Using the right tool for the right job is essential for accomplishing a goal in the most efficient way possible.  But in the game we play it can sometimes be difficult to determine which tool to use.  Enter Combat Submission Wrestling Coach Shane Taylor.  Recently we featured a number of his techniques on Damage Control and our interactions inspired me to look at relative positions as hands on a clock.  So for this blog post, we are going to start at 4:00 and 8:00 o’clock since they were the impetus that started me on this course.

Imagine you are green man. His head represents the small hand on the clock.

Imagine you are green man. His head represents the big hand on the clock.

This week we conclude the set that Coach Shane shares with us, dealing with the 4:00 and or 8:00 positions.  But if you look back at the various escapes we’ve shared with you at Damage Control, you will see that we have addressed almost every hour on the clock.

For instance if we consider 10:00 and 2:00 as Kesa Gatame, fellow CSW Coach Ben Jones has shared a number of escapes.

If you think of across the side position as either 3:00 or 9:00 o’clock, we’ve shared a number of escapes from that position as well. Contributing authors range from Professor Gustavo Rodrigues to Professor Mike Diaz who was the one responsible for initially inspiring Coach Shane with his arm trap sweep series from 4:00 and 8:00.

We have also covered the 6:00 o’clock position with the Badger Burrow:

This leaves us with 12:00. Which can be considered either escaping the mount or passing the guard. And to differentiate, we’ll simply call passing the guard 12:00 a.m. and escaping the mount as 12:00 pm. And again, the star of this post, Ben Jones, sharing his method of escaping the mount:

At 12:00 am, we have Professor Sarah Carlquist and Professor Will Bernales with a few ways to pass the guard:

Now, these aren’t necessarily the same techniques we would use, or even should use. But they do give you an idea of what might be possible from these various orientations. Again, we want to use the right tool for the right job. And within these various orientations there are very specific energies and configurations of the limbs that may dictate different tools. But this is a great start. For more, you can always take a look at our own escape series in the members area.

12:00 am – Guard Passing
12:00 pm – Mount Escaping
2:00 and 10:00 – Escaping Head and Arm, Scarf Hold, Kesa Gatame
3:00 and 9:00 – Escaping Side Cross
4:00 and 8:00 – Shane Taylor Sweep Series
6:00 am – Escaping 69 Position
6:00 pm – Escaping North South Wrestlers Front Headlock Position

Finally, there is such a thing as using the right tool, for the right job, in the right position, but at the wrong time. How do you know that this is the case? Well to be quite honest, it’s when you know you’re doing the right thing but it’s not working. It’s not that the technique isn’t working, it’s that you’re using it at a time when your opponent is doing nothing but focusing 100% of his or her effort into stopping you from escaping. If you wait until they creating an opening while looking for a submission or more advantageous position, you’ll most likely slip right out. So if it doesn’t work right off the bat, just relax and wait. Stay vigilant and ready but wait until you feel things start to loosen up. They’ll have to in order to catch you. They may be able to keep you in a bad position indefinitely, but they’ll eventually have to open up a hole if they want to finish you.

So now it’s time to put all this theory and technique into practice. Time to hit the mats, make a new friend, and enjoy this wonderful art of ours!

See you next time at