Dan Faggella is a BJJ Academy Owner, No Gi Pan Am Champion at 130 pounds, and recognized expert in the area of light weight jiu jitsu. Dan writes or Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, MMA Sports Mag, and more – you get his brand new 7 escapes book completely FREE right here.
When you hop onto the mat to live roll or compete, there is something that happens. Time freezes, and just two people exists on the entire planet; you and your opponent. The bell rings, you slap hands, and then things just happen.
Without thinking, your grappling knowhow kicks in and your moves become fluid and precise without much missing. Before long, you’re either controlling the match or are scratching and clawing for even a single point to be had. While it’s only a figure of speech, it quickly becomes life or death to some people. Check out this video below…
However, the sport also asks for fantastic mental focus as well. Being one with your mind is just as important as how tight your guard is, or how heavy your hips are when you sprawl. If you don’t possess the proper mental mind frame, then all of your hard work will go unnoticed and fall flat.
In my opinion, one aspect of grappling that commands much mental determination is executing escapes from specific sets. For instance, it’s all too easy to panic while your opponent has obtained full mount and can exert their dominance over you.
One most have fantastic focus and understanding to notice that the match is far from over, as long as they have the proper escape techniques to go with it.
The Basic Bride Escape
For the beginners out there, this is the best way to approach the escape. The bridge is a very basic, very common escape technique used by many grapplers. The effectiveness can’t be understated for the white belts out there, and this is something that you should definitely look into learning as a building block if you are new to the sport.
First off, you want to break your opponent’s posture by taking your hands and driving them into their elbow.
Pin their heel to your body, and readjust your grip so one hand is on their triceps while the other goes on the forearm.
Bridge your hips up, and over to the side, ending up in their guard.
Again, this is a very basic approach for the escape from mount, and can get the job done most of the time depending on your skill level. Once you feel like you have graduated from this, there are plenty more to be had!
Bridge Escape Variation
Another quick hitter escape from mount is a variation from the bridge escape that we just touched on. From this setup, we’re assuming that our opponent has placed a hand on the mat and one around our head. Once they do this, we want to attack the side that they didn’t post with!
Take your hand, and place it on the base of your skull on the same side which your opponent has established head control. Isolate their arm in the process.
Place your other hand in their hip, while blocking their foot with your heel.
From here, bridge up and out, ending in full guard.
This is a nice variation as it doesn’t take a lot to execute, and it still gives you the same results; escaping mount and ending in side control.
Leg Drag Escape
A little more intermediate escape is the leg drag technique. What you want to do is once your opponent obtains full mount, bring your elbow into their waist line. Clasp your hands together and push slightly as your begin to perform a slight bridge.
From here, turn your hips and straighten out one of your legs. With the other leg, reach over the extended leg as you push down with your elbow on their knee. This will isolate the foot, allowing you to scoop it up, and bring it over the top of your extended leg, bringing you to half guard.
Next, you can shrimp out slightly, bringing your bent leg into their stomach, and eventually in guard, clearing you of the dreaded full mount.
While there are more moving parts to this technique, it’s just as effective as the bridge escape, albeit a little more in depth.
Mount Escapes: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs. Mixed Martial Arts
Despite the two sports sharing many similar qualities and benefits, there are some subtle differences that you see once you begin to peel back the layers of both art forms.
For instance, both sports share similar setups and positions; however, the way in which you go about dealing with them is totally different. If you are an MMA fighter and want to try these type of escapes, then you will have to keep in mind the variables of your sport that aren’t taken into consideration for BJJ players.
Certain Jiu Jitsu escapes may be fruitless for many MMA fighters to attempt, because they are thought up and taught with no worries of striking involved. Grapplers have the luxury of not worrying about getting rocked with elbows and punches from their opponent, which allows them to be far more tactical and careful in their mount escapes.
Even when there are few differences, they can change the entire approach. It’s commonplace for MMA fans to view bottom mount as a death sentence; the land of no return! While this is understandable from their perspective, it doesn’t ring true for BJJ players.
No matter how you slice it, bottom mount isn’t the most desirable position to be in. With that said, give these escape techniques a try and let me know how they work out for you!