Rickson Gracie focuses on teaching escaping mount in his seminars. The escapes traditionally taught are simply the Upa and the Elbow-Knee escapes. Nothing fancy, I hear you say, but who wants fancy escapes? All I want is escapes that work.
For any escape (or BJJ / Grappling technique, for that matter, but we're focusing here on the elbow knee escape) to work, it needs to have 3 elements:
1. The correct start
2. The correct execution
3. The correct conclusion.
This usually the first thing shown and, ironically, the first thing people forget. The correct start involves:
1. Recovering from disadvantageous positions (e.g. wiggling and shrimping out from under a high mount)
2. Creating frames that can prevent this from repeating (e.g. framing against the hips)
3. Laying the foundation to ensure your success (e.g. assuming the survival posture Saulo Reviero talks about in his book Jiu Jitsu University and BJJ Revolution 1 DVDs with one knee up and one glued to the mat
4. Getting to the right angle of deployment (e.g. turning slightly on your side)
If your escapes are not working, before anything else, check the above.
Here are some mount escape-specific examples:
1. If you find yourself using way too much energy/muscle to move them, chances are they are sitting high up on your body.
2. If they manage to comfortably float around you every time you initiate the escape, chances are you are not giving them the proper frame against their hips
3. If you find your escape attempts getting blocked at the last second with seemingly simple counters, chances you didn’t do enough to ensure they can’t hook or grapevine your legs. Glue that leg to the mat!
4. Finally, if your opponent feels heavy and close to the ground, chances are you didn’t turn slightly on your side. Remember that you are a taller barrier when you are on your side than flat on your back. Besides, in BJJ / Grappling, you very seldom want to be flat on your back!
Next time, I’ll talk about element 2: the correct execution.
For now, look at this breakdown of this elbow knee escape variation that my friend and BJJ black belt coach Martyn Cahill and I filmed last summer:
ZHOO ZHITSU IS FOR EVERYONE!
Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi
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