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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 June 2022

22/06/2022 - Teaching | Back | Panda defence & scoop escape

Teaching #Evening
Artemis BJJ (Easton Road), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 22/06/2022

Before they get their upper body grips, immediately leans forwards. Protect your neck by keeping your hands close, palms facing outwards (snapping at any grips attempting to come in: IIRC, Priit uses the handy metaphor of piranhas). Keep your forearms tightly in your hip creases, elbows slightly past your hips. The further you can lean forward, the better.

If they attempt to step a leg over the top of your leg, underhook it, turn and go for the pass. If your defences havea gat and they do manage to get their hooks in, grab around their feet. With your arms inside their legs for extra leverage, pull up on their feet. That should make it really hard for them to do anything proactive.
This then leads to the scoop. As with any escape, you need to stay tight. Should you prefer a different hand position to the piranha, there are numerous schools of thought on just how to do that: clamping your hands to both sides of your neck (which I learned as the 'Shirley Temple' defence), crossing your hands over your neck, grabbing both your collars, and Saulo's method of just grabbing one collar, keeping the other hand free to block.

If you go for any of those options, you need to be careful that you don't reach too far with that free hand. If you do, then you may give them space to establish a firm grip or launch their attack. Keep the 'defensive zone' of the free arm small, with your elbow staying tight. Should they manage to get past your arms and being setting up a choke, you'll probably have to bail on that and simply grab their arm. The first priority when somebody takes your back is protecting your neck.

What Saulo calls the 'scoop' back escape starts with that hand positioning, one thumb in the opposite collar and the other hand defending. The same thing works from the panda position too (but be careful if you are pulling up on their feet, as their legs are in a vulnerable position when you move your hips forwards). For this escape to work, you need to have prevented (or cleared) any grips they have below your arms. That then enables you 'scoop' your upper body down and your hips forwards, as low as you can. Next, kick out one of your legs to clear their hook (you may also need to nudge it with your elbow), then drop your other elbow down past their other leg and turn.

That's a little counter-intuitive: keep in mind you are not turning towards the hook you kicked free. You also need to be careful here that they can't re-establish their second hook: block it with your elbow and knee if they try. Once you've turned, stay heavy on their leg and move up into side control.

Teaching Notes: I should look more into that escape where the feet are grabbed and Priit spins around from there. Also, emphasising the elbows are on the inside of the legs when they get their hooks in against panda. Do you need both arms under the leg when they step a leg over, or is one enough? To turn you would have to remove one arm anyway, unless I'm forgetting something Priit taught.

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