As promised, I have other option that can be used by budding grapplers caught in the not-so-envious position of being on the bottom of the full mount. We covered the “Upa” in a previous post; now let us build on that with the Elbow Escape.
The Elbow or Hip Escape
The elbow escape is a technique to better your position on the bottom. Whereas the Upa is a basic sweep that will get you on top of your opponent in their guard, the Elbow Escape allows you the option to pull guard from the bottom. While this does not fully remove you from the dangers of a full-on mounted assault, it does put you in a better position to defend, sweep or submit your opponent. While this is its own technique, the Elbow escape is best used in conjunction with the Upa. If one does not work, transition to the other, and if that does not work, transition back to previous technique. Further, once you know the elbow escape you can build on it to attack your opponent with submission holds (mostly ankle locks or heel hooks) which is always nice. I will go into how to do the escape starting from your right side. As noted with the Upa above, this technique can be executed-and should be drilled-off of both sides.
Instructional Vid here
To execute the Elbow escape:
1) While in the mount position, keep you arms low and tight to you body. Your elbows should be on the ground directly at your sides, and your hands up at your neck. This way, your arms are not freely away from your body asking to be arm locked, and your hands are up ready to defend any attacks made on your neck or collar. Bring your feet up to your buttocks to provide power for the bridge you will execute (next).
2) While your opponent is on top of you, bridge hard and high toward your head to upset their balance. You want to bridge as explosively as possible. This should pitch their body forward where they must post out with both arms to stop them from falling. This will create the needed space to begin the escape.
3) Using your right elbow, check your opponent’s left knee and begin pushing it away from your body. While you do this, roll onto your right side.
4) While creating the space away from your opponent, scoot your hips out to your left, while bringing your right knee through the gap between your body and your opponent’s leg. You will do this by bending at your waist while bring you knee up the gap you have created (just like the picture below).
5) Once your right leg clears the gap, swing it around the outside of your opponent’s leg and hook it to secure half-guard. Roll left to return flat on your back.
6) Now check your opponent’s right leg with your left elbow, and repeat the last 3 steps with your left side. Congratulations! You have escaped the mount and now have full guard.
Alternatively you can start the Upa, and if your opponent frees their left leg and posts it out to stop you from sweeping them check their left leg at the knee with your right elbow or right hand (depending on how far you have to reach), and begin the elbow escape from their. In that situation, when your opponent posts their leg out they have done you the favor of creating space to move for you.
Things to keep in mind while doing the elbow escape:
- It is possible to go straight into the elbow escape without bridging. However, I find it a lot harder to do for the fact that your opponent is still flat on top of you with all their weight. Further, this makes it harder to actually shrimp your body/scoot your hips out one way or the other because: 1) there is no space between you and your opponent and 2) you have to be concerned with having to move your opponent’s body and weight around with you also. That in itself is a prescription for strained abdominal and core muscles. When you bridge, you cause your opponent to post out with their arms to keep on top, on all fours (like in the instructional vid).
- When you check your opponent’s leg and push it away from you, do not push it straight up into the air. Rather you want to push it out and down to ward their feet. This makes it so that you don’t have to bring your own knee completely up to your chest to pass their leg. Further, if you simply push their leg up you may end up actually help them by making it easier for them to bring their leg up and around your neck so they can put you in either a mounted triangle armbar, or mounted triangle choke. I speak from personal experience when I say that you don’t want to be caught in either!
- If you need a little more “umph” to create the needed space, you can use your free/left arm to push off of your opponent’s midsection, or the inside of their upper thigh on their left leg. Just don’t push off their chest, as you will end up being caught in an an armbar.
When I have time, I'll post out how to transition the Elbow Escape into an Ankle Lock or Heel Hook. Stay tuned!