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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 May 2019

22/05/2019 - Teaching | Side Control | Shin in elbow escape

Teaching #868
Artemis BJJ (Easton Road), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 22/05/2019

I first learned the shin-in-elbow trick from Ed Beneville's Strategic Guard, way back in 2008. It's not something I ever got to work, until Chiu Kwong Man taught an awesome class on it eight years later, at the inaugural UK BJJ Globetrotter Camp. First, sneak your hip blocking hand under their armpit, so you have the back of that hand in front of their shoulder. Do a quick bump with your hips, using the space to push off your hand and turn onto your side.

As soon as you do that, immediately pull your head back. If you curl forwards, they can get their arm around your neck and secure a bow-and-arrow grip on your collar. You also want to put your top knee up, to monitor their attempts to go to mount. The third big danger is that they will take your back. Keep your side glued to the floor, to prevent them getting their leg underneath and establishing an initial hook.

Grab their wrist with your bottom arm, using your other hand to support that (i.e., grip higher up on the arm). Straighten your arms. If you need to create more space, shrimp in towards them. Once there is enough space, insert your top knee into the crook of their elbow and extend. From here, you can use your other leg for base if they are crushing you down. Maintain your grip on their wrist, shifting the other hand behind their armpit. Get a good grip on their gi. In one motion, kick your inserted leg out, using that momentum to sit up, also pushing with your arms to swivel out.

Keep your grips on the arm, to stop them driving back in towards you. Even if they do start to drive in, at worst you should be able to get back to a guard position. If they raise up, that gives you the space to spin back to guard anyway.

A video posted by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on


Teaching Notes: Remember to mention shrimping back into them to make space, if you're having trouble getting your knee inside. I wasn't sure about showing both variations, but I reckon it doesn't take too much time: quick demonstration of how you can shrimp the other way to make space for your foot seems to be enough.

This also combines nicely, in a structural sense, with the Neufang gi tail escapes I showed a few days later. Some similar principles about pulling something around your knee (in the Neufang option, the gi tail, whereas with this one, it's their arm).

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