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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

22 July 2015

22/07/2015 - Teaching | Women's Class | Escaping the Back

Teaching #359
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 22/07/2015

Tonight I went with 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: I mentioned that I don't like the scoop escape, but I think the class got something out of it. Mainly it connects to deep half, I think. I ran through the more orthodox escape too. I said this before, but I'd like to go with the 'pull the arm' over escape, as that's higher percentage than the scoop (because you are pretty much never in a position where somebody has taken your back but not secured a grip with their arms).

On the standard back escape, people were having some trouble stiff arming into the leg, which happens a lot. I therefore suggesting turning to top half instead if they are having difficulty, like Donal did back when he showed me this (I prefer going to side control, as that feels much more secure, but top half is a good second option if you can't get the cross-face).

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