There’s nothing quite as exciting as the new hot move from Youtube.
As exciting as these moves can be, there’s three essential escapes that are more important to know. I’m biased, but these are truly the moves that any new white belt should master and learn. These are essential escapes (with videos) in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Hip Escape (“Shrimp”)
First up is the Hip Escape. This technique is vital to the survival of any Jiu Jitsuka. It’s often overlooked as simply a warm up drill.
The problem is that this is a powerhouse move that would help so many people escape. If you can utilize the shrimp, you might escape almost every time.
The hip escape or “shrimp” can be used from half guard to retain full guard, side control and mount position. If you are able to master this technique you are literally the master of the escape.
Bridge (“trap and bump”)
The next most important move is the bridge or “trap and bump” from bottom mount.
This is a technique where you trap your opponents’ foot with your own leg. You’re also isolating their arm/hand while bridging, and go from bottom mount to being inside your opponent’s guard. It saves you from one of the most dominant and devastating positions — the mount. When you combine this with the shrimp you are bound to escape the mount sooner or later.
Mounted armbar escape (“hitch hiker”)
Finally, the third most essential escape in BJJ is the basic mounted armbar escape.
This move has been termed the “hitch hiker escape” by many. In this move, you take your thumb and turn it toward the hip you can see, then roll over your own. This should put you in top side control.
This escape is especially vital for newbie students. Beginning students have a tendency to push with their arm, which often ends with being in this arm lock. The arm lock is one of the most common submissions from the mount. This move, done correctly, will let you escape and put you in a dominant position.
Have you noticed a trend in the list of moves above?
None of these are attacks or submissions. In fact, all of them start from an inferior position. This is on purpose. Why?
As a new student, you are going to be put in these positions all the time. Your main focus should be surviving before you go onto attacks and crazy back takes. The need to survive is what is most important in Jiu Jitsu.
Helio Gracie‘s ability to survive in deep water was one of the most powerful aspects of his style. The art of escaping is just as necessary as they art of the finish. We must polish our escapes first in order to get to the finish. There’s plenty out there to learn, but I hope these essential escapes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu give you a great place to start.
Now go out unto the mats and become the Houdini of Jiu Jitsu.