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Side Control Escape to the Back with Professor Tom Scala

Side Control Escape to the Back with Professor Tom Scala


Great, Unique Side Control Escape With Tom Scala!

Escaping side control is one of the fundamental building blocks of basic jiu-jitsu. You’re exposed to it early, and it’s important to review and revisit the concepts throughout your journey. We usually start out by learning how re compose our guard. Often turning back toward our partner to employ some method of getting our knees and feet back in between the two of us, so we can again begin to work from our guard. Although getting your guard back is a paramount skill that must be acquired from bottom side control, there are other avenues to explore as well. We can transition to other dominant positions, catch submissions in transition, and explore other routes of escape.

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We also must consider that we may encounter different variations of side control. For example, a scarf hold, north south, or when our partner switches their side control ride so that they’re facing our legs, just to name a few.

Check out this technique from Tom DeBlass black belt, Tom Scala. He takes us through an escape from a side control scenario that might not be getting enough attention. Have a look!

In this particular scenario, Scala is defending the cross face from side bottom control which is prompting his partner to switch his hips and sit heavy, facing Scala’s legs. As his partner sits over, Scala would like to attempt the elbow push escape, but if it isn’t caught just right in transition, our partner can settle in and begin to make things difficult. And that’s where this technique begins.

With his partner settled in, Scala creates wedges using his elbows to keep the hips at bay, while also acquiring a grip on the belt. He keeps good alignment with his forearm along his partners spine, uses his bottom elbow as a wedge, and scissors his legs so that his left leg is in front of his right. With all of these details in place, Scala then begins hip escaping and getting to his elbow. When he’s made enough space to do so, he sneaks his bottom knee out. This now puts him in position to advance to the truck position, or simply set his seat belt grip for a traditional style back take.


A key component to success at BJJ is being able to efficiently execute techniques and movements. Drilling is the key to unlocking this success! Tom DeBlass has THE resource on drilling ready for you here at BJJFANATICS!!




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