Shut Up And Do Your Elbow Escape Correctly!
The BJJ Fanatics team recently hosted the one and only Kurt Osiander to record his first BJJ instructional with us, Fundamentals of a Jiu Jitsu Renegade. In it, Kurt shares all of his favorite submissions, sweeps, escapes, and guard passes. It truly is everything we could have asked for Kurt to share.
Kurt Osiander is a beloved figure in the world of jiu jitsu. Building a loyal following with his "Move of the Week" YouTube videos and some colorful catch phrases like "Shut up and Train!" and "You F'd up a long time ago!" this Ralph Gracie black belt has been a figure in the community since the early 90's. He blends decades of both old and new school grappling knowledge with a balls to the wall, heavy metal persona that will have you defeating your opponents and listening to San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal music before you know it!
One of the mind blowing techniques Kurt shares is a technique we all learn in our first few BJJ classes, the elbow escape. The no-nonsense details he shares about this technique alone is worth the price of admission. No matter what your belt level or how long you've been training, seeing this will make you realize you may have been doing it wrong all along. And there's no time like the present to shut up and start doing it right, to borrow Kurt's famous catchphrase "Shut up and train!"
For Kurt, our problems start very early when we get mounted. As he describes in this series, we need to treat the mount as if it were cement. When cement is initially poured, it is wet and we can escape from it, but the longer we wait, the harder and more difficult it can become to get ourselves out of it. So how do we start escaping mount like a jiu jitsu renegade?
Start with the crunch
For Kurt, the biggest mistake we make in mount is staying flat. For him, this exposes too many opportunities for the person on top to attack, whether that be by entering our collars for choking opportunities, or perhaps prying our elbows away from our torsos to advance to a higher and higher mount, or something else.
Osiander recommends making a strong crunch upwards towards the opponent's body. This will eliminate the top player's ability to control our heads and leave much less opportunity for them to attack lapel chokes. It also makes our bottom positioning much more active, while the cement is still wet.
Block the hip/never two on one
The second mistake that Kurt says most people make when trying to do what they think is the correct elbow escape is to try to push on the hip of the opponent on the side they are trying to bring their knee through on. While this creates an opportunity to feed their knee back in order bring our leg through, by utilizing the two on one push, we are essentially giving the opponent a clear pathway to adjust into a technical mount position which allows them to advance up our back and maintain an extremely strong position on us.
Instead, Kurt employs a one-handed C grip on the far hip that prevents that adjustment to technical mount when he goes to his hip on the opposing side. This makes it far more likely that the elbow escape will go off without a hitch, instead of putting you into a technical mount scenario. Being more proactive with the hip block will save you countless hours (or at least it will seem like hours) stuck in the strong technical mount of your opponent.
Putting the elbow into the elbow escape
Once that far side hip is blocked, Kurt now begins to turn to his hip (all the while maintaining our original crunch), straightening his leg and pushing the near knee of the opponent away to create space.
This allows Kurt to begin bringing his knee towards his elbow that is doing the prying. He makes it very clear that the knee that is working through is pointed down towards the mat and the top of his instep should be dragging on the mat to ensure that the knee isn't caught behind the opponent's thigh.
Pop the knee out
Once he is able to feed their knee down past his own knee coming through, he will turn his knee upwards. Kurt stresses at this point not to pull the entire foot out because we will simply end up with the opponent in our half guard.
Once that initial knee is brought free of the mount, we can now turn to our sides, framing on the "advancing mass" as Kurt refers to our opponent to work our now straightened other leg through in the same manner. After a few adjustments, we are now free to recover full guard.
If you take nothing else from this breakdown of Kurt's elbow escape, the crunch is crucial, as it's going to turn being mounted from a place filled with despair into a position where at least you can begin to comport yourself offensively with the crunch and begin to go out with your sword and shield in hand. this is a position we all learn early on and if we're not constantly trying to improve these fundamental positions, over time they are going to become less and less effective. And sometimes you need the help of a jiu jitsu renegade like Kurt Osiander to make these positions better.
This is just one of dozens of eye opening techniques that Kurt provides in his 4 volume series Fundamentals of a Jiu Jitsu Renegade. Don't waste any more time, shut up and get yourself a copy today!