July 14, 2020

White Belt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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The Simplest Cross Side Escape for BJJ Beginners




Escaping Bottom Cross Side can be one of the most frustrating situations for BJJ Beginners. The position is terribly uncomfortable and suffocating.

And it seems like everything you do is making the situation worse. Plus, as a total beginner, you’ll probably see yourself in Bottom Cross Side a lot!

Firstly, let’s talk about Cross Side so we can truly understand this troublesome position. Cross Side is when our partner is lying on top of us and their spine is perpendicular to our spine.

Typically, Cross Side is complimented by our training partner controlling our head and driving their shoulder into our jaw. Bottom Cross Side can be a tough position for anyone to escape from.

Here’s a sneaky, low risk escape from Cross Side.

The first thing I need to do is relax. This can be exceptionally difficult since our training partner is trying to crush us like a pop can.

But it’s critical that we try our best.

Then, I want to straighten out both of my legs in an attempt to bait my training partner into transitioning into mount.

If my partner is controlling me towards my right side, I want to find his left leg with my right hand. Now, I don’t want to grab the pant leg or attempt to push or pull their leg. All I want to do is find their leg.

As my training partner transitions into Top Mount, I’m going to slide my right leg underneath their left leg. I want to think that my right leg is a spatula and my partner’s left leg is a fried egg. 😃

I’m now going to wrap my partner’s left leg with both of my legs and essentially I’ve up graded my position to Half Guard. By fighting from my Half Guard, I can start to launch offensive attacks and potentially win my training partner’s back.

Essentially, this is the basis of Jiu Jitsu – BJJ is all about surviving terrible positions and then escaping and eventually winning dominant positions.

Working your way through this process takes perseverance, heart and technical prowess.


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