BJJ for Self-Defense Guide, by Rodrigo Lopes Cardoso

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Escape from Rear Choke

Escape from Rear Choke:
Move 1-2, top left to right; Move 3-4, bottom left to right

Situation: An adversary attempts a rear choke (choke from behind).

Flight Strategy:

(1) You must prevent the adversary from applying pressure on the carotid artery, (located on the sides of the neck) for too long, which puts pressure on the blood flow.
a. In this example, the adversary attempts the rear choke with his right arm, forming a cable grip with his hands. He bends his left elbow to draw back his right hand, strengthening the choke as his right arm tightens around your neck.

(2) Keep all fingers of your right hand tightly squeezed together, and jam your right hand into the crook of the adversary’s elbow, aiming to straighten your right arm by pointing your fingers upwards.

(3) Once the adversary’s grip is broken, prevent him from regaining the grip by also raising your left hand, using both arms as a buffer between the adversary’s arms and your neck.

(4) Swiftly turn your shoulders towards the side, ducking under the immediate reach of his arms, allowing a timely escape.

Escape from Rear Choke:
Move 5-6, left to right

While these four steps aim to enable a swift escape, the following two steps can be added if there is a need to apprehend the adversary (such as in law enforcement).

(5) Bring your left hand to the adversary’s right shoulder, as your right hand grips your own left wrist, drawing your left arm tightly against his right arm, leaving no space between your arms and his.

(6) This shoulder lock isolates the adversary’s right hand, which he is unable to use in a threatening way. Maintaining your arm position, your right hand pulls back your left wrist, bringing the adversary’s right hand to his back.
a. His right wrist is now in an ideal location to apply handcuffs if necessary.

Escape from Front Choke

Escape from Front Choke:
Move 1-2, top left to right; Move 3-4, bottom left to right

Situation: An adversary attempts a one-handed front choke.

Flight Strategy:

(1) You must prevent the front choke from becoming two-handed.

(2) Bring both of your hands waist-level, keeping your elbows bent and palms facing each other.

(3) Grip the adversary’s right elbow with both hands, squeezing your elbows together.

(4) Transition into a shoulder lock by bringing your right hand to grip your left wrist, and sliding your left hand down to grip the adversary’s left wrist.
a. Your right hand draws up your left arm, along with the adversary’s right hand. This motion intensely stretches the adversary’s right shoulder ligaments.
b. The adversary is forced to turn his shoulders and torso to relieve the pressure, forcing him to face away from you.
c. As the adversary now has his back to you, an escape is more feasible.

Escape from Lapel Grip

Escape from Lapel Grip: Move 1-2, top left to right; Move 3-4, bottom left to right

Situation: An adversary grips your lapel with a single hand.

Flight Strategy:

(1) Your right hand reaches across and under the adversary’s hand, wedging your fingers into his closed fist to loosen his grip.

(2) In a swift movement, raise your right hand over your head, ducking under your arm. Your right foot steps forward, enabling you to make a 180-degree turn.

(3) Keep your left arm squeezed against your torso, compressing the adversary’s right arm, and effectuating a shoulder lock.
a. This is an ideal moment to attempt to escape the situation.

(4) Bring your left hand to meet your right, completing a wristlock.
a. The adversary’s right wrist is now in an ideal position to apply handcuffs if necessary.

Escape from Back Restraint

Escape from Back Restraint:
Move 1-2, top left to right; Move 3-4, bottom left to right

Situation: An adversary approaches from behind, attempting a restraint from the back.

Flight Strategy:

(1) Bring both arms above your head, with your palms facing forward and elbows slightly bent.

(2) Bring your palms together in a cable grip, aiming to break the adversary’s grip from behind your head. Shifting your weight forward makes his grip more difficult to maintain.

(3) Hinge at your hips to bring your torso forward towards the ground, shifting your weight down and bending your knees.
a. Keep your hands gripped until you are low enough to release your grip and reach back of the adversary’s knees.

(4) Effectuate a take-down by cupping the back of the adversary’s knees while straightening your legs to force him to lose his balance.

Strike Block to Shoulder Lock

Strike Block to Shoulder Lock:
Move 1-2, top left to right; Move 3-4, bottom left to right

Situation: An adversary attempts a strike with a single hand.

Flight Strategy:

(1) Use your corresponding hand to block the strike.
a. In this example, my left hand blocks the adversary’s right hand.

(2) Rather than finishing the move there, grip the adversary’s sleeve or wrist with the hand that carried out the block (in this example, my left).
a. To escape, throw the adversary’s arm behind your head as you flee.

(3) Your right hand comes to the top of your left hand, reinforcing your grip on adversary’s right sleeve or wrist.

(4) To apprehend the adversary, drive forward his wrist to achieve a shoulder lock, which strains his shoulder joint ligaments.
a. This position enables a takedown; as you continue to drive back the adversary’s wrist, the intense pressure will lead his shoulders to likewise be driven backwards towards the ground.


Rodrigo Lopes Cardoso

Rodrigo has distinguished himself as one of the most renowned athletes in the Jiu-Jitsu arena, widely famed for his unmatched strength, speed, and agility.

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