A BJJ Mount Escape That Works Ever Time – The Alcatraz

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Stuck in mount much? Sad truth is that it doesn’t really get better. You might end up usefully avoiding the mount of fellow grapplers, but as soon as you go up against a black belt you really have no say in the matter. Moreover, even if you’re a black belt, you can end up stuck underneath a to grappler’s mount. And it is not a fun position to be in when you’re on the receiving end. To that extent, escaping mount is an area that lots and lots of grapplers research thoroughly on a daily basis. Well, let me save you some time. There are lots you can do, but little that works. Apart from one extremely simple BJJ mount escape called “the Alcatraz”. 

10th PLanet Jiu-Jitsu is an academy known for an unorthodox approach to Jiu-Jitsu, top put it mildly. There’s no denying that founder Eddie Bravo is a legit black belt, nor that some the academy’s most known starts can hold their weight against pretty much anyone. Much of their success is down to the unique style of BJJ they develop over there. While lots of the time 10th Planet grapplers like to use flexibility, or even breakdancing moves to surprise an opponent, sometimes they opt for the polar opposite – extremely simple techniques. And, when it comes to escaping a simple position, nothing but a simple BJJ mount escape will do the trick. Or, a couple of simple escapes sharing the same name – Alcatraz.

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The Struggles Of The Mount Position

If you do not hate the mount, then you are either not a grappler, or not training at an Academy worth visiting. Getting to the mount position is as old as grappling itself, or warfare for that matter. Every time a fight gets to the ground, we instinctively look to get on top of the other person, preferably in a position of power. Well, the mount is the ultimate power position, at least when it comes to being on top in a grappling exchange.

There’s a good reason why the mount is one of the positions in Jiu-Jitsu that offers you the most points – 4. You have pretty much complete control from the mount. First, you can keep an opponent there without having to spend too much energy. Next, you can look to hold or apply crushing pressure in order to break through their resistance. There’s also the case of submissions, with just about anything you can think of readily available form the mount. Finally, when strikes are a factor (MMA / self-defense) there’s no better position to be in than the mount.

But there’s also one more crucial aspect of the mount position – it is notoriously hard to escape. A BJJ mount escape that works effectively is pretty much like the Holy Grail of BJJ. the position is so dominant that getting out requires a lot of energy. Moreover, very often escape attempts to open up even more attacks for the person on top. Couple these struggles with the fact that you’re bearing someone’s full weight, plus directed pressure, the absence of space to even breathe and the constant threat of submissions or strikes, and you can see why many people will love the BJJ mount escape we have in store for you today!

A Simple BJJ Mount Escape System

The biggest trick in escaping the mount is in keeping it simple. You don’t need fancy ways of getting out. All you need it a simple way that’s based on a few key principles. To begin with, you must remember not to give away anything to your opponents. That means that you have to be a master of positioning during this BJJ mount escape. The one thing to remember is that your arms and neck are the most vulnerable. So, keeping your arms right over your neck means you get both with just one move. Next, you need to remember the most important thing – remain calm.

Eddie Bravo is a master at staying calm and giving away nothing form bad spots. Well, he is also one of the craftiest Jiu-Jitsu escape artists in existence. His take on getting out of mount is based on the two principles above, plus the use of movements that we already do from the spot. To that extent, he has a system that employs two variations of his favorite BJJ mount escape. He calls the Alcatraz and Reverse Alcatraz, and they both work like a charm.

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The Alcatraz

The Alcatraz BJJ mount escape is simpler to execute, but dos require you to have a solid half guard game. Remember that many competitors nowadays let you get them into half guard when they’re in the mount, just so they can get the pass and mount points over and over again. Eddie Bravo has his lockdown which ties in perfectly with the Alcatraz, but any solid half guard game will do.

The Alcatraz BJJ Mount EscapeFor the Alcatraz escape, what you want to do is use your arms to frame on the opponent’ hips. This is the right moment to mention that these escapes work best from a low and middle mount. Once you have the hip frame, you need to choose one side to turn to, attempting a hip escape. This is going to make your opponent react, most often by placing lots of weight on his knees in order to remain heavy. This is exactly what you want.

Now that you’re on your side, you’re going to use your far side leg (your left on his right or the other way around) to hook his leg. The hook goes under the foot and has the task of elevating the hip. Since all the weight is on the knee this is very easy. Once you hook the foot, you push off with the other leg and square your hips again, landing the opponent in the half guard with next to no effort.

The Reverse Alcatraz

The Reverse Alcatraz BJJ Mount EscapeThis is by far my personal favorite BJJ mount escape. The reason is simple – you need no movement and you can get a real reward at the end if you’re slick. Just like the Alcatraz, this one won’t work against a high mount but is perfect for all other variations. The reason behind it is that you need to do a leg hook, just like for your basic Upa escape. However, you don’t proceed with a bump. Instead, you aim to thread your other leg underneath the foot, just like with the Alcatraz. The goal this time is to actually connect your hook to the foot on your other leg.

The escape works due to the fact that your opponent is trapped by your feet. Once you connect both your feet, they become very powerful and can move even much heavier opponents. The escape works by lifting your feet in the air. This motion simply peels your opponent off, allowing you to get into any guard you want.

Why Stop At Escaping?

This is another one of Eddie Bravo’s main concepts. Every time he escapes, he is on the hunt for a counter, mostly in the form of a submission. Conversely, his BJJ mount escape system offers such options as well. to be completely honest, it is the Reverse Alcatraz that opens up direct submission routes. Once you lift the opponent in the air, you are in a prime position to start looking for Ashi Garami variations. The best thing about it is that you can go on either leg. The combination of unstoppable elevation and the trapped leg of the opponent means you can get there with ease.

Moreover, you might choose to go straight int a single leg X or a full X-guard and work from there. Or, you could go for sweeping and end up on top. The best part about it is that until you release the leg, your opponent can’t escape, nor return to the mount. the perfect BJJ mount escape system.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to attacks or transitions, you can look to be as elaborate and complicated as you want. However, BJJ is simple in essence and the simple stuff is always going to work. When it comes to escapes, there’s absolutely no other way to successfully get out. Instead of exploding and complicating things, use a BJJ escape that works by providing you with a mechanical advantage from an inferior position. That is BJJ trickery at it’s best, and it works!

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