3/18/09

Side Control Escapes

I often here students talking about how they have a difficult time on the bottom. This is natural, especially if you're trapped under a more experienced grappler who has a solid top game. I also think it highlights something to think about. Most of us have heard the phrase, position before submission. You can know how to perform as many submissions as you want, but if you can't maneuver into a proper position to apply those techniques, all of your submission knowledge is a waste of time.

I don't remember exactly when it occurred to me, but at some point in my training, I began thinking fanatically about improving my wrestling. The actual implementation of that thought process came slower, but it's something that I constantly work on to improve. As a matter of fact, I get more excited when I learn a new move that betters my position, as opposed to learning a new way to apply a submission. But that's just me.

During Tuesday's class, I taught some butterfly sweeps. Afterward during open mat, I was doing some light rolling with Justin and he pulled off one of the sweeps twice! For me, that was exciting to see someone learn a new move and then turn right around and apply it effectively. I also know what a great learning boost it can be for a student who can get that instant feedback by experiencing its effectiveness. And just for the record, I didn't let him get it. He pulled it off both times.

This brings me to my point. I realize that not everyone gets as excited as I do about learning how to escape from side control, or mount, or half guard. I know this because of all the time I've been teaching, I rarely have someone pull me aside to ask me about the latest reversal they just watched on YouTube. Nevertheless, I think we all know that in order to improve your grappling skills, you have to have these skills in your arsenal.

Jerad filmed Ryan and I going through a number of different side control escapes. After we got done, I started thinking about all the escapes I forgot to include. So keep in mind this video is not intended to be an all encompassing tutorial of every side control escape, but rather a snap shot of the concept of escaping from side control.

5 comments:

Brent said...

Justin is indeed the man. Glad we have him.
Good video. One of the things that I love about our program is our consistent employment of side control escapes and reversals. This is a crucial element, as shown in the video, of grappling for at least 2 practical reasons.
1. Having someone have you side control is, in general, the toughest spot to be in. An opponent can put more pressure on you in side control than in any other position. This means its the place that can make you breathe hard, which means it can make you wear out faster, which means you'll be more likely to be defeated quicker.
2. We have been getting plethoras of wrestlers coming in. The most prized position to obtain in wrestling is side control. A person with a developing JJ game can get dominated by a moderately good wrestling strictly by side control technique.
Therefore, it is essential to know how to scramble out, get on a hip, and at least capture one of your opponent's legs. Our program puts a lot of emphasis in this issue.
Perhaps there is one position that wears one out quicker than being the victim of side control: the body triangle lock when someone has your back.
Maybe there's a few more, but this is what's on my mind right now. I'm sure there are more, Conan's guillotine comes to mind . . .

Conan said...

There's definitely something about a guillatine choke that wears a person out. I think it's because it makes you sleepy.

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't go for double-underhooks from under side control, as in 2:05-2:19, if your opponent has a gi. If you do, you will get ezekiel-choked.

Also, if you trap the top guy's leg as you did at 1:43, he will counter you with an excruciating leg-lock, deliberately or even by accident, because his glute and hamstring are much stronger than your ACL. You can see this leglock in Igor Yakimov's Ultimate Leg Locks of Russian Sambo DVD series.

Conan said...

I’ll concede that I don’t know everything about Jiu-Jitsu. As I am a student of the game, I’m always open to learning new things, building my skills and passing those skills onto my students. I find it intriguing how human nature sometimes takes over in situations such as this, when someone is flat out contradictory. Maybe more so because it’s from an anonymous commenter, instinctively my response is to be on the defensive. But, I’m a fair man and will weigh things out before I jump to rash action.

So let’s take a look at what we’ve been presented with so as to make an intelligent assessment of what Anonymous wrote.

“You shouldn't go for double-underhooks from under side control, as in 2:05-2:19, if your opponent has a gi. If you do, you will get ezekiel-choked.”

Let me first say that I’m not using double under-hooks. I have an under-hook with my left arm, but my right arm is blocking his left hip and leg. Keep in mind this video is not intended to be an all encompassing tutorial of every side control escape, but rather a snap shot of the concept of escaping from side control. Because of this, you’re not getting all the fine details of the positions.
For the most part, Anonymous is correct, you shouldn’t go for double under-hooks from side control if your opponent has a gi. I’ll add that you shouldn’t use double under-hooks even if your opponent does not have a gi. This is a concept that I teach. Having said that, I know a few side control escapes that use double under-hooks, but they’re not shown in the video.

Saying that you’ll get Ezekiel choked (sleeve choked) if you do use double under-hooks is not necessarily true. There are any number of submissions available at any time, but due to the dynamic nature of grappling, one could never know what submission someone might choose to employ at any given time, nor what counters might be employed.

Let’s take a look at Anonymous’ next statement.
“Also, if you trap the top guy's leg as you did at 1:43, he will counter you with an excruciating leg-lock, deliberately or even by accident, because his glute and hamstring are much stronger than your ACL. You can see this leglock in Igor Yakimov's Ultimate Leg Locks of Russian Sambo DVD series.”

That may be true, but since I’ve never been countered from that position with an excruciating leglock, deliberately or even by accident, I can’t confirm the validity of that statement. I’ll keep it in mind if I ever have the opportunity to grapple with Igor Yakimov or any other leglock master for that matter.

Remember folks, nothing is 100%. There’s a counter for every technique and a counter for the counter and on and on and on. You may know something that your opponent doesn’t know, or may be more experienced at some facet of the game. That’s what makes this art so intriguing and why it takes so many years to learn it well.

So here’s the challenge. We’ll all go out and I’ll buy a round of beer for everyone after someone Ezekiel chokes me (from any position) or counters me when I hook the leg with an excruciating leg-lock, deliberately or even by accident.

Brent said...

armchair jiu-jitsu masters . . . gotta love 'em.