WATCH: The Positional Escapes Every White Belt Should Know (Videos)

During your very first BJJ class, your instructor probably taught you how to hip escape and bridge up. At first, these movements probably felt so alien to you, especially as you performed them on the ground. As you progressed in your BJJ journey, you realized that these movements actually have a purpose — to teach you how to escape!

Learning how to escape is one of the most important skills you’ll learn in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It prevents your opponent from attacking, giving you the opportunity to avoid being placed in a vulnerable position and submitted. Curious to see which escapes you need to know? Today, Evolve Daily shares The Positional Escapes Every White Belt Should Know:  

1) Escape from side-control 

Side-control is a great position for your opponent to be in. After all, being in this position gives him or her a wide variety of attacks to choose from. It also allows them to transition to another position such as knee on belly. In this video, 2x BJJ World Champion Teco Shinzato shows 5 different escapes from side-control. Notice how Teco uses forearms to create a frame to put space between him and his opponent. By creating this space, he is able to hip escape and get into a better position.

If you’re having a difficult time escaping from the side-mount, drill the “upa” or bridge at least ten times per side before or after BJJ class. This will help you build power in your hips and make the movement more fluid the next time you try it.


2) Escape from mount

The mount is a very strong position that allows your opponent to put his full weight on your torso. If your instructor has demonstrated this position on you, you’d know how heavy and overwhelming it could feel. In fact, with the right amount of pressure, any practitioner, regardless of their weight could feel very heavy in the mount.

In this video, 2x BJJ World Champion Teco Shinzato shows 5 different escapes from the mount. To escape from the mount, off-balancing your opponent is a must. When your opponent is off-balanced, his center of gravity is no longer on your torso, making it easier for you to escape.


3) Escape the back mount 

The back mount is perhaps the most dominant position in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It requires both your legs to be “hooked” around your opponent’s waist, allowing optimal control over him or her. When you have your opponent’s back, you’ll notice that his or her neck is exposed, giving you the opportunity to go for chokes. It is also difficult for him or her to move because you have control over both the bottom and top half of his or her body. In fact, even the most experienced BJJ practitioner would feel vulnerable if he or she had his or her back taken.

In this video, ONE Lightweight World Champion and BJJ Black Belt Shinya Aoki shows 5 ways to escape the back mount. Notice how Shinya gets rid of the hooks first to recover and move into a better position. He also forces his opponent to the ground with a bridging movement, to off-balance him and make it easier to get rid of the hooks.


The key to escaping any position in BJJ is controlled breathing. Take your time as you figure out your escape and use explosive strength as you bridge up. If you waste too much energy trying to bench press your opponent off you, you will tire out eventually and make it easier for him or her to attack. As you escape, don’t forget to quickly recover your guard or get into a better position so you can work your offense. Although learning escapes can be tricky at first, we don’t doubt that you’ll eventually master them with enough practice.


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