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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Escape Systems: Part 2

Some time ago, we posted the first half of this series in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Escape Systems: Part 1. Here we present the second half of the series which provides a solid foundation upon which to base your Side Cross Escape Game.

Not All Side Cross Hold Downs Are Created Equal

One thing I’ve learned while studying submission grappling is that terms like Mount, Side Cross, Guard, Etc. are used in a very general sense. Within each position lies a number of sub-positions which can be recognized or classified (if you want to get really technical) by relative arm placement, weight distribution and attack orientation.

Each sub-position is like a prison cell to which only a few specific methods will create opportunities for escape. There is no skeleton key which magically unlocks all prison cell doors. Paying heed to which escapes and methods work for each sub-position will give you a better insight into how to become a better escape artist in general.

If The Boat Is A Rockin, Don’t Come A Knockin


Another key to an over all better escape game is a continued stream of escape attempts. That is, everyone is better at handling a singular disruption of balance than they are at handling a boat that continues to rock. And a boat that continues to rock is not unlike a swing that with each successive pump, generates more swing, more momentum, and in this case, more potential for escape.

I know I’ve beaten this dead horse to the grave, then stomped on it, kicked more dirt on top, and hammered that gravesite with a shovel, but I simply can’t say it enough times. Chain your escapes, and tie all of these escapes together and you will increase your chances of getting out in one piece.

It’s quite simple really, if your opponent takes pressure off of you to prevent your sweep, he’s generally going to give you enough space to recapture guard, or some semblance of it. If he pressures you to prevent your re-guard attempt, he gives you the energy necessary to effect your sweep.

Timing Is Critical!

Give anyone enough time, and they will dig in, fortify their position and give you headaches for days. Never let your opponent gain a foothold, and again, you increase your ability to effect an exit strategy and leverage your knowledge of escape routes and techniques.

Above is an excellent drill for developing this mentality. Shown here, it demonstrates the second sweep shown to me by my friend and one of my coaches, Pedro Sauer Black Belt, Mike Diaz. However, any of the escapes or sweeps can be substituted for the one shown here and trained in the transition drill to sharpen your timing.

Let us know how these escapes are working out for you in the comments and post your favorite videos of Side Cross Escapes so we can all learn from this discussion.