I’ve been reading Saulo Ribeiro’s “Jiu-Jitsu University” very closely. I’m not taking notes or anything like that, but I’m digesting what the man’s trying to tell me. At first, I didn’t think I’d remember anything because there’s a lot of content and I’m reading fairly quickly, but I’ll tell you this – somehow it’s being absorbed into my mind.
I’ve just passed the beginning of the purple belt section, so what I’ve read up until now is merely survival techniques. You know, positions and escapes. Things like that. The purple belt section deals with guard, which should be a lot of fun because I’m in love with the guard. 90% of my game stems from that.
I went into last night’s class with the intention of focusing on a few areas. While I didn’t get a chance to go anywhere near what I said I wanted to go near, I did manage to somehow work two escapes I learned from Saulo. The side control escape and the armbar escape.
Now, let me just preface this by saying that some of his escapes are counter intuitive. They feel totally wrong because they go against everything we’re taught the very first day of Jiu-Jitsu class. When stuck in side control, we’re taught that we should never show our opponent our back. When stuck in a potential armbar submission, we’re taught that we should never roll away from our opponent. Saulo isn’t saying these principle are wrong, he’s merely saying that he’s found a better way to deal with specific situations.
On Tuesday night, I was trapped in a rather tight, vise like side control. There was no way I was going to bridge into this person, hips escape and then get my knee up across his belly. My opponent was far too skilled to let me get away with that. He was also following my hips with his knee. If I had tried to pursue this type of escape, I would’ve been there all afternoon and it wouldn’t have been pretty.
Instead of going after that one, I tried the “Side Control Running Escape.” Well, a modified version of it. And guess what. It worked. I did it once and had great success with it and then tried it again and my savvy opponent picked up on what I was attempting and caught my upper arm for an armbar. But, at least I learned that if I perfect the escape, I can stick it in my bag of tricks.
And just last night, I was caught in a pretty deep armbar from bottom. I knew that trying my tried and true, ” hold on tight and keep rolling towards my partner” escape was never going to work. Instead, I dug up Saulo’s “Armbar Escape From Bottom,” tried it and found success. How awesome is that? And that escape especially goes against everything that feels right.
I think what helped during these two escapes was remembering what my opponent needed to accomplish what they were after. By withholding that from them, I was able to do what was necessary to get out of my jam.
So with that, I’d like to now give my very early endorsement of “Jiu-Jitsu University” by Saulo Ribeiro. Buy the book and include its lessons in your training. Just remember to follow what he teaches, even if it doesn’t feel right.