3 Submission Escapes From ADCC Vet Dean Lister
Dean Lister has had and continues to have an illustrious career in a variety of combat genres, from wrestling, to sambo, to jiu jitsu and submission grappling, along with mixed martial arts fighting in some of the most prestigious organizations like Pride and the UFC...
As an American submission grappling pioneer his biggest impact has been on the ADCC mats. Dean Lister is an American mixed martial artist and a former King of the Cage Middleweight Champion. He currently fights in the middleweight division after moving down from light heavyweight. Lister's sparring partner and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Tito Ortiz, invited him to be his assistant grappling coach on the third season of the Spike TV reality show, The Ultimate Fighter. Dean Lister is an amazing instructor and knows what it takes to escape deadly submissions, so let’s take a look. Here are 3 submission escapes from ADCC vet Dean Lister.
Dean Lister is obviously the master of the foot lock and toe hold. He hits them from everywhere. One of his favorite sayings is "why would you ignore 50% of the body?"
#1: Omoplata Escape by Dean Lister
The omoplata is a shoulder joint lock. It is a technique in which you utilize your own legs and hips to force the shoulder joint of your opponent to extend past its natural degree of motion. When it comes to escaping omoplatas, Dean Lister is the guy you want to learn from. Watch the video below of Dean demonstrating how he escapes the omoplata and then we will break down the technique. Check it out now!
Dean likes to start off countering the omoplata position by grabbing the inside of his knee. Be careful about extending your other arm out to far when your opponent is pressuring down on you with his leg. It is common for the guy doing the omoplata to exploit this by controlling your arm to lock up the submission. With your hand on your knee you can sit and hold this position pretty well. It also gives you the opportunity to clear your arm. Almost nobody sees it coming, and you will be able to pass their guard and get points. Even if your training partner is strong and using his hips to try to put pressure you can counter by turning away from him. You can pass the legs as soon as your opponent tries to pull back on your arm. One thing you need to be careful of however it getting caught in a triangle. Dean Lister understands this concept well, and so should you. It is actually pretty easy for your opponent to lock up a triangle if you do not counter properly. Do not allow your head to go in between your training partner’s legs.
#2: How to Handle Rear Naked Chokes
If you have any Brazilian Jiu Jitsu experience you know just how scary it can be when a guy takes you back and starts attacking your neck, and it often causes people to panic, which can be very dangerous. Dean Lister is an expert when it comes to handling rear naked chokes. In the video below Dean shows you how to get out of rear naked chokes from standing, which is useful in a self defense scenario. Watch the video and then we will break down the technique. Check out the video below!
The first thing Dean shows us is to grab as close to the attackers thumb if he already has the arm wrapped around your neck. The thumb is ideal, but in most cases you will get the wrist. Once Lister has his grip he widens his base, dropping his level and throwing his opponent over his shoulder. Notice how Lister maintains a grip on his attackers arm once he hits the ground, maintain control over his attacker. The second method Lister shows for defending a rear naked choke from standing is to exploit the attacker’s lead leg by simply hopping around it, setting him up for an easy trip to take him down. Again, you will see Lister retains that arm, controlling where and what his opponent can do once he is on the ground. Dean goes on to discuss the reality of being caught in a full rear naked choke – where the attacker has locked up the choke with both arms, putting you in danger of passing out. In the event this happens, Lister reaches behind his head and grabs his attacker’s fingers, breaking. However, if he is an experienced street fighter and makes a fist you have two or three seconds to react. Lister defends this by taking a big step back behind his attacker and lifting him up off the ground at his knees, jumping and dropping him on his face if he does not let go.
#3: Heel Hook Escape
If you have been caught in a heel hook before you know how painful they can be. Having a defense to amount against one is vital for any Brazilian Jiu Jitsu player. Dean Lister has a grappling strategy where he will give his opponent a submission attempt and use this to advance his own position. Because of this play style; Lister is one of the best when it comes to escaping submissions. Check out the video below and then we will break it down!
“Sooner is better than later,” says Lister when it comes to escaping heel hooks. If your opponent already has your heel, you may as well just tap, else suffer the consequences. Dean avoids this by crossing his feet together, behind his opponent, making it difficult to grab his heel. It is a matter of timing on this, but once your feet are crossed you can climb up your training partner, grabbing around his neck and shoulders, switching to back control. The idea is to keep it hard for your opponent to scoop the heel. So by keeping your feet on the mat it makes it impossible for your training partner to pull off the heel hook. When your opponent gets a little greedy is when you cross your feet and then you’re fine. Lister shows that with only your feet you can make it impossible for the opponent to grab your heel, preventing and blocking his arm as he turns to his side.
When it comes to escaping submissions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there is no magic secret. The truth is, escaping submission attempts takes hard work and practice. By focusing on precision technique and timing you can greatly increase your chances of effectively escaping any submission. If there is one intangible that can’t be taught about submission escapes it is how not to panic. You can only learn this from having been submitted over and over. Once you learn to keep your cool in a tight situation you can find your way out of any submission. So be sure to remember these submission escapes the next time you are on the mats and then focus on staying calm.