MMA Gospel changed directions from offensive to defensive with “Technique of the Week” this arc as Ed Perdomo and Ben Lawrence start things off from a very bad position. In any MMA or grappling career, it is inevitable that a fighter finds themselves in a bad position under their opponent and knowing how to escape those positions is key to a successful career. This week, Ed will work to escape Ben’s side mount into a bottom sprawl position where he will work for sweeps and submissions to regain control of the bout.
Ed finds himself in Side Mount under Ben. He has to escape before Ben settles in and starts to either work for a submission or drop damaging elbows. Rather than try to escape back to guard or half guard, Ed elects to improve to a more neutral position. First, he must create space. Ed begins by grabbing Ben’s shoulder with his outside hand and bracing his forearm under Ben’s chin. He then hip scoots away from Ben, pushing against his chin for support. Finally, Ed forces his inside elbow between his own hips and Ben’s (LEFT). This creates the space that Ed will need to escape.
Next, Ed sets his escape. It is important to note that both of the next two steps happen in very rapid succession and with a certain rhythmic flow. First, Ed bridges hard with his outside leg to create space and disrupt Ben’s position. As his hip goes up in the bridge, Ed pummels his outside hand into an underhook against Ben’s far arm (RIGHT). It is extremely important that Ed does not get trapped back in side control in this position. If Ben is able to flatten Ed out again at this juncture, Ed’s arms will be isolated and his head will be unprotected.
As Ed’s bridge reaches its peak, he turns into Ben and starts to roll to his belly. To accomplish this he pushes himself through and under Ben’s chest with the underhook as his hips come down from the bridge (LEFT). It is very important to understand that Ed is not pushing Ben with the underhook, he is pushing himself across the mat using Ben as a brace. Ben remains in almost the exact same position throughout the entire escape which ideally should last a second and a half at the longest when done correctly.
Once Ed has rolled, he pulls his arm through and his knees in into a kneeling position with his underhook resting against Ben’s back near his waist (RIGHT). He is now in position to drive forward for a takedown, fight to his feet, or otherwise improve his position.
- As soon as you land in side mount, brace your outside hand against your opponent’s near shoulder and push your forearm under their chin.
- At the same time, force your inside elbow between your hips and your opponent’s.
- Bridge on your outside leg, switching your outside hand to an underhook on your opponent’s far arm as your hips reach the peak of the bridge.
- At the absolute peak of your bridge, roll into your opponent, pushing yourself across the mat under your opponent’s chest with your underhook.
- As soon as you get belly down, pull your free arm through, rest your underhook around your opponent’s waist, and pull your knees into a bottom sprawl position.
Having escaped side mount, next week Ed and Ben will continue this maneuver into a knee pick, driving a single over into his own side mount. This escape is particularly useful in MMA because of the many options it leaves open after completion. It does pose a significant risk if entered half-heartedly, as the transitional phases leave the fighter in a position with little or no defense against the opponent, however when done correctly, it is a very effective way to escape a dangerous position.
*Ed Perdomo is a 4th degree black belt in the Korean grappling art of Hapkido and is head instructor of the Hapkido Institute in Morris, Illinois.