Escaping Side Mount With Adem Redzovic

Photo courtesy of Adem Redzovic

Professor Adem Redzovic, leader of Team Redzovic based in Chicago,  recently released a new On Demand instructional from Budovideos, called “Basically Escaping Side Mount”.  Redzovic and his brother Eddie were the first American instructors to open a Gracie Barra school under Carlos Gracie, Jr.  They now run three academies in the Chicago area.

I was introduced to Professor Redzovic’s style of instruction via his “Open Guard Translated” video on Youtube.  If you have not watched this video, I highly recommend it.  Redzovic offers an extremely conceptual approach to teaching.  As a viewer, this makes his instructionals much more watchable as a whole and the content much more accessible for students of all belt levels.

I was eager to dive into the new release focused on escaping side mount, available from Budovideos in an On Demand format.  I was also especially excited because of the use of the retro-Nintendo style game logo for the release.  The imagery took me back to my youth, while the concepts I was to learn also reminded me of some things I had never thought of as a lower belt.

From the outset of the video, I did not feel like I was watching an instructional video.  The video opens with Professor Redzovic sitting at the bottom of a stairway casually speaking about the distinction between a self-defense approach and a sport approach to the concepts to be shown.  For him, the self-defense mindset puts you in a place where you are aware that your opponent may not have the same skill level as you and you are looking to patiently capitalize on mistakes they might make.  The sport approach is one where you are facing an opponent who is more than likely at a similar skill level, you may have a time limit and you’re looking to quickly establish better positions for points and to set up submissions.

This conversational approach is the key element that sets Professor Redzovic’s work apart from other BJJ instructionals for me.  The viewer is invited in to engage the concepts, but ultimately it’s a two way street.  Redzovic doesn’t provide us with all of the options.  He clearly points out that he’s looking to help his viewers get out of Side Mount, but what is done from there is up to the individual to bring their own voice to the conversation.

Adem Redzovic on the mats sharing BJJ concepts with his students.  --Photo courtesy of Adem Redzovic
Adem Redzovic on the mats sharing BJJ concepts with his students. –Photo courtesy of Adem Redzovic

Professor Redzovic goes on to introduce a number of simple, but extremely essential basic movements to utilize to get oneself to the knees when being pressured.  The Shield position forms the core of the entire conceptual approach to escaping for Redzovic.  By effectively blocking the underhook and fighting any attempt at cross-face control, one can pose a real challenge to someone trying to place them in side mount.

Once the strong Shield position has been adopted, Professor Redzovic shows a number of escapes to standing or in some cases to a reset guard.  The troubleshooting section that closes the video is also extremely helpful to show some things that a wily opponent might attempt as you are escaping.

Join the Side Mount Escape Conversation with Professor Adem Redzovic--Photo Courtesy of Adem Redzovic
Join the Side Mount Escape Conversation with Professor Adem Redzovic–Photo Courtesy of Adem Redzovic

All in all, this release comes highly recommended for all belt levels.  Lower belts will gain fundamental insight into not only surviving, but also escaping a strong side mount attack.  Higher belts will benefit from the review of the fundamentals, probably learning something in the process–but most importantly, the conceptual approach that Professor Redzovic takes could potentially open up some new ways of thinking about the game and one’s overall approach to BJJ.

Adem Redzovic’s “Basically Escaping Side Mount” is available as an On Demand release from Budovideos at the following link:

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