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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 March 2015

23/03/2015 - Teaching | The Back | Scoop Escape

Teaching #299
Artemis BJJ (MyGym), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 23/03/2015

Tonight I went with an escape I haven't taught for a while, the 'scoop'. As with any escape, you need to stay tight. Keep your elbows in, using your hands to cover your neck. There are numerous schools of thought on just how to do that: clamping your hands to both sides of your neck (which I learned as the 'Shirley Temple' defence), crossing your hands over your neck, grabbing both your collars, and Saulo's method of just grabbing one collar, keeping the other hand free to block.

My preference is that last option, though you need to be careful that you don't reach too far with that free hand. If you do, then you may give them space to establish a firm grip or launch their attack. Keep the 'defensive zone' of the free arm small, with your elbow staying tight. Should they manage to get past your arms and being setting up a choke, you'll probably have to bail on that and simply grab their arm. The first priority when somebody takes your back is protecting your neck.

What Saulo calls the 'scoop' back escape starts with that hand positioning, one thumb in the opposite collar and the other hand defending. For this escape to work, you need to have prevented (or cleared) any grips they have below your arms. That then enables you 'scoop' your upper body down and your hips forwards, as low as you can. Next, kick out one of your legs to clear their hook (you may also need to nudge it with your elbow), then drop your other elbow down past their other leg and turn.

That's a little counter-intuitive: keep in mind you are not turning towards the hook you kicked free. You also need to be careful here that they can't re-establish their second hook: block it with your elbow and knee if they try. Once you've turned, stay heavy on their leg and move up into side control.


Teaching Notes: The reason I haven't taught this one for a while is that I've rarely had much success with it myself. That's because I almost never find that the person who has taken your back isn't able to get some kind of grip below your arms. Even digging underneath an elbow is enough of a hold to stop that scooping motion.

Having said that, just because I don't have a lot of success with it, other people might, so I wanted to test that out tonight. I'm glad I did, as a few people did indeed seem to find it useful, though others had the same trouble as me. The key thing I need to work out to make this escape higher percentage is either preventing them getting a grip below the arms, or how to clear it once they do.

I'm thinking digging out their grip with your elbows could be one option, but that's going to depend on what grip they've got. Also, maybe trying this out in nogi would yield some other ideas? Saulo teaches this as an escape from turtle too, after you've turned to face up rather than down, so that's another area to look at. Finally, I think getting used to that motion where you drop the elbow and swivel is worth knowing. I'll keep playing with it.

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