Escape Artistry with Lachlan Giles
Everyone loves to be a beast on the mats but we usually attribute submissions and positional dominance to being a so called “beast”. But... great defense is just as important if not more important than being a dominant practitioner. If you're a smaller BJJ player, this rings even more true for you. For the unsung heroes of BJJ, those seemingly locked boxes, that none of us can crack open and the mat heroes that boost such good defense that they rarely get submitted, we salute you.
The art of defense and escapes is certainly a fine one. Knowing the inner workings of positions and their unique methods of attack lends itself to some very interesting escape work. This requires intense study of all aspects of BJJ. The confidence, in knowing that there is not a place that you feel uncomfortable is quite the reassuring notion. Having great defense also makes your attacks better. When someone throws everything they have at you to no avail, this is a huge mental victory and an opportunity for you to turn the tables and begin mounting your own offense.
Everyone has their own take on the elements of defense. For many of us, our game was developed out of necessity. Especially the smaller practitioners of the art. We start our BJJ careers on the bottom and it's likely that many of you spent the majority of your time there until you increase your understanding of how to thwart attacks and escape through the tiniest of spaces. In a way it is a luxury to develop this skill early on and many would agree that survival is the first skill we should acquire. As we progress and our peers do the same, we must evolve all of our skills, especially our escapes, as the barrage of attacks coming our way become more intelligent and effective.
Lachlan Giles has recently released the most complete instructional database on escapes to date. In eight volumes of incredibly focused and detailed instruction, Fundamentals of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Escapes - Gi and No Gi will take you on the ultimate journey into escaping every major fundamental scenario you can possibly think of. As per usual, Giles has compiled a more than complete guide to help you understand the most important aspects of escaping in BJJ with tons of detail and high level instruction.
It's been a great year for Giles. Coming off of one of the most memorable performances in ADCC history, which earned him several nicknames, all to the tune of “Giant Slayer”. Giles dismantled three of the competition's largest competitors in the absolute division with incredible composure, and stellar technique. It was a great moment for Giles and his fans and one that will not soon be forgotten.
The back is quite possibly the most dangerous position in BJJ. With all of your defenses out in front of you, the back can be a pretty tricky position to unwind. There tons to think about. Keeping our necks and limbs safe while we figure out how to deconstruct the position can be quite difficult and there is danger everywhere. Take a look at this back escape sequence from Giles. Here, he discusses more modern forms of back control that you may be experiencing in your training and helps us dismantle the position so that we can escape unscathed. Take a look!
With some words on protecting the neck first (which should always be our first priority), Giles demonstrates how to grip the arm, Here, he takes a baseball bat style grip and pinches his elbow down. He advises against a “chin up” (unless you’re very late to the party) style grip, as this will not provide the same level of security as the recommended configuration.
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Giles falls over to the under hook side for this bit of instruction. The under hook side has risen in popularity over the past few years and it's definitely become a preferred platform for attacking from the back, so you'll find this particular escape highly useful.
Most people tend to forego the traditional style hooks nowadays. The type of control that only focuses on the heels biting the inside of the thighs doesn't seem to offer the level of control that a belt line style hook does and you may be seeing this increasingly more among your training partners. After making sure his neck is not in danger, Giles uses his top hand to cover his partner's knee on his top side leg. He then begins to walk his body into a tripod configuration, opening his backside and hips at the ceiling. Once he arrives at the top of the movement, Giles frees his right leg and pommels it to the inside of his partners bottom hook and then uses the space he's created to free his hips from the position.
One of the most important elements of escaping the back is to make sure that you don't leave any bread crumbs on the way out. It's important to cut off any connections that would allow the attacker to reestablish the position. Here, as Giles frees his hips and begins to exit the back control, he drives his right elbow down to the mat, creating a wedge between him and his partner that stops the reacquisition of the position. THis arm later turns into an under hook as Giles begins to turn toward his partner and floats up to the top position, finishing the technique.
This is a phenomenal answer to a more modern style of back attack. Giles has addressed some of the newer concerns dealing with escaping the back position and this is indicative of his style of teaching. Giles is a master instructor and provides the clearest and most concise instruction you'll ever experience! Fundamentals of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Escapes - Gi and No Gi is available now at the BJJ Fanatics Online Store.