how it’s done.
The key to nailing this technique is remembering that everything happens on the same side. So if their legs are crossed on your left side, your left leg is going to hook over top, then you’re going to fall to your left. Best of all, this submission is legal in all adult divisions for both gi and no-gi in just about any tournament you’ll attend. Keep in mind that if your opponent is insanely flexible, this might not work on them. But it still might cause them just enough discomfort for them to let go of the body triangle and allow you to escape. For those who aren’t as flexible, this submission will have most people tapping immediately.
It’s still not a great idea to let people take your back, but if you get stuck in that situation, be on the lookout for that body triangle. Your opponent will be thinking that they have you right where they want you, but if you pull this off, they’ll be the ones begging for mercy.