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Get Spooky with the Ghost Escape
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Get Spooky with the Ghost Escape

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When you think of escaping side control, do only the classics come to mind? Perhaps turning toward your partner, finding some frames, creating a little space, and getting your guard back? Maybe you prefer to thwart your opponent’s pressure and attacks by turning away, turtling, and possibly retaining your guard through this method. Whatever the case may be, we need different avenues of escape for different methods of control.

 Escaping side control can be a nightmare if your opponent is well versed in good pressure and knows just how to settle in. Depending on their controls, the choices of evading attacks and making it safely back to a better position will vary. You have to work with what you’ve got when you’re stuck in side control. As our friend Kurt Osiander famously states, “If you got here, you f****d up a long time ago.” He’s right. If you’ve been flattened out and have conceded the cross face and the under hook, it may be tough to salvage the mistake. But there’s always an answer.

Have you ever tried the “ghost escape?” At first glance it may seem like a tricky technique, but when its well timed and executed properly, it’s actually quite simple and can be a very smooth transition out of side control into a more a more favorable position.

In this video, 10th Planet black belt Chris Herzog gives us a look the technique and 3 details he claims are critical components of the ghost escape. He uses traditional framing concepts to begin the escape, but then takes advantage of his partner’s plans to flatten him. Notice the positional change of the right arm as his opponent applies pressure. This is where the move takes a turn away from the traditional ideals of escaping side control. He then further explains why certain elements of the move require good timing and proper execution. Have a look!

Anytime we’re talking about escaping, it’s nice to have a few options. Maybe the ghost escape could be a new favorite choice of exiting bottom side control that fits right into your game! Get to work!

If you want to expand your escape repertoire, check out Stephen Whittier's "The Pillars:  Escapes" in convenient On Demand format.  He is the founder of 40 Plus BJJ and will give grapplers of all ages ways to get out of all of those bad spots you find yourself in.  Get it here at BJJ Fanatics!

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