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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a black belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©Can Sönmez

23 July 2013

23/07/2013 - Teaching (Escaping Mount to Butterfly & Escaping Technical Mount)

Teaching #115
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 23/07/2013

I've covered the two basic escapes (upa and elbow escape) a number of times now, also incorporating my person favourite, the heel drag. While I think those should always remain the focus, I wanted to add in some other options for variety. The one that sprang to mind was moving from mount to butterfly. I started off with the bump and frame (that picture is made of screen caps from an old Rowan Cunningham vid, whose work I first saw right near the start of my training in 2006. They're now hosted at LearnBJJTechnique), a relatively basic technique. This isn't an option I often go for, but I do regularly use some of the principles, as quite often I'll end up trying to dig my knee through.

First of all you need to get their hips in range. It is more difficult to land this escape if they're still upright, although in that case you would probably go for something else. Knock them forward with a bump, pressing your knee into their back. As soon as they're horizontal, frame your arms into their hips and do a powerful bridge (heels as close to your bum as possible, pushing high, on your toes).

Stiff arm into both their hips, so that when you drop your hips back down, the space you created from your bridge is still there. Bring both your knees through that gap: having been balanced on your arms, they are now balanced on your shins. You can then kick forward with both legs, using the momentum to also sit up. This should put you directly into butterfly guard, where you can immediately sweep them.

If they are still upright, you can still do it sloppily by jamming as much of your knees as you can into the space you create. It ends up being one or one and a half knees, knocking them off to the side at best. Still, that can work too, and will almost certainly be better than staying stuck under mount. It can also potentially give you a chance at moving into x-guard or something like that, circling your outside around to press your foot into their hip. Tony's favoured double-shin sweep could work from here too.

That same principle of creating space then filling it with your knee can also apply to technical mount escapes. This is a technique I was first taught by Kev several years ago. The basic idea is wedging something under the leg that they've stepped over. It's possible to use your arm for this, especially if you want to go to deep half, but I prefer using my knee.

Grab their knee with both arms, keeping your elbows in to make it more difficult for them to strip your grips. You also want to be as much on your side as possible, curled inwards. Shove their leg towards your knee with your arms, shrimping into them to make space. As soon as there is any space, fill it with your knee, then spin to guard or simply try and knock them off-balance to escape (though that can end up becoming a scramble: either way, tends to be better than being stuck under mount).

You can try doing this with one hand, such as if they manage to strip one of your grips, but it's more difficult. As always, be aware of chokes: you may need to disengage one of your hands to defend your neck. Like side control escapes, be careful they don't immediately pass as you try and knock them off with the butterfly hook. Finally, they may be able to scupper your escape completely before you get started if they grab lower on the leg you're trying to use to insert your knee.

Should they mess up your grips or otherwise prevent you getting the knee through, you could try Saulo's technical mount escape, as seen both in his book and BJJ Library. Saulo stiff arms with one arm, the other staying back to help defend the neck. Having bent their leg outwards, he then simply sits up at an angle. Keep in mind that if you're not paying attention you could end up on your side in their guard, at risk of having your back taken. Therefore make sure you move to good posture before they can put you in a awkward position.

Teaching Notes: The two main points that probably need emphasising, judging by drilling today, is firstly not lifting with the arms: they should just be there as a frame to hold someone in place after you've already lifted them with your legs and hips. The second thing is making sure that initial bridge is as powerful as possible by bringing your heels right to your bum and pushing up off your toes.

On the technical mount escape, I didn't mention the shrimp enough, so that's another part I'll highlight next time. I'm not sure if having the Saulo escape as well was too much for one class, so in future I might move the Saulo option to a pure technical mount escape class. I could combine it with Geeza's method, where you switch to deep half.

Like last week, Mike came down early to get in thirty minutes of drilling. It was particularly relaxed today, which is cool: we just worked on some light resistance to various guard positions, like the double shin sweep, as well as what to do when somebody is leading with their knee into your butterfly guard. It's a handy way of warming up a bit before class.

My groin was playing up yesterday again, which is annoying. I'm paranoid about it going again, especially as it isn't 100% from last September yet. I therefore decided to sit out of the sparring at the end, just in case. Hopefully the same injury isn't going to flare up again, though I at least know how to work around it now.

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