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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

27 March 2019

27/03/2019 - Teaching | Back | Bridging back escape

Teaching #848
Artemis BJJ (Easton Road), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 27/03/2019

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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.

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You can then continue, pushing off your leg, 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 they have moved you to the 'wrong' side, still get your head to the mat, but use that to bridge, then walk your feet back across.

When on the 'right' side (facing away from their choking arm), 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.

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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.

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. At this point, with the arm I have nearest their head, I like to either reach across their neck and grab the gi, or better, reach under their head, grip the far armpit then lock my shoulder into their head and shoulder.

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Either way, push off your free leg and turn to try and come on top. With your grip on the knee, stiff-arm so they can't lock their half-guard (if they do lock their half guard, this puts you in the opposite side half guard pass position, so proceed from there). Free your leg (pushing on their leg if you need to) and move into side control.
Teaching Notes: I've taught the 'move out to side control' version a number of times now, so next time I need to show the Donal version where you end up in half guard instead (either top or bottom). The side control option works fine in principle and when drilling, but tough to get in sparring. Downside is that the half guard option might be more complex? Either way, test that out for next time.

People are still tending to slide off flat on the mat, rather than keeping some weight on their partner. Emphasise pushing off the legs more, walking round.

Also, I found that what Chris P said at the camp (Nov 2019, so I'm adding this in to remind myself, time machine ;D) and bridging back straight onto them to remove seat belt, useful. That makes the Saulo scoop much more viable, as well as leaning forward to fit in with the Priit method. So, it is worth doing a SEPARATE CLASS on the scoop and Priit lean forwards.

I used to think the scoop was low percentage. The reason for that is that it's rare for your opponent to have no grips on your upper body. However, soon after teaching this lesson, I found myself using the scoop quite a lot, as a follow up to turtle. If you immediately drop, turn and go for the scoop, off of a loose turtle it can work pretty well. Again, I've been combining that with Priit's material on the turtle, fun to play with so far.

People were getting confused by the twist of the hip to get the foot off. I either get the crossface, which is easiest to explain, or put my back onto them for control. Thinking about it, the clearest way to described that is probably face up side control. You're using the same kind of pressure from the same area of your body, except that your chest is pointing up rather than than down at the mat.

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