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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

21 April 2017

21/04/2017 - Teaching | Back | Bridging Back Escape (To Deep Half Guard)

Teaching #653
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 21/04/2017



The first rule of the back position is protect your neck. There are lots of ways of doing that, but my preference is the Saulo Ribeiro method. One hand is in your opposite collar, the other hand floats, ready to block their incoming grips. Don't reach too far with that arm or you'll leave space: keep it near your chest. Your elbows are inside their knees, ready to pop off their hooks if the opportunity presents itself.

Next, bring your knee up on their choking arm side (so, the arm that is reaching over your shoulder and trying to wrap your neck, rather than the arm coming under your armpit). Angle your knee inwards, to prevent them from rolling you back the other way: they will find it easy to choke you if they can roll you in the direction of their choking arm. In one quick motion, move your head forwards and simultaneously shove their head sideways (this is presuming they know what they are doing and have their head tight to yours for control). Look towards them, keeping your head and neck firm in order to stop them moving their head back into place.

Push off your leg and bridge back, aiming to get your shoulders and spine to the mat. If you aren't able to get your head past theirs, still push off your leg. Put your head on the mat and then grind it underneath their head. This isn't pleasant for either of you, but it is generally effective: preferably you can get your head past theirs in the gentler method above. If you can, clamp your arm that is nearest the mat to your side, aiming to trap their arm. To really immobilise them, see if you can use that same arm to grab their opposite sleeve/wrist, meaning you're using one arm to control both of theirs.

With your near arm, grab their trousers by their top leg (either by the knee or a bit lower). When you have the opportunity, switch to grip with the other hand. To deal with their hooking foot, twist your hips towards it to pop it off. If that doesn't work, reach your other foot over and push it off. There is also the option of pushing it off with your hand, but take care you don't expose your neck. Once the hook is off, immediately bring your same side foot over, heel tight to their shin. That should prevent them re-establishing their hook.

There are several options at this point. Tonight, I went with one I don't use all that often myself, but it's useful to have in your toolbox. They will probably try to bring their leg over for mount. As they do, scoot down and shoot your arm underneath their leg, all the way to your shoulder. At the same time, wrap one leg over the top of their leg, either locking it with your other leg, or hooking your other leg under. That puts you in deep half. From here, you can work your sweeps: the simplest is to spin through to the top, staying tight.
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Teaching Notes: I added the drill for familiarising deep half, using the entry from technical mount. I emphasised getting the shoulder under the thigh, as before. I avoided going into too much detail on the sweep, though it is worth noting you can pop out the back (as people often end up leaning forwards loads when they're on top of deep half, especially if they haven't been in that position much before). Also, not forgetting about defending the neck. On hooking the leg, sometimes it felt like you didn't need to and could pop straight under, but I think that depends on how much they reach with their leg when trying for mount.

This isn't a variation I'd want to teach every time, especially as deep half is more complex, but it seemed to work well, so definitely one I'll add to my stores of lessons. :)

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