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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

09 August 2013

09/08/2013 - Teaching (Bridging Back Escape When They Mount)

Teaching #118
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 09/08/2013

Geeza is away competing today, so asked if I could cover his Friday class. That meant I had the opportunity to follow up my bridging back escape lesson on Tuesday with some variations if you find they keep moving through to mount. The solution I was shown by Dónal in a private lesson was to shift to deep half. I am not a big fan of deep half, as it is getting into the more complex territory I strive to avoid in BJJ. However, it's undeniably a useful option in this scenario.

You're attempting the escape from Tuesday, but they have managed to get their heel to your hip and you can't prevent them moving towards mount. Instead, shove their lower leg between yours, then reach underneath their bum with your near arm, reaching up and shoving their far butt cheek. That should knock them forward while simultaneously dragging you underneath.

Wrap around the outside of their leg with your bum-shoving arm, just below the knee. Hide your other arm underneath their leg, or at least tuck the elbow in tight. The first thing they will try to do when you put them in deep half is underhook that hidden arm, meaning you want to take away any space for them to wedge in their arm. From there, pull their knee outwards and spin in that direction, in order to come on top and pass.

The second option is to go with the deep half sweep I learned at the University of Jiu Jitsu instead. Instead of pulling their knee outwards, hook under their ankle with your leg and lift, using that to spin to the top and initiate your pass. Normally deep half results in them having a leg behind your head, but sometimes they may be able to get it past your head. If that happens, switch your grips to instead gable grip and lock around the hip of that same leg. From there, you still want to lift up their ankle, but simply roll them backwards. Come up and use your control of their hip to transition into a single stack pass.

Berry also mentioned a cool little tip he saw on a Kurt Osiander video when we were drilling at the study hall last week. If you can reach it, use your hidden arm to grab their sleeve.


Teaching Notes: People were having trouble with the second technique, which indicates that I wasn't teaching it well enough. If I teach it again, I need to emphasise that it is a lift of the leg rather than flick. I should also probably note the importance of trapping their leg in the first place, using the other leg before switching your outside leg underneath. However, I think I'll need to do a load more drilling to refine my understanding before I try it out a second time.

Most likely, I'll switch the way I teach escaping the back to combine the two lessons I taught this week: in other words, the same progression as the original private lessons they're based upon. I'll attempt to add in that detail about pushing off their hook with your foot when you get stuck too, as that's something I do in sparring all the time.

Sparring was useful for me, as it provided an opportunity to practice maintaining the back and setting up chokes. I'm teaching maintaining the back next week, where I'm intending to revisit the lesson on 'Marcelo maintenance' I taught last year. I like the 'hip extension' method for getting the second hook in, but I find lifting the leg to drop them back to the choking side difficult.

My preference, which I played with today, is simply switching arms. However, that's easier said than done: although I could manage it tonight, I had more experience than everybody I rolled with. Still, it seemed a potentially productive area to explore. If you can't get your arm right into the neck, just grabbing whatever material you can was helpful too.

First of all, that meant I had some control, in terms of stopping them rolling away to try and escape. Secondly, it occasionally led into chokes. Getting a firm grasp on the material immediately next to the opposite lapel was enough to then have some fabric to pull against their neck. I could then complete the choke by threading my other arm behind their head. I'm not sure that's high percentage, but I'll keep playing with it.

I like the way that kind of choke seems fairly low risk, as I can stay tight to them. I continue to find it hard to move into the bow and arrow, because I find that leaves me feeling vulnerable. I almost always leave too much space by my legs and my arms, along with that step of dropping them into the space between your legs.

Finally, I was trying to maintain control of them largely with one hook, extending that hook across to their other leg. That way I could hook under the far leg, while pressuring down with my upper leg to stymie the movement of their near leg. It also leaves my other leg free to do things like pushing down on top of their upper leg any time they attempt to wriggle out. Again, I'm not sure how effective that will be in the long run, but I'm going to keep experimenting.

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