Thursday, June 16, 2011

Creating Space in the Scarf Hold Position

Recently, I've been tackling two positions that I find it difficult to escape from: the scarf hold and bottom turtle when someone is smashing down on top of me.

The other day, a friend of mine at the gym gave me some pointers on escaping the scarf hold. He reminded me that I need to hip out. But not just a half-hearted, one time hip out. I need to hip out hard and two or three times. My goal is to create enough space to swim the arm that is over my torso and either get to my knees or take their back--basically to create a scramble.

The guy who was helping me is nicknamed Paddi Cake. He's a big dude. He was telling me that, for me to get out from under him, I need to create enough space to start a scramble, which is where my speed and wiggly smallness will work to my advantage.

Another thing I was thinking about after that conversation was how I need to do better at moving myself underneath the person--moving my body away so that their weight falls--instead of moving the person themselves--trying to use muscle to get them off of me. Still trying to figure out how to do that in a lot of positions.

What is your favorite way to escape the scarf hold position?


Liam H Wandi said...

bridge into them to create a little space under us, which I then suck my trapped arm into. I don't want to let them have that arm.

From their I shrimp / hip out like you describe.

If I really can't get the arm out , I make sure it's hidden under their armpit so they cant use it against me. Meanwhile, I bridge hard into them. If they give me the resistance I want I join my hands and roll them over my shoulders a la the Royler and Renzo book. If they don't, I try to sneak my nearside leg/knee under them. From their, I can start shrimping under them instead.

Meg Smitley said...

Sweet post, as usual. Thanks for sharing!

I love the scarf hold - escaping from I mean. My fav escape is an 'old skool' Gracie 'self defence' method, but before I do anything, I first try to relax and then, get to my side, even if just a tiny bit to allow me a bit more breathing space. This can be achieved by placing your 'outside foot' on the floor so your hips tilt towards your opponent; this also starts the hip-out set up, nicely. Then I start my escape/counter:
1) Make a frame with the arms against the opponent's neck; frame is created by gripping the top arm's wrist with the bottom arm's hand.
2) While using the structure of your frame to apply pressure to the opponent's neck, start hipping out as you describe. From here there are two usual scenarios.
a) You make enough space to that your opponent starts to transition as s/he recognises losing the position. Scramble/go from there ;)
b) Your opponent doesn't want to release even though the position is not so solid, that's cool. As you've made the space and maintained the frame, bring your outside leg over your opponent's head to lock your feet with your knees either side of their neck (they sort of fall into this as there is space due to the hip out and pressure due to the frame). From here there is a submission by squeezing the knees together. I usually only get the sub on noobs, but get out of scarf hold very reliably with people of different sizes and levels with this approach, if nothing else they usually recognise that they don't have control once the legs start the counter and then they begin a transition to a new part of the game.

My 2cents :)

BlueJay said...

1) Use upper forearm and lower hand on hip to push against their neck/head and nullify their hip to create space for you to move. You might need to bridge hard to get the trapped arm that is next to them free, first

2) shrimp away with your butt , knees slightly facing opponent (but not "tied" together as that will give them mount ("outer" foot's ball maintaining contact with the floor).

3)"inside" lower leg slides against their ribcage as space allows you to hip move into them (don't turn to your back, though you will be tempted to at this point) and pushes them away even more to create space for your shin to completely move against their ribs (foot hooking their back/side slightly)

4) when you feel them turn just a bit away to avoid the rib discomfort, either:

(a)explode/circle your "outer" leg up and over the front for their neck/head as you kind of sit up and into them taking side control or

(b) grab their arm that was behind your neck as you push out with your ribs-attached shin with the "answer the telephone" arm hook and slide to one foot over one foot under the arm bar.

This works to go to an inverted arm bar, should they try to drive into you during any of this, as well - you HAVE to have the shin across their ribs, or it won't work and they will just smash you again.

My descriptions suck, but this works about 90% of the time for me. Have to manage the power to flexibility transition fairly well to do this.

If you youtube galvao...this is one of his methods.

Rollo said...

I like to use on I learned recently from an Andre Galvao DVD I found while cleaning my room.

1. Reach up and get a grip on the lapel so that your fingers are on the inside of their gi. Make a fist and place it at their neck with the lapel trapped.

2. Bridge into them with a big bridge and push on their neck to create space. While you are doing this, hip out(or shrimp)and now you have the space you need.

From here you have to choices:

1. Slide your knee that is closest to them up until your shin is in their armpit, continue to push on their neck (they usually fall at an angle) and wrap your other leg around their head for an arm bar.


2. Continue to bridge until they fall over on their back, and you will find yourself in side control.

All of the other comments have great suggestions also. Each one of them will work. The great thing about bjj is all of the different ways a person can achieve the same thing.

Afrorican said...

This is why I love the BJJ community! Great posts by all and some new things for me to check out too. I personally tend to use the same technique in the first posted. Interstingly enough I just used this exact technique about an hour ago during sparring!

A.D. McClish said...

Wow! This is awesome! So many ideas to try. I am excited.

@Liam: I have been shown that technique but I can't get it right on people who are bigger than me. What are some of the common errors people make when they're trying to do that sweep?

@Meg: I read your comment before I went to class today and just getting on my side like you mentioned opened up a lot of opportunities. That submission sounds cool, but I am having trouble envisioning it. I'll try to youtube it and see what I can find. Thanks!!

@BlueJay: I am SO trying that armbar next class!

@Rollo: Any tips on making the bridge more effective when you're rolling with someone really big and strong? I found myself struggling to make space even while bridging with some of the bigger people I grappled today.

Fabio told me a couple this afternoon that I can add to this:

Hip out and get on all fours. Then you can either swim the arm and take the back or hip in, bringing you knee into a butterfly guard or guard position. OR, from all fours, you can trap and arm and roll and end up in guard or maybe a triangle, depending on what you do. The key is hipping and moving out from under them so you can get to all fours.

Rollo said...

The first person I ever tried that escape on weighed forty pounds more then I do. I had to bridge as hard and as high as I could and when I pushed my arms using that fist method, he fell completely over and I was in side control. I actually let him get to scarf-hold again in the same roll, but he was onto the whole falling back thing, so I nailed him with the arm bar instead. All it takes is a powerful bridge to move them. Try exhaling as you are bridging up to get that added "umph".

Megan said...

Beyond timely. This position is murder for me...Blog-tastic education!

Liam H Wandi said...

mistakes: trying it against someone who's not pushing back (that's when you should go to their back instead or get under them) and letting your back touch the mat once you're up.

Bridge into them (your back leaves the mat and you'll be on your shoulders) and your back should NOT touch the mat again.

A great description here:

Keith said...

has some interesting ideas.