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Are BJJ Escapes the Most Important Skill to Learn?
Unless you're a full time jiu jitsu competitor and athlete, you probably don't have more than a few hours a day, at the very most to dedicate to drilling and training. The most dedicated people with jobs and families probably average 3-4 training sessions at their respective academies a week. There's nothing wrong with not being able to train jiu jitsu everyday, although we all would love to. The goal is to be consistent and make the best of your training opportunities when you are on the mats.
One of the best ways to put your training time to use is to focus on the training of escapes. By focusing on how to free yourself from all of the bad spots you might end up in on the road to black belt, you will achieve a number of positive benefits. Here are just a few.
Escapes are your safety net
By having a very strong escape game, you essentially have a "Get out of Jail Free" card for all of the bad spots you can be put in. Think of a video game cheat code that gives you immunity from danger. You will roll with an unstoppable confidence that will then allow you to build your own submission game. You will feel more comfortable taking risks and allowing yourself to be put into those bad spots over and over because simply, you won't be able to be tapped or defeated because you know the way out.
Knowing escapes makes your attacks better
Rillion Gracie is credited with saying "If the lion knows how the prey can escape, it'll capture it in much more precise way." If you are a master of escapes and train those escapes to be sharp against any attack, this will inversely make your attacks even better. You will know where your opponent needs to move or place his hips before they do and thereby be able to stop them and thwart their own escapes, putting them in the proper position to launch a deadly submission attack.
In the video below, world champion Bernardo Faria shows a unique guillotine escape which features one of those "light bulb" moments that could do wonders for other escape techniques you are working to perfect.
In the above video, Bernardo talks about how the most basic escape for the guillotine is to jump your hips to the opposite side of your opponent's body, away from the guillotine. That's why when we learn the guillotine, we are instructed to block that escape attempt by putting the far leg over the trapped opponent's body. In Bernardo's escape he shows how to roll the opposite way not once, BUT TWICE to escape the inevitable mounted guillotine attack.
To better understand the role of escapes in one's BJJ game plan, it's important to understand the difference between submission escapes and positional escapes. To learn more check out this article from BJJ Fanatics here.
In the next video, ADCC legend Dean Lister shares his philosophy of defenses and escapes with Keenan Cornelius and shows a triangle escape option that your opponents and training partners may not expect.
This video shares a great view on the nature of defense from one of the most prolific submission grapplers in history, but the key takeaway might be the fact that Dean says we must be unique in everything we do. If we do the same escapes against the technique every time, we won't be as successful as if we do something unique and creative which gives us an advantage over the opponent. Let yourself be creative and come up with new escapes that will help your game evolve to that next level.
Tap into the knowledge and insight of competitive grappling legend, Dean Lister with his "Worry Free Escapes" DVD and On Demand Series, both available here for only $77!