Importance of Practicing Escapes
The often neglected aspect of training is that of practicing escapes. While we always want to practice our offensive game of attacking our opponents, it is not always realistic. No matter how good you are, you at some point in Jiu Jitsu, whether it be on in training or in a tournament, will be put on defense. And even more realistic than that, you will have to become proficient with escapes. Getting good at escapes is essential for long time Jiu Jitsu growth. They are just as important as any other technique in Jiu Jitsu.
There are two main sections of escapes. You have positional escapes and submission escapes. Positional escapes are what I would refer to as prevention. The positional escapes will prevent a submission from being secured on you, because you can escape the position needed to get that submission . So they are the first kind of escapes you should work on. Positional escapes revolve on escaping a dominant position that an opponent has on you. There are positional escapes for every position. My advice is work on the basic ones first. Learn how to escape mount, side control and the back. That way you can get out of trouble, before your opponent can set in and work on you diligently.
In the video below Bernardo Faria shows how to escape from the North South, check out:
The next set of escapes are submission escapes. These are as important as the positional escapes, but with these, you are already in the danger zone. Submission escapes mean that you made a drastic mistake and got caught in something that is about to finish you. Many of these are for the worst case scenarios. A submission is deep, and you now have to work on getting out. The huge aspects of getting good at submission escapes include timing and staying calm. Those aspects work together to make the escape work. These are you last line of defense before the fight is over, so have them in your back pocket.
In the video below Bernardo Faria shows how to escape from the Guillotine, check out:
There is a progression of how to train both escapes. First, after learning the escape, drill it normally. Get the motions down. Your body memory will help build you in this area. After that, you have to drill it with some resistance. Meaning your partner needs to give you some active pressure and resistance, so you can get a feel of the motions with actual pressure. The last way of training escapes is using them in live sparring. Against a higher belt, you will probably be forced to use them. Against a lower belt, you can use time in sparring to your discretion. With white belts, I’ll let them get to a strong position or half way have a submission just so I can tighten up my timing on escapes. That is a time where you can really work on escapes and get good at them. Then you have them ready when it is time to compete.
Bernardo Faria has a fantastic DVD set that is all about escapes. It is a helpful resource for those who are trying to make their escapes as best as they can. It’s a set worth every penny.