As you begin practicing BJJ, you will inevitably have trouble escaping from the mount. Getting out can be a nightmare, especially if the person on top is heavier. But it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of ways to escape out of mount, depending on the situation or what the opponent gives you.
By learning a few mount escapes, you will be ready to deal with every scenario and have a reliable system to get you out of trouble. The five techniques listed here are in no way the complete list of mount escapes, but they cover every important situation.
What Is The BJJ Mount
The mount is a pin in which the person on top sits on the torso or hips of the one on the bottom, facing their head. It is dangerous for the mounted person because he cannot use his legs to control the distance and posture of the one on top.
In Brazilian jiu-jitsu, positions are fundamental, and there is a hierarchy depending on the advantage they give to the person on top.
The mount is among the most dominant and highly scored in competition, worth 4 points under IBJJF rules. It gives no attacking options for the mounted person and a lot of control and possible submissions for the one on top.
In mixed martial arts and street fights, the mount is significantly more dangerous because it gives the one on top the ability to rain down heavy strikes.
But being mounted is not the end of the world, and there are effective ways to escape this dreaded position. Some of them even lead to a complete reversal of the situation.
The key to escaping the mount is in the hips. Their mobility and power allow you to project power in a direction to move the person on top.
Bridges and shrimping are the movements you need to use in these situations, like in many others. But adding leg entanglements and hip escapes will keep them guessing which method you will use and make things easier for yourself.
It’s important not to panic if you find yourself mounted. Carrying the opponent’s weight and using strength to try and move him will quickly exhaust you and make things worse. Stay calm and focus on technique and the little details.
The higher the person on top is on the mount, the worse it is for the mounted person. The position of the guy on top determines which method will be available to you and what the best approach would be.
If you end up on the bottom of a high mount with the opponent’s knees under your armpits, you are in a world of trouble and must find a way to force him to go lower.
So, with those principles in mind, here are five proven and effective ways to escape the BJJ mount.
5 BJJ Mount Escapes
The standard mount escape is based on the shrimp motion, which we also use for many other escapes. To be able to shrimp away, you must first do a solid post on the opponent’s hips, ideally with two hands.
Your hands should not be high because they are in danger of being attacked by an Americana, an arm triangle, or some other submission. The main posting arm goes across the opponent’s belt, and the other supports it.
From there, the most successful option is a single shoulder bridge, which should give you enough space to shrimp out and recover at least half guard.
Escape From Low Mount
The higher the person on top, the higher danger for the mounted person increases. This is why, while defending, you need to try to keep the opponent low. There is a simple escape from the low mount called the push escape.
To do the push escape, you need to push your partner’s hips past the line of your knees. Either frame with the forearm across the belt with the other arm supporting it (like in the shrimp escape) or frame with both hands on the hips.
At the same time, pull the opponent with your hips by swinging your legs up, and try to bring together your knees and hands.
Once the knees are past his, you have enough space to recover the guard or completely move the opponent off you and immediately start attacking the legs.
This escape does not work if the mount is high and is unlikely to work against a bigger opponent. But once you get the feel and timing right, you can start effortlessly escaping low mounts against people your size.
Bridge And Roll
The bridge and roll is one of the first mount escapes you will likely try and fail at. It looks great, and if successful, it completely reverses the position. The problem is that this is not as easy to do as it looks to someone with experience.
You need to trap the opponent’s arm to do a successful bridge and roll escape. An important detail is to catch the arm around the forearm, as this will prevent him from posting on it. Then you must put his leg on the same side again to prevent posting.
From there, all you need to do is make a mighty diagonal bridge and roll over the opponent, ending up in his guard. There are a lot of little details going into a bridge and roll mount escape and different ways to do it, but the classic one is shown in this video by Lachlan Giles.
Mount Escape Against Bigger Opponents
Unfortunately, bridging escapes do not always work against bigger opponents. When the person on top of us is heavy, we need to resort to other methods of escaping his crushing mount.
The beginning of the escape is similar to shrimping, but against a bigger opponent, the bridge doesn’t work. You must still have the belt frame in place and be slightly on your side without exposing your back too much. From there, you need to attack his feet with your own by hooking his foot, lifting it, and turning underneath it to half-guard.
Feet To Armpits Escape
This escape is one of the few that can be done against a high mount, but it does require some flexibility, and not everyone can do it, unlike all other options.
The escape is done by placing your hands under the opponent’s armpits, pushing him diagonally, and then putting your feet under the armpits. From there, the task is easy; you need to kick him off with your feet.
You can end up in a leg entanglement or attack his back if he is slow to recover. The flexibility requirements of the feet for armpit escape are low. However, it’s preferred by the more agile BJJ guys, who may even intentionally put the person higher in the mount to escape this way.
The mount may be a very dominant position, but you can easily escape from it with enough training. Always use solid arm frames, get in a position that does not put you in any immediate danger, and disrupt the opponent’s balance by moving him upwards or to the side. Then you can bridge and shrimp away or use clever foot tricks to force him into half-guard if he is bigger.