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Perfectly Escape Side Control With Professor John Danaher

Perfectly Escape Side Control With Professor John Danaher


It seems that over the years of training certain positions give me more trouble than others.  

Often times I know I’m developing new skills in that position, however everyone around me is too.  When I look at my training as a whole, there is one glaring opportunity that stands out as an area where I feel like I haven’t improved much at all, or that everyone around me has improved at a much faster rate.  For me this blatant opportunity is escaping side control.

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It’s incredible to me how easy seemingly everyone makes this look. Meanwhile I’m down there practically begging for my opponent to mount or take my back so I can work escapes I feel I’m more efficient at.  Obviously, this isn’t a great strategy, especially in a points based competition. Let’s take a dive into Professor Danaher’s “How To Do The Perfect Side Control Escape”


First – we must get frames.  Starting with the inside hip.  This can be achieved by simply leading with your elbow and driving into the space near your opponents’ hip.  If this can’t be done because they are too tight, you can turn away briefly creating space for you to get your frame in.  

Next, we need to connect the knee to the elbow we just inserted.  Start by putting your knee on the hip and as you shrimp away in small movement space will be created for you to slowly work the knee in and connect the knee and elbow.  This will create a solid V shape with your arm and leg with the elbow and knee as the connection point.

At this point we can begin to escape by connecting our feet and using both legs to push against the opponent, causing our V shape to disconnect and creating enough space for the knee that was part of our frame to slide across the opponents waistline and to the opposite hip.  This should leave us in butterfly guard position with our legs.

The other detail mentioned in the video is as we are pushing the opponent away with our legs, we must swim inside using the arm that was our original frame. This will allow us to remove their head control and gain inside control and use our feet to lift and push the opponent away and get our backs off the floor.  From here we can begin working a number of “counter offense” techniques.

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Professor Danaher mentions a few details that are mentioned at the end of the video that I think are easily forgotten.  While executing the escape there is no need to grab the opponent or grip the Gi. In doing this we can actually prohibit ourselves from creating the space needed to execute the technique.

For me, and I assume most at some point, or likely several points in the Jiu Jitsu journey I have those “Ah-ha” moments.  For me watching this video that moment was when Professor Danaher explains connecting your feet and using the strength of both legs to push your opponent away.  It always seems to be the simplest little details that make all the difference. There’s no disputing Professor Danaher’s incredible detail in describing not only the technique but the why behind it.  Don’t forget to checkout the Enter the System series for incredible instruction you can watch in bite size pieces.

John Danaher has changed the leg lock game with his technical leg lock system. NOW, get his DVD "Kimura: Enter The System" and learn his kimura system from one of the best instructors in the game! BJJ Fanatics has it here!



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