3 Tips On Escaping From The Bottom

I taught a private lesson to a BJJ enthusiast who was over 40 and most interested in escaping bad positions.

Grandmaster Helio Gracie had the philosophy of survive, then win. The most important part of BJJ is defending yourself first, then escaping and improving our position.

There are many different techniques for specific situations, but some principles of escaping all bad positions remain true.

1) The person on the bottom is looking to create space. The person on top is looking to remove space and connect their weight to the bottom person.

A way of looking at the battle was explained to me by Bruno Fernandes, who, in addition to being a World BJJ Champion, is also the instructor who awarded George St-Pierre his black belt.

When you are in the bottom, look to create space first.

2) Bridge and shrimp! There are few escapes from the bottom that do not being with bridging and moving your hips out from under your opponent.

In fact, having a powerful bridge and strong hip escape is so important that it will cover up many lesser technical details. There is a reason why these movements are drilled in academies all over the globe.

Here’s a tip: practice doing one-leg bridges to strengthen your posterior chain for powerful bridges.

3) Don’t get there!

4) “Timing is everything,” the cliche goes. It is true in escapes. If your opponent has fully locked in a tight side control, it is very difficult to escape even if you know the correct technique.

However, when your opponent moves to attack a submission, they must take some weight off of you, even if only for a split second. You are relaxed underneath with proper frames and ready to seize the opportunity to escape. Learn the sweet spot in the timing for your escapes to be most efficient.


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