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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

02 March 2016

02/03/2016 - Teaching | Side Control | Escape to Guard (Elbow Flare & Shoulder Lock)

Teaching #472
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 02/03/2016

Today I wanted to share some of the David 'Malandro' Onuma tips I learned at RGA Bucks. When it comes to escaping side control, they want to dominate your near arm. It puts you in a rubbish position if they manage to isolate it. To get your arm back, bring your heels close to your bum and bridge. That should give you the space to turn and replace your elbow block inside their hip. Rotate the hand of your other arm (never bring the arm past their head, that's asking to be americanaed) under their neck, grabbing their shoulder.

From here, don't drive your forearm up. Instead, bring your elbow out, twisting your forearm into their neck and jaw. If you get that right, this should make their head move back, giving you some space. Walk your feet towards their head, then bring your knees in to recover guard. You can either keep shrimping to get both legs out for closed guard, or you can simply go to open guard.

Sometimes, they will manage to isolate your far arm, securing a tight underhook which prevents you from getting that arm under their neck. If that happens, grab your far hip instead. Walk your feet away like before, then turn firmly onto your side, gripping their arm with your own. This will apply pressure on their shoulder. It is unlikely to be enough to make them tap, but it will prevent them moving that shoulder, making it hard for them to prevent you getting your guard back.

Make sure that you don't immediately bring your knees in to guard after making space: get that turn first, to apply the shoulder pressure. Then you can bring your knees in, continuing to apply the pressure on their shoulder. This puts you in a great attacking position. You've got the option of the overhook guard (you just need to reach through to their other collar), as well as pressing armbars and shoulder clamps.

A photo posted by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on


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Teaching Notes: It's cool to be able to vary up this lesson, as I've taught the escape to guard so many times now. However, it's important to keep in mind this is only a variation, you can still switch back to the 'standard' version. I think it worked pretty well for people, but there was one pair who found it hard to turn for that shoulder lock in progressive resistance. On the side where they were isolating the neck-pressure arm, the person on top also had their hand up on the shoulder, which seemed to make it hard to the person on the bottom to turn.

I suggested just going back to the standard bridge and shrimp if that happens, which seemed to work. Something I'll have to have a play with in open mat before I teach this one again, having someone do it to me and see if I can work out a good solution. :)

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