Chelsea Leah “Smush Proofing” Jiu-Jitsu Escapes REVIEW

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Jiu-Jitsu escapes are a subject that is becoming quite popular in BJJ nowadays. It was to be expected, as the offense has been in the focus of most people for the past two decades. As we start appreciating the power of a solid defense and set of slick escape skills, we start seeking out ways to further that knowledge. The “Smoosh Proofing” Jiu-Jitsu Escapes System Chelsea Leah DVD offers precisely that.

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This particular instructional is one that I wholeheartedly recommend. While I do feel smaller framed and female grapplers will benefit the most from it, it is my opinion that it is a great resource for everyone involved in BJJ.

The “Smush Proofing” Chelsea Leah DVD is all about staying safe when on the bottom, deterring passes, pressure, and all other means of attack while creating openings for your own offensive game. If you find yourself constantly smashed when in guard, this is the DVD to help you literally smush-proof your bottom game.

The instructional is with the Gi and Leah covers many different types of guards, from closed guard and the collar sleeve to the lasso and De La Riva guards. She explores different ways of preventing people from threatening the structure of your guards, introducing some interesting new Jiu-Jitsu escape concepts along the way.

Instructor Background

If I had to choose who to learn BJJ from, I’d choose a female instructor over any male one. Chelsea Leah is one I’d place at the top of the female instructors’ list. A black belt under Andre Galvao, she has had a very eventful BJJ career so far, and she is far from done.

Leah has a bunch of titles, from top IBJJF events like the Worlds (submitted everyone as a  brown belt) to pro events like Polaris, Metamoris, and 5 Super League. She was also a full-time professor at the Mendes Brothers’ AOJ academy, teaching women’s Jiu-Jitsu.

Leah is nowadays traveling a lot, competing wherever she can, and teaching seminars around the world. She has an immense amount of grappling knowledge and is one of the best instructors I’ve seen, which gives even more weight to her “SMush Proofing” Jiu-Jitsu Escape System BJJ instructional.


The main idea behind this Chelsea Leah DVD is to teach you how to deal with pressure-based attacks when you are on the bottom. That said, Chelsea does not cover many escapes from bottom positions but rather focuses on guards.

She offers a very cool concept on how to strengthen all your guard positions, closed and open. What iI particularly like is that she also focuses on panic-based reactions and she has a concept that will help you use them to your advantage.

The guards Leah covers in this instructional include the closed guard, Reverse De La Riva, collar and sleeve guard, and the lasso guard. She also shares a few interesting counters you can do as people try to pass, regardless of your guard positioning.


This is a Gi-based instructional that features some more complicated guards like the sleeve guard and the Reverse De la Riva guard. However, it also has really basic stuff, in the form of the closed guard and the collar and sleeve guard. Leah’s choice of guards in this Jiu-JItsu Escapes System makes the DVD a great fit for grapplers of all levels. The only drawback is that it is a Gi-only instructional, with lots of the stuff not really transferable to No-Gi.

Technical Details

This Chelsea Leah DVD instructional has 7 volumes. It lasts a total of two and a half hours. Each of the volumes is short, not exceeding 30 minutes, which actually is perfect for an instructional of this type.  It makes it concise, yet versatile. 

Leah is a great instructor, a native English speaker, and has lots of experience teaching. All of that boils down to a very easy-to-understand way of delivering information.

The video and audios quality is in high definition, and the release is available in hard-copy DVD format, as well as a digital download.

Detailed Analysis

DVD #1 

The first volume of the “Smush Proofing” Jiu-Jitsu Esapces System Chelsea Leah DVD is all about her concept behind the entire instructional. Here, she shares the layers of guard, as well as the highly entertaining (and practical) concept of the egg.

As the DVD goes on, she addresses a key question – Can you recover guard? Chelsea helps clearly draw the line between successful guard recovery and a point of no return where you need to be thinking about other types of escapes.

The first volume also features the section on panic positions. Those are spots where you need to act very precisely rather than flail around. Leah uses turtle, the knee slice, and half guard to deliver the point being this awesome concept.

As this volume wraps up, Leah goes over gripping concepts and knowing when to rest.

DVD #2

Part two starts to explore the closed guard as the first position to use from the bottom. Leah starts with principles of controlling the closed guard before moving on to present the “watermelon crush”.

The first half of this volume is about the watermelon crush, and how it can be used against different closed guard breaks.

The second half addresses the Whizzer, and how you can use it from the bottom to play a very strong guard game without having to worry about passes. Sweeps and submissions quickly follow once Leah covers how to annoy people with this grip. It is basically overhook closed guards on steroids.

DVD #3

The collar and sleeve guard is one of the most powerful and underestimated guard positions to play in BJJ. Most people shy away from it because they fail to understand how precisely to use it to keep the top person at bay.

This portion of the “Smush Proofing” Jiu-Jitsu Esapces System Chelsea Leah DVD will answer exactly that. Controlling the distance is the first thing Chelsea talks about, explaining in detail how to prevent anyone from breaking down your guard structure.

A beautiful connection to the closed guard follows, tying everything up perfectly with the previous volume.

OFeensively, overhead sweeps and Leah’s signature Omoplata round off this portion of the instructional.

DVD #4

Progressively introducing more complex guards, Leah moves son to the lass guard in part 4. Once again, an intro chapter demonstrating the Smush Proofing concept in terms of the lasso guard comes first.

Following are ways to control the distance and once again, a direct connection to the collar and sleeve guard. You can probably see how Leah is setting everything up as a complete guard-based Jiu-Jitsu escapes system here.

Attacking avenues are in the form of tripod sweeps, overhead sweeps, and of course, AOJ’s favorite Berimbolo. A Lasso De La Riva sweep wraps this part up and introduces what comes next.

DVD #5

The Reverse De La Riva is the subject in the fifth volume of this Chelsea Leah DVD. Keeping up with the structure, Leah first presents how to smush-proof your RDL, before talking distance and recovering back to the lasso guard. She takes things even further in this part, covering a very late stage recovery back to lass guard as well.

A trio of sweeps (back sweep and a couple of waiter sweep options) wrap this portion up.

DVD #6

The sixth volume focuses on the BJJ dental floss, a sweep system involving the lapel that usually starts from bottom half guard.

Leah presents it as a very late-stage system, one that involves panic positions like the knee slice. She offers lots of options to recover and even counterattack with stuff like double leg takedowns.

This is also the volume where Leah brings the instructional portion of the “Smoosh Proofing” Jiu-Jitsu Esacapes System DVD to an end.

DVD #7

The final part of the “Smoosh Proofing” Chelsea Leah DVD contains rolls, which Leah narrates. There are four rolls against male training partners, where Leah presents how everything works both individually and as part of a larger system.   

How We Grade The “Smush Proofing” Jiu-Jitsu Esapces System Chelsea Leah DVD Instructional

Considering this Smush Proofing” Jiu-Jitsu Esapces System instructional DVD’s technical aspects and quality of content, we come to an overall score for this instructional that I’ll deliberate in short below. 

Technical Quality: 10/10 

All fo the technical aspects are on point. Chelsea’s way of teaching, the audio and video quality, the multiple angles every technique is shown at all help rate this DVD as high as possible.

Quality of Content: 9/10 

Perfectly suited for grapplers of all levels, this Chelse Leah DVD covers a specific subject in depth, without going overboard and straying from the matter at hand. While I usually deem short DVDs to be below standard, this one is just the perfect length, as it is first and foremost a Jiu-Jitsu escape system instructional.

In fact, the only reason I am docking a grade off the content is the fact that this is a Gi-only instructional. If Leah follows up with a dedicated No-Gi instructional on the same subject, I’ll switch the score to a perfect one.

Overall: 9/10 

A very high grade for a BJJ instructional nowadays, given the sheer amount of DVDs emerging on a daily basis. If you want to improve your guard(s), especially defensively, this one should be one of the top instructionals on your shopping list.

Wrap Up

When a female black belt world champion, who is not only training with the Mendes brothers but is also an instructor at the AOJ shares a 7-part BJJ DVD, you should probably go for it. In this case, I say definitely go for the “Smush Proofing” Jiu-Jitsu Escape System Chelsea Leah DVD. it will change your Gi guard game forever!

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Jiu-Jitsu escapes are a subject that is becoming quite popular in BJJ nowadays. It was to be expected, as the offense has been in the focus of most people for the past two decades. As we start appreciating the power of a solid defense...chelsea-leah-smush-proofing-jiu-jitsu-escapes-review