2 Questions...

I trained for about 3 months two summers ago, and I'm jsut recently getting back into it. I'm rolling at my school's 'grappling club'.

I've got 2 questions where I'm having trouble:

1. When I have side control and he starts knifing his knee in to get guard back, what should I do? If I try to spin to north-south, he blocks with his elbow. This happened to me and I wasn't sure what to do.

2. Is there a good escape from a scarf hold other than trying to hook his top leg and go out the back door? I was going against a big dude and he killed me from here, there wasn't much I could do.

Are you rolling with the gi or no gi?

help for 1. I would check his hips with my hand. Lets say for instance you are on the guys right side. Take your left arm and control his left arm by wrapping your arm around his(like your trying to hug it to your body). Then take your right hand and place it by his right hip and keep your right arm tight to his side so he can not hip in and get his knee through. So basically you want to control his hips.

help for 2.First you wanna try and get your hips as far away as possible from him as you can. If the guy has you in scaf hold on your right side then you need to try and get your right elbow free to put it to the ground. Once you have your elbow on the ground you wanna try to turn in to him and at the same time get up onto your elbow and slowly work your way to your knees.
____This isn't the end all and be all of these techniques. just try 'em out and hope they work for you. You'll hear different variations of these, so keep an open mind and use what works for you. Hope this helps some.

1. Block their hip with your hand or knee.

2. You can put a leg across their face and pull them down as you sit up, you can bridge them up and roll them over.

FWIW- Bolo (Michael Jen) has an excellent series on pin escapes, now on sale for 15% off for X-mas. Each tape focuses on a specific pin and how to escape (and if you reverse-engineer, how not to let people escape) with adaption for various resistences. http://www.jenbjj.com . Roy Harris also covers this on BJJ 101, which is also on sale for x-mas on his site (http:www.royharris.com), where he covers a few escapes for each major pin all on one disk.

1. You always want some part of your body be blocking his path to his guard, be it your knee, arm or hip. If he's got the "bicep under armpit" posture, then I would put my underhooked arm on the mat, near his hip, to block his knee coming in OR go to the reverse scarf hold (in which you turn your hips and legs towards his legs). You can also try going to the north/south hold down from here. But I wouldn't go for the scarf hold in which you turn towards his head because that will be a normal scarf hold and not a modified one. I don't like the normal one that much, unless perhaps when I really feel I've got a hold of his near arm.

If he doesn't have his underhook, I would probably go to modified scarf hold. I don't have to let go of him that much or even at all to do that kind of transition, so I like being able to just switch my hips to counter his guard pull.

2. Bridging and rolling combines well with trying to hook his leg because by moving his leg forwards and out of reach, he's making it easier for you to bridge him onto his head.

1.Learn to maintain side control from more of an angle between the 90 and the north/south. Don't think of side control as a 90 degree angle straight to the side.

2. If his head is up: Move hips away. Bring a leg up and hook your own leg with your arm. Bring the leg down using it to raise you up and reverse the hold. Or build a frame with your arms and force his head back and get a leg over his head. If his head is down, bridge him on to his head over your shoulder. Or, move your hips close to him grab his belt, and bump him up onto your hip. Then roll him
to his back. These are really headlock escapes that will work on a not so perfect scarf hold.

gaittec: About your answer to question number 1: That will make it harder for your opponent to pull guard, yes, but I would think that it would also make it EASIER for him to go to his knees, because your pressure on his far side has diminished. A better way would be just to go to modified scarf hold or put one arm near his hip. Let me know if I'm not understanding you.

1) He shouldn't be able to stop you from going to n/s if you want to. If he blocks with his elbow fairly high, you can sit to modified scarf towards his head , jamming his arm next to his head, then continue to n/s. If he blocks with his elbow fairly low, you can just go over it.

2) It's all about getting your near elbow down. If he's on your right side, bridge explosively up in the direction of your head. In mid air, his grip will be weaker and you can pull your right elbow down tight to your right side. Now you have much easier options to escape, usually taking his back. Usually once you get your elbow down, he will just let go and scramble to stay on top.

jonpall: That's what I thought too!

We just happened to work on this tonight. It will make it almost impossible for him to hip out and go to his knees if the pressure is applied as follows:

Get his near arm raised toward his head. Switch hips or use knees.
Take his far elbow and pull across enough to slide your
upper arm under his far shoulder and control (by grabbing the belt if gi training). I suppose this will also work with the wrap around the head and controlling the shoulder, but we didn't try it that way tonight.
Put your lower hand on the mat against his near hip.
Shift your weight back so that your driving into his near chest just about at the near nipple (sorry, but it's accurate ;) Your upper leg is almost straight and your lower leg is bent some with feet apart and on your toes. Both knees are barely off the mat.

You are at a 45 degree angle toward his head.

The principal here is that it is easier to keep him from turning by consentrating the weight and pressure
on the near shoulder/chest area, pinning that to the mat. He has to drag that out in order to turn toward you. Putting your weight on the far side won't allow you to drive into him without getting swept or rolled,etc. Believe me, light weight guys felt much heavier this way.

The way we worked it tonight was to keep so much pressure and control on the guy as to make him get frustrated and pull out the far arm and try to push our neck away with his forearm. Then we pull his far elbow in tight against his side to make that arm weak, bring our knees up and take the keylock. We learned that getting the keylock on a really flexible guy is a lot tighter from cross side when you pull both your elbows to him. Pull your upper elbow to his head and your lower elbow to his ribs before you apply it. Some of us had to tap before it was even applied this way. Next we worked on taking the armbar on the near arm when he trys to defend the keylock by grabbing his own hand with the other one.

I know this is more that the point under discussion; but, I thought it might interest you to see the context
from which it came and how the whole class went together.

I didn't see it mentioned in answer to question 1, but check the level of your hips. More often than not from what I've seen, when your opponent can slide their knee in, it's because your hips are too high. If you keep you butt low, your hips to the ground, you'll put more pressure on your opponent, and make it very hard for him to work his knee in.

gaittec: Thanks for the info. It was good to hear the context.

velt1: I don't have much experience with it, but I've heard that simply sprawling your legs out and putting your stomach to the ground is no real defence against the guard pull. The bottom guy could inch his leg under you. I'm just not sure about this at all. You could very well be right.

jonpall: I should have been more clear, my mistake.

I mentioned keeping the hips low not so much because it's a set defense to pulling guard, but rather becuase it makes it much harder to pull the guard when your hips are low. You said it yourself in your post "He could inch his leg under you." If your hips are high, he'll slide it in like a hot knife through butter, and you're caught immediately.

When the hips are low, you can feel him working for it, and can then proceed to put a hand on his hip/knee, start moving to north south, etc. This frees up both of your arms so you can be working for armlocks, chokes, and other submissions. When you feel him starting to inch his leg under you, you can quickly shift your hands to defend.


Hey, thanks Shawn! Good answer. I appreciate it.

I know its vauge but remember: across body does not limit itself to 90 degrees. So many scarf escapes...don't worry Rorion discusses the best, get his tape, the key is picking the right escape for how your partner feels.

Thanks guys, awesome thread