How to Escape Any Position

When you find yourself held down with the most common and basic forms of control like side mount, you should focus on using the most common and basic forms of escape such as shrimping back to guard, or using the underhook to come up and reverse the position. As you progress in Jiu Jitsu, you will often find your opponents will use other variations of a given position that will thwart your most common forms of escape. When this happens, it is necessary to develop the ability to recognize when you must use alternative methods to escape a particular position. 

Your most valuable tool in escaping any position is your ability to recognize what is keeping you down. It is almost impossible for your opponent to control your entire body all at once. Some positions are far more difficult to escape than others, but there is always an opening for escape no matter how your opponent may be controlling you. 

The sidemount is a simple way to illustrate this. Your opponent can only control and immobilize  either your upper body or lower body at one time, but rarely both simultaneously. Similarly he can only control one side of your body at a time, but almost never both. When you want to escape, your first goal is to recognize what is holding you down and then work towards freeing that part of your body or finding the opening your opponent is giving you and exploiting his lack of control. 

In this video below, we go over some of the variations of the side mount you will encounter and how to escape each one.

The Mount Position- Defense and Escape

The first technique taught in almost all Jiu Jitsu classes is the simple Upa or bump and roll technique to escape from the bottom of the mount. There are several reasons that this is the case. Much of Jiu Jitsu can be difficult to understand for a brand new practitioner. Shrimping, guard, half guard, spider guard, sweeps, guard passes can take a while to understand for a newbie, but being caught underneath an opponent mounted on top of you, it is frighteningly easy to understand why you would need to escape as soon as possible. Your opponent has any number of ways to attack you from the mount. Punches, headbutts, elbows, chokes, smothers, and armlocks are all readily available to him while your offense is basically non existent from the bottom. It is of utmost importance that when training you develop the ability to recognize the significance of each position and what is available offensively and defensively for both yourself and your opponent.

Your only option when caught mounted by an opponent is to escape. Ideally you will be able to trap and arm and leg and bump your hips up off the ground and roll over on top of your opponent. This is the preferred method of escape in all of the grappling arts including BJJ, but BJJ also offers us the ability to escape back to guard or half guard where we can utilize our legs in order to gain control, sweep, or submit our opponent. In jiu jitsu, you will most likely find that against more highly skilled opponents, you will more often than not be getting back to guard rather than simply bumping your opponent off of you.

Escaping bad positions is good but not good enough. You will also want to develop the ability to seamlessly transition from defending and escaping to attacking and sweeping or submitting. There should be almost no space between your defensive escapes and your offensive attacks. One of the best times to launch an attack it immediately after an escape when your opponents focus is most likely centered on preventing your escape rather than defending themselves from an attack. You will often find an opponent off balance or over extended after you escape which will allow you to possibly catch a quick submission or reverse position and get on top.

In this video from the Hellfish Mixed Martial Arts YouTube channel, we cover how to escape the mount and transition immediately into a simple sweep from the half guard.

Hellfish Jiu Jitsu Team Wins Overall Adult Title at Newbreed Ultimate Challenge Philadelphia Summer Classic

The Hellfish team came up big this past weekend at the Newbreed Ultimate Challenge Philadelphia Summer Classic. Despite bringing only 6 competitors the the event, the adult team walked out with 10 medals and the overall team title and trophy. We had 2 first time competitors in Shane and Carl. Shane got silver in both gi and No-Gi, while Carl earned Gold in both Gi and No-Gi. Jason, earned a Bronze medal after some thrilling matches. Kyle earned a bronze in No-Gi and a Gold in the Gi. Big John earned a siver in No-Gi, and Steve earned gold in both Gi and No-Gi to remain unbeaten in Grappling competition. Every single one of these guys demonstrated tremendous skill, tenacity, toughness and heart in both victory and defeat and at the end of the day it all paid off!

Hellfish Mixed Martial Arts also brought a small group of kids competitors to the event, and although they did not earn the overall team title, they did earn some medals and demonstrated the kind of skill, determination, toughness and sportsmanship of the champs that they are. We took 2 first time competitors to the event. Charlie had some great matches and he made big improvements in each one and ended up earning a bronze medal. Eli had 2 great matches going 1-1 and also earned a bronze medal. Declan lost a very hard fought match in the finals and took home a silver medal and he continues to make improvements every time he steps on the mat. Finally Bennett took home a silver medal in both gi and No-Gi after some great matches in a very tough division!

Obviously the goal of any competition is to win, but often and especially with new competitors we try to take a way the pressure of focusing on simply winning and emphasize simply going out there and trying to the best of your ability that day to execute the techniques you want to execute. Winning is often an outcome that is out of your control, but trying your best and leaving no doubt in your mind that you went out there and fought to the best of your ability is the one thing that you have absolute control over on the day of competition. I am pleased to say that all the competitors did just that this past weekend and the results speak for themselves!