In this article, I would like to show you the Harris Jiu Jitsu difference (i.e. the difference between instruction in Harris Jiu Jitsu and the instruction some BJJ students receive).
Here is the basic bridge and roll front mount escaping technique presented in three different ways:
1. Trap the opponent’s right arm.
2. Trap the opponent’s right foot.
3. Bridge as high as you can.
4. Turn your body towards the side of the opponent’s body you’ve trapped.
5. Roll your opponent onto their back and finish the escape.
While this forty-three-word outline has merit, it lacks in several areas (e.g. details, comprehensiveness, training methods, etc.). I will discuss these deficiencies in another article where I will have more time to go into great depth.
Now, this method of instruction is good for absolute beginners who are learning Jiu Jitsu for the first time – because it presents Jiu Jitsu in a bite-sized manner. However, what’s unfortunate for some Jiu Jitsu students is that this is all the instruction they ever receive on technique. I know this because I have a bunch of emails in my inbox from students around the world who’ve trained for several years and this was all they were taught. I also know this from teaching private lessons internationally. Here’s one example:
Once, I had a brown belt student come to me for a private lesson. He told me this basic technique didn’t work in live sparring. He also told me that several well-known black belts agreed with him on the topic. He asked my opinion and this is what I told him:
“While I can understand what you are trying to say, I respectfully disagree. Let me show you why.”
He and I sparred with each other for roughly six to seven minutes. During that time, I pulled him into my guard, let him pass my guard and go to the side mount position. Finally, I let him go to the front mount position and begin to attack my arm and neck. Each time I let him go to the front mount position, I would escape using nothing but the bridge and roll escaping technique.
Long story short, I bridged and rolled this brown belt a total of six times. He was frustrated but quiet and respectful at the end of our sparring. And now, he was a believer in the bridge and roll technique – especially after I explained HOW I was able to do it so many times in a row (i.e. when he knew that’s what I was going to do)!
How did I do it you ask? Simple! Here’s what I did:
1. I allowed the brown belt to establish the front mount position (i.e. I allowed him to get to the position and establish control over my body).
2. I allowed him to begin his attack on my neck by sinking his right hand deep into my collar.
3. I subtly changed the angle of his right forearm to make any use of a collar choke ineffective 😉
4. I used the committal of his right forearm into my collar against him. Once he committed to his attack, I committed to my escape.
5. I quickly and efficiently committed both of my arms to his right arm and FULLY trapped it against my chest.
6. I also trapped his lower right leg against my body.
7. I bridged and rolled him onto his back.
8. And finally, I began to pass his guard two-thirds of the way through the bridge and roll escaping technique – instead of waiting until I had finished the technique and established my base and posture 😉
All eight of these took place in less than a couple of seconds!
Are you beginning to get a feel for the Harris Jiu Jitsu difference? Just wait, there’s more to come – a lot more!
In part two in this series, I will talk about a second (and better) method of presenting the bridge and roll front mount escape!