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Amazing Mount Escape Details with Lachlan Giles
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Amazing Mount Escape Details with Lachlan Giles

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Escaping the mount will always be one of the most important concepts of BJJ.

It could literally save your life. Within in the mount escape is also contained some of the most fundamental principles of jiu-jitsu, the bread and butter of the art. The bridge, the hip escape, the movements that we perform on a daily basis. If I only had one day to teach someone jiu-jitsu, escaping the mount would be a huge part of the lesson.

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Though we learn how to escape the mount early in our training, it's important to periodically revisit these escapes so that we can understand them on deeper levels as our knowledge of BJJ becomes more advanced. The principles themselves are somewhat simple to understand, but as the top players become more proficient at maintaining the mount and launching their attacks, we must understand how to exit the position on a much deeper level.  

Have you ever had your back taken while trying to escape the mount? Maybe you’ve been trying your favorite escape over and over again with no luck. It could be your applying the wrong escape to a given scenario. Is your partner low in the mount or high? Do they have control of your head? Where is the weight positioned on top of your body? These are all factors that will determine what type of escape is used, and if we can make a clean getaway or not.

Lachlan Giles has some advice for you on escaping the mount in this video. He addresses some common errors and gives us some ideas on how to escape without giving the top player a new dominant position. Have a look at this and see if you can pick up a new detail to help tighten up your mount escape game.

From the bottom mount position Giles begins by giving us some details on how he uses his upper body during the escape. Right away I recognize an interesting concept here. Many years ago, when first learning o escape the mount, I was always taught to make a box at my partner’s hip with one arm horizontally across the beltline, and the other vertically, running up the top players thigh. Then connecting the hands, we would begin to escape. As Giles states, this can easily lead to a back take for the top player. Why? Because there is zero control over the far hip. As you begin to escape, your opponent can easily slide up and begin to transition to the back.

Instead of the box frame idea, Giles frames the far hip with his forearm. This blocks the transition and keeps his partner from moving forward in the mount. His uses his opposite elbow to pry inside the knee. But instead of placing his arm vertically and attempting to open the knee with a very weak group of muscles in the shoulder, he points his hand out and uses a more efficient method of prying that will recruit the use of stronger muscles in the back to get job done. This alone is a game changer.

Where the lower body is concerned, Giles’s goal is to get his knee passed the line of his partner’s ankle. Once the top player tucks his feet under our body, things can become incredibly difficult. Giles keeps inside position of his leg while also keeping his leg flat, so there’s nowhere for his partner to hide his foot.  

Using his established frames up top, Giles performs a hip escape and moves his knee above that ankle line. His partner’s foot is not out in the open, and unable to be tucked in. Giles then uses his opposite heel to snag his partner’s foot and drags it to the inside of his legs. Giles suggests that we keep moving here, an perform a big hip escape to get us back to the other side, as this is not a great place to hang out. Be sure to keep your frames intact through the hip escape and as you arrive at the other side.

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In the second variation, Giles’s partner is creating some trouble by placing his weight over his knee on the side that he’s trying to escape from. This makes prying the leg and getting underneath it very difficult. But as always when one door closes another opens. You’ll notice as his partner works to create difficulty the opposite side leg is becoming very light. This creates an opportunity to change our plans. Giles will now hip out in to his partners opposite side leg. Because the leg is light it will separate from the floor, allowing Giles to escape his hips and enter in to a single leg x position. From here the possibilities are endless. BE careful not to hip out too far and lose the leg. Keep your hips above the line of the ankle if you hope to enter this position.

This last idea could get you out of lots of trouble. As mentioned before, we do not want our partner to have the ability to cross their feet in the mount. This will create some extra work for us, but it’s not impossible to escape.

To open the crossed feet, Giles uses his opposite side heel to connect to his partners foot and begins to push the feet open. If you’ve ever had this done to you, it’s quite unpleasant, and it is very effective in opening the feet. Upon the opening of the crossed feet, Giles quickly gets his leg back flat to the floor, stopping his partner from regaining the position.

Pick up anything useful? There are some amazing ideas at work here. I hope this helps!

Want more from Lachlan Giles? Check out his DVD  "The Half Guard Anthology", and get to work on improving your half guard! BJJ Fanatics has it! Check it out here!

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