Escapes for Offense
Escapes may be the secret weapon to a dominant offense. When your opponent is constantly attacking you and you manage to escape, you may be able to use the element of surprise and capitalize. Sometimes, your opponent may be so focused on submitting you that when you escape, they don’t have a guard established.
Some people in the Jiu Jitsu community have been notorious for escapes such as Garry Tonon, Dean Lister, and Jeff Glover. All of these are among the best grapplers in the world and let their opponents put them in bad positions to escape and counter. Check out our article “Are BJJ Escpaes the Most Important Skill to Learn.” It has great detail on the importance of mastering escapes. Escapes will give you the opportunity to pass your opponents guard, weaken their confidence and build yours.
Escapes for Setting up Passes
Sometimes the best way to pass a good guard players guard is to let them think they are going to submit you so that you can escape. One of the most common passes from closed guard is baiting the triangle and arm bar so that your opponent will open their guard and passing when they attack. Some people will let their opponent lock up the diamond position so they can stack them.
If you are confident in your ability to escape you will play a much more worry free game. Having the ability to escape bad positions will allow you to not have the fear of being put in them in the first place. Dean Lister won the ADCC absolute division and did not seem to worry at any point in the competition. Check out this heel hook escape with Dean below, he wasn’t submitted at black belt for over a decade.
Escapes to Weaken Confidence and Build yours
Seems like a funny thing to want to weaken your opponent’s confidence but this is one of the most important elements of Jiu Jitsu, confidence. Confidence plays such an imperative role in every aspect of Jiu Jitsu. Many people will be much more aggressive as long as they are confident. One of the best ways to diminish somebody’s confidence is to escape their submission.
Jeff Glover is a master at the mental game. He is infamous for his donkey guard. This is an extremely unorthodox position where Jeff gives his opponent the back just so that he can escape and start attacking knee bars and other submissions. This is an incredible example of confidence in escapes and the ability to capitalize after you escape while breaking your opponent’s confidence. Check out this Arm bar escape with Dean Lister below.
If you want to learn escapes from everywhere and add a layer of confidence to your bjj game we highly recommend Black Belt World Champion, Bernardo Faria’s DVD set “Escapes from Everywhere.” Along with Dean, Bernardo is one of the best bjj practitioners to ever compete and he constantly puts himself in harm’s way only to escape and capitalize.