Having trouble escaping from the bottom mount? Do not worry, everyone struggles to figure out how to get out of the mount position. There are plenty of mount escapes out there, and some of them sometimes work against some people. Here are six different mount escapes that work against everyone and are easy to connect, creating a foolproof escape system.
The Central Problem of the BJJ Mount Position
As with every other position in Brazilia Jiu Jitsu, whoever is holding the top position in the mount has the task of keeping the opponent there, which usually means they have to overcome at least one major central problem.
In terms of the mount, that problem is the power and mobility of the hips. If the top person can kill the hips off, they can easily maintain mount and keep on methodically breaking apart the bottom person’s defenses until they get a submission.
The trick with the mount position is that whoever is on top does not have to hurry – in competition, a person in the top mount is not going to be penalized for stalling because there is no next position they have to get to.
This is when people get complacent and allow those on the bottom to set up successful mount escapes, as long as the bottom person reintroduces the problem of hip power and mobility to the mix.
Remember that even though your hips are immensely powerful from the bottom mount, that power projects maximally only in one direction – vertical, and that, by itself, is far from enough to send an opponent crashing off of you.
The way to approach mount escapes is to make the opponent fight to solve the problem of the hips from several different angles and in different planes of motion, rather than just bucking up like those mechanical bulls in gentlemen’s bars.
Instead of only thinking about bridging and rolling, add hip escapes, twists, leg entanglements, uncomfortable postures, and purposeful explosive movement in the mix, keeping the person on top guessing and making it easy to get out of any type of mount in BJJ.
6 Effective Jiu Jitsu Mount Escapes
The first and most important thing that will determine the success of any and all mount escapes you attempt, regardless of technical and tactical perfection and the correct timing, is that you absolutely can not allow yourself to panic and just move around for the sake of moving.
That is how people end up exhausted, tapping out to smother chokes and ending up in highlight reels for all the wrong reasons.
Stay calm and focus on one escape at a time, switching to a different mount escape at the correct time and in an efficient manner.
The shrimp is the king of all mount escapes, simply because it utilizes a direction of the hips that the top person cannot really prevent and stay in mount.
The one thing I find lacking here is the frame people use to set up the shrimp escape. Forget about doing that palm-on-palm “frame” that has never worked for you before.
The thing to be looking for is to turn slightly so that one of your shoulder blades is on the ground. Next, you thread the arm that has now become top across the opponent’s hips, as far as they may be. Focus on gripping the pelvis bone on one side, and try to stick your elbow into the opposite side pelvis bone.
This frame makes it impossible for the top person to slide forward and opens up many mount escapes, the easiest of which is the shrimp. All you need to achieve is to slightly withdraw the top part of your hip, as you’re keeping the frame in place. Once this part of the hip is out, you’re effectively out of the mount.
The “Upa” Bridge Escape
This is probably the first mount escape you’ve seen and tried to replicate, mostly without much success. The reason for that is that the bridge and roll escape we are taught early on relies on too many “if” situations.
Namely, the opponent’s arm has to be in place for you to trap it, as well as you having the dexterity to trap the leg on the side you’ll be rolling to. Needless and complicated details.
Instead, you’ll use the same starting position as for the shrimp escape, with one shoulder blade off the ground and the one-arm frame across the pelvis (at or just below belt level).
Now you’re going to bridge, but instead of bridging upwards, or like a spiral, you’ll leave the bottom hip glued to the mats and extend it as far forward as humanly possible before turning to your belly. In other words, you’ll do a baby bridge.
This is the only one in pour list of mount escapes that does require some dexterity and flexibility, but it is also the only one that successfully deals with the high mount. You won’t only escape but end up in a possible Ashi Garami position if you execute this one correctly.
The goal is to place both your feet into the opponent’s armpits and push them over your head, escaping the mount as you roll backward. Since not everybody can put both feet in the opponent’s armpits at the same time, using one foot at a time is also going to do the trick.
In fact, it works even better as you create a different angle and a harder problem for them to solve.
Forcing Half Guard
This is one of my favorite munt escapes, as it requires no effort at all. It is all about body alignment.
Once again, you begin by turning to your side, one shoulder blade off the ground, the frame on the hips. The key here is to use your bottom leg. The side of your leg needs to stay as close as possible to the mats.
Your aim is to move the knee sideways, forcing the opponent’s leg on that side outward. This puts them in a very difficult position to maintain mount, and there’s no way for them to get the leg back underneath your bottom leg as all your weight is behind it.
The top person, in most cases, chooses to place the shin over the thing of the bottom leg, gifting you a way back into half guard.
This is one of the 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu mount escapes, and according to me, their best one to date. This one works by entangling the legs, or in particular, one leg. It is great for low mount escapes, or you can use it at will if you have the same low frame I described earlier.
The goal is to make a leg rap like for a traditional bridge and roll, but instead of only keeping the opposite leg involved, you thread the far side leg underneath the foot of the opponent, and you lock your feet together.
This creates a trap for their foot, blocking the ankle from getting out and allowing you to manipulate that leg, which opens up several different ways out of the mount and into leg locks.
The hydraulic mount escape is a very powerful, movement and speed-based escape that does work like a charm, particularly without the gi.
This is the one situation in which you actually want your hips to go upward as far as possible, which is never a problem, given their power. However, you don’t just press up with your hips, but you place your palms on the opponent’s hips before you buck up. It is crucial to have your hands on the hips.
This escape from mount works by pushing the opponent up in the air and then retracting your hips back to the mats but leaving both your arms outstretched, holding the opponent’s hips away from you. This provides ample space for you to thread your legs in between and re-guard.
Mount escapes do not have to be complicated. Use a frame that works, get in a body position that blocks off immediate attack threats, and challenge the opponent by moving them upwards, to the side, moving yourself, entangling their legs, or simply forcing them to go to half guard. Feel free to string them together as you wish.