Pathways to the back: You all know how much emphasis I put on getting to the back. In a pure match without strikes I value the back mount far more than the front mount EVEN THEY THE SAME AMOUNT OF POINTS. As such, a big part of our coaching program is spent of developing pathways to the back from anywhere. All of my students excel in this, particularly the Ryan brothers. An interesting point about this notion of constantly seeking the back is that whilst it is mostly a physical skill, there is also a component insofar as you first have to identify the OPPORTUNITY. You have to train your eyes to see the opportunity before you actually pull out the move to realize that opportunity. The world is full of Jiu Jitsu students who know many moves to take the back, but who overlook myriad opportunities in live sparring and so never get to use those moves when it counts. I often preach to my students IF YOU CAN SEE THE BACK, YOU CAN TAKE THE BACK. While this is an oversimplification and there is more to the than this, it does a good job of getting students to MENTALLY IDENTIFY OPPORTUNITIES to take the back – the single most important first step towards back mastery. Next time your are sparring keep those eyes of yours looking for the back and I promise you you will find yourself more often on your opponents back! Here, Gordon Ryan, master of identifying even the tiniest opportunity, goes from mental recognition and into physical action as he moves towards the back of yet another world champion opponent at the recent ADCC world championships en route to gold.