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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 October 2015

23/10/2015 - Teaching | Mount | Technical Mount Escape

Teaching #409
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 23/10/2015

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.

I therefore prefer to add in a sit-up escape element, like in the Jeff Rockwell escape from side control. That's because I find with the Saulo escape, if they're wise to it, they will scoop up your arm or possibly take your back. To try to prevent that, after you've managed to stiff-arm into their leg, come up on your other elbow, sitting up high. Move from your elbow to your hand, then pushing off that hand and your feet, try and slide your hips out as much as possible. Square back up to them and recover guard. This needs to be relatively quick, so they don't have time to knock off your arm and/or attempt a back take.

For something more advanced, you could also do a switch to deep half guard. The key is getting either your top arm/elbow inserted into any space between the back of their knee and your torso. Your other hand (so, this will be the arm you have closest to the floor) needs to be grabbing your opposite collar tightly, as otherwise they'll have a clear route to choke you. Once you can get your arm through into the gap behind their knee, reach in and grab your gi trousers, by your knee.

Start moving your legs towards your head, until there is an opportunity to shove their leg between yours and switch to deep half guard. From here, you can continue to run towards your head, then quickly turn the other way: this is what Jeff Glover calls the 'Homer sweep'. If your partner is wise to that and adjusts their weight accordingly, you may still be able to pop out the back.

Teaching Notes: I haven't covered technical mount escapes in class for a long while (looking through the blog, it appears to be about two years, which is longer than I thought!) I had a few options in mind, but planned to focus on the sit-up escape version that I felt was the strongest option during drilling on Tuesday. I kicked off by showing the Saulo version, to get people used to the motion, then added the sit-up afterwards. That seemed to work ok, though it did cut into sparring time a little.

I also ran through the deep half guard version with people during drilling, if they seemed to be having trouble getting the stiff-arm, or they were more advanced. It's another good option I learned a couple of years ago, but one I have to admit I'd completely forgotten about before I started checking back through my notes for this class. I'll keep playing with it over the rest of this month, then perhaps that could feed into some deep half during half guard month.

Despite including three variations on the escape (get the knee inside and lift, push the knee a la Saulo plus a sit up escape, then finally the deep half version), it didn't feel too crammed. It doesn't take much to say "yeah, you can also bring your knee in", I guess. Then again, most of the class were more experienced tonight, so that probably helped. When I next come to teach this, I might need to streamline the content.

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