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Stuck in a Bad Spot? Lachlan Giles has Your Back!

Stuck in a Bad Spot? Lachlan Giles has Your Back!

The back escape. One of the most dynamic escapes in BJJ.

Depending on how the offensive player is attacking will determine your means of escape, and there are many ways to attack. When I first started training BJJ, the only escape that was ever talked about was the over hook side escape. The back mounted party always wants to take you to the over hook side, right? Not quite. I spent lots of time working the over hook side escape, and at that time, most people did attempt to get me to that side, but it didn’t stay that way.

The weak side, (the under-hook side) as some refer to it, has gained considerable strength. So much so that it’s become the preferred position of many when attacking the back. When I learned more about attacking from the under-hook side, I really began to like it. It seemed to open up a whole new world of options. Fast forward several years, and it’s now my favorite method of controlling the back.

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Lachlan Giles released a video a few days ago about escaping the under-hook side of back control. I found the details to be some of the absolute best I’ve ever seen. The way he unravels the position was quite brilliant. With this type of control usually comes a belt line style hook instead of the traditional two hooks placed on the inside of the thighs. There’s a lot of teaching about escaping the traditional hooks, and not a lot on the subject of removing this belt line hook. Giles works his way out of the belt line hook by walking his hips and butt toward the ceiling to release his lower body. If you haven’t seen this video it could truly be game changing for you. Have a look at it here.

The subject of this piece is removing ourselves from the traditional style of control. Specifically, when you’ve been taken to the over hook side. This is not a position that’s been discarded. Though the popularity of the opposite side has risen considerably, it doesn’t mean you won’t find yourself here on several occasions. Like all positions in BJJ this one has evolved as well, and with a proficient player on your back, a method of escape that fits the situation needs to be on your radar, especially if you’re wearing a gi.

Lachlan Giles has released a second back escape video to compliment the first. Have a look!

Giles picks up where he left off. The first priority? Your neck. With our back already taken, you must first secure your defenses to stop your opponent from choking you. With the choking arm controlled, Giles falls to the over hook side to begin his escape.

Giles references the first escape, and lets us know that the method he uses to free the hips in the first video can be used here, but it's much easier to reacquire the back on the over hook side when escaping, so he tweaks things a bit for the scenario.

At some point Giles’s partner will need to relinquish the seat belt grip in order to begin attacking. This is the moment that Giles is waiting for. With two on one control of the arm, Giles makes a quick movement, transitioning his head to the other side of his partners bottom arm. Straight away, this alleviates the threat of the choke, which is great, but were not out of the woods yet.

As Giles explains, often times at this juncture the attacker will begin trying to secure a kimura grip. This can lead to various submissions, and also unfavorable control that can foil our plans of escape. To stop the acquisition of the kimura grip, Giles secures his partners arm above the elbow after he’s moved his head to the opposite side. This negates the kimura grip, and offers us better control of the situation.

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Our next roadblock will likely be our partner trying to mount. Once the attacking party feels their losing the back, and they can’t reacquire it, this is almost always the next course of action. Giles simply uses his free hand to block the top leg of his partner at the shin. It’s important that he positions this block before his partners leg comes too far across his body and locks him down at the hip. That’s an important detail.

As his partner commits to the transition, Giles removes his hips, and brings both of his knees into the space between himself and his partner. From here, the possibilities are many.

This is a great method for escaping the over hook side of back control. The mechanics are sound, and all the bases are covered. Just what we expect from one of the best BJJ instructors out there. Good Luck!



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