Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 28/05/2013
The first basic escape is the trap and roll. A typical starting point would be when they try to establish their first grip on your collar for a choke. That provides you with a chance to trap their arm. The usual grip would be to grab their wrist with your opposite hand, then their just above their elbow with your other hand. This is the preferred grip on Gracie Combatives. The reasoning is that this grip prevents your opponent from drawing back their arm for a punch.
There are various other possibilities, such as the option I first learned, which was gripping their wrist with your same side hand, then grabbing the crook of their elbow with your opposite hand. That has the advantage of being able to wedge your elbow and arm into their chest, which provides additional leverage when rolling. Having said that, you can still use your elbow with the Gracie Combatives grip, it's just slightly less effective as your arm starts slightly further away from their torso.
Whatever grip you choose, you then need to trap their leg on that same side. Otherwise, they will be able to use that for base as you attempt to roll them. In order to prevent that, step your same side foot over their lower leg, hooking it in tightly. This means they are now like a chair with two of its legs missing. If you feel your control is too loose, slide your foot across, which should eat up some more space.
A common problem is that you're having trouble trapping their foot, because it is too high up. If that happens, try to use your elbow (or even your hand, if you need more reach, but that could leave your neck vulnerable) to shove their knee backwards, until their lower leg is in range. This is an advantage of the Gracie Combatives grip, as putting a hand behind their triceps puts your elbow in a good position for shoving back their knee.
Yet another option, if their arm is not in range, is to bridge enough to bump them forward. That should mean they are forced to post out their hands for balance, a difficult instinct to ignore. That puts their arm within reach. You can then wrap both of your arms around one of theirs, gable gripping your hands (palm to palm). Suck that arm into your chest, clamping it at the elbow.
To finish, you're going to bridge towards that trapped side. As with the side control escape, get your heels close to your bum first for maximum leverage. Bridge up and over your shoulder, turning into their guard. Make sure that you're bridging over your shoulder and turning to your knees, not simply rolling over to your side. If you don't raise your hips properly, you may merely give up your back. Also remember to posture up once you are in their guard, as otherwise you might find you put yourself right into a submission.
You can still trap and and roll if they bring an arm under your head: simply reach back as if you were combing your hair to trap their arm, then progress as before. Generally when I do this, I like to be able to drive my elbow into their hip and stomach, as I find that helps with leverage. Rener prefers to put his hand right into their hip, at least when he teaches this technique on Gracie Combatives.
Teaching Notes: This is the first time I've taught the trap and roll on its own, rather than in combination with the elbow escape. That gave me more scope to really focus in on the trap and roll. I don't use this escape all that much myself, although I didn't get too much of a chance to practice it in sparring.
I decided to split the technical sections by starting with a description of the basic trap and roll, with both my grip and Rener's grip. I am still deciding how much to put in there, as I want to have enough left for the second section. There is scope to talk about the two grips, the chair analogy and perhaps the usual points about being careful of your neck. Using an elbow to block a knee is worth pointing out too.
For the second section, I talked about bumping them forward and gable gripping the arm, something I think I first saw on Roy Dean's DVD. I also mentioned Marcelo Garcia's tip about getting your heels really close to your bum and pushing up onto your toes, as well as the little pointer about dragging their foot across to take away any space. Last up was the 'comb your hair' variation when they trap your head.
In specific sparring, I added the proviso that on top, everybody HAD to go for a cross-choke, to make sure people had an opportunity to try for the cross-choke. This seemed to turn out well, as it meant we could all test both our ability to land that choke and the defence. In my case my mount choke clearly needs lots of work, as I wasn't lasting all that long on top.
Even when we shifted to normal sparring, I could see the difference in people's defensive success, which was cool, especially as it showed some areas where I could improve my own mount. I'm going to be at the Gracie Academy for a visit soon, where my friend tells me they will be working on mount when I arrive, so I'm looking forward to that.
I'm typing this up in a San Francisco HI Hostel (free wifi! Yay! :D), so may not be updating this blog as much until I get back to the UK in a couple of weeks. However, I will try: next scheduled training for me is I think on the 14th in LA, unless I can fit something in earlier. :)