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Cross body defense 101

By September 23, 2011 June 27th, 2018 No Comments

I was doing a private lesson with Ivey League student Rick Engelfried this morning and we worked on Cross body defense. This got me thinking about some of the better ways to get out of this position which can be a super pain in the tail. I came up with 3 solid techniques that I know for a fact work to get you out and back to either guard or a better position like on the back.

The three techniques or skill sets break down to:

  • Shrimping back to guard
  • Bridging into the opponent and going to the knees (catching leg at the same time)
  • Turning away from the opponent and defending the back at the same time

Lets break these down a little bit…

Technique one would and should be shrimping back to the guard. It’s the easiest one to do and easy to learn for a beginner. I could see this being a lot tougher at the higher levels but for a white belt this is a good starting point. Key details are making enough space to get your knees inside and also using a “stiff” arm to help with the space. Solo shrimping drills are a good start then try it in a live situation.

Technique two would be bridging into your opponent. The key detail here is to make sure you get the underhook first then bridge high and into the opponent to make as much space as possible. It’s ok to belly out when you come up to grab the leg but you want to make sure that you get to your knees as quickly as possible to avoid giving up the back and getting choked. Solo bridging exercises will help a ton in learning this escape.

The third escape is the most dangerous but by far one of the most common. Turning away from your opponent leaves you a bit more open for strikes and chokes but at the same time you pretty much only use this one when you have to get out of cross body. Key details are to make sure you commit to the turn and protect your neck and block with your hand or hands to avoid getting hit. From there I like the peterson roll, rolling back to guard and back take defense. All of those options work, they just have to be drilled and worked on in a “flow” or a “chain” grappling/wrestling series. That’s very very important, drilling them as a chain of techniques!

Check out some of the videos posted below to see some good cross body escapes that get the Danny Ives approval!

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