Straight Blast Gym does something awesome with a lot of their instruction. They’ll take a “game” or range of positions and techniques and break them down to really core fundamentals. The concepts and points they end up deriving are so basic that they anyone’s game and can be taught broadly, but still allow the individual athletes to apply them with their own style. For example, they’ve got what they called the Fundamental Five of Top Game, which are five things you must do to play top game, regardless of if you play it heavy or light or fast or slow, preferred grips, favorite submission. So while everyone might have a different style, the fundamentals they are applying are all still the same.

They just so happen to have came up with a Fundamental Five of Escapes from bottom. In short, they are:

  1. Hip and Hunchback – turn on one hip, roll your shoulders.
  2. Arms between you and your opponent.
  3. Look and Feel – know how you are pinned.
  4. 90/10 – Make space: 90% hips, 10% arms.
  5. Escapes – return to guard, go to knees or roll them.

Here are some choice quotes from where people were explaining these:

The fundamental five for escapes from the bottom

1) The H&H position, aka: ‘Beachball’ position.

The HH position is the crucial escaping posture the body needs to move to without conscious effort if you want to escape effectively.

The first H stands for HIP, and means simply, be on ONE hip, and never caught flat with two hips on the mat. So the shrimping motion and hip movement occurs as the person is passing. Starting flat on your back will make any escape much harder, so learning to automatically go to your side is crucial.

The second H stands for hunchback. . .that means that you want to be a BALL on the mat, and never a board.

What you want to do is try and touch the insides of your shoulders together, while at the same time bringing them up as if you where also trying to touch your ears with your shoulders. So your back becomes rounded out, and your shoulders ball up creating a turtle neck. This makes you at least 50% harder to pin down alone.

So at the same time as you move to one hip, you also ball up into the hunchback position. So hip & hunchback, or H&H.

2) Hands between you and your opponent. The most common mistake, after simply laying flat on your back, is to reach around your opponents body and grab them. When your arms become extended they are weak, they are easy to ‘kill’ and they are vulnerable to submissions. But, on top of all that they also greatly restrict your ability to move by shrimping or working a hip heist. In addition, when your arms are outside your opponents body you are also leaving your own torso unprotected. That means your opponent now has a nice table top to place his weight on to. This mistake, more then any other I can think off, will make your opponent feel twice as heavy then if you where to keep your arms between you and them properly. When your arms stay in then your opponent is forced to lay his weight atop your forearms and elbows. This makes it MUCH easier for you to create space. While at the same time making it MUCH harder for him/her to dig for underhooks, kill the arms, and generally hold you down. These first two principles, H&H position, and hands between you and your opponent, are crucial steps that need to be acquired before we can properly begin working the fundamental escapes.

3) See & Feel: Now that your on one hip, your shoulders are tucked, your back is rounded, and your hands are in between you and your opponent, it’s time to notice how they are holding you, and feel where their weight is placed.

Often times beginners attempt the same escape over and over, and the escape attempt being attempted is not even a functional one when considering how the person on top is holding you. This is a tremendous waste of energy. So before exploding with your escape take notice of where your opponents hands are at. Are you in a crossface? Does he have two hands on the near side? Is your far arm underhooked? etc. This will help to keep you from wasting precious fuel. That way you can attempt the proper escape, for the proper hand position. As you do this, use your elbows underneath them as a kind of ball bearing, rocking them gently up or down, and feeling where the most resistance is at. Is their weight more towards your head, or your feet? Or is it perhaps sitting back into the mat, or to far forward over the mat? All this can be done solely be feel, and after a few hours of drilling you will automatically process all this information in less then a second or two. Doing these two things everytime you find yourself stuck on bottom will allow you to escape in the easiest manner. That is, not fighting your opponents weight.

4) The 90%–10% rule: Once the first three principles are achieved how well you will be able to escape against a bigger, heavier, stronger athlete will be predicated on something we can sum up in two words: HIP MOVEMENT. The general rule therefore must be 90%–10%. That means that in the Gym, and in all training sessions, the athlete must use 90% hip movement (hip heist or shrimp), and 10% upper body strength to work all escapes.

5) The three primary escapes:

there is three possible way you can ever escape from bottom:

1- Pull Guard.

2- Get to your hands and knees, (hip heist-quarter position).

3- Reverse the position by rolling them.

Another poster put them this way:

I think it hasn´t been put to DVD yet. Hopefully it is on FJKD3.

I´ll also elaborate a bit and give the content that I teach under the F5.

1. H&H – FETUS position – one shoulder, one hip

(correct side shrimping drills)

2. Keep your hands btw you and opponent:

Proper use of FRAMES here. Straight jacket, boxing posture and hand underneath the throat (middle third of the hand) are the most important frames. Also how to get your frames back once they are gone. And the golden rule – if you find your hands where they are not supposed to be, you have to get them back before beginning an escape.

3. LOOK and FEEL – You cannot escape with the same escapes from every position. Undrerhook is a great thing but it won´t work when the hand is on the hip (and other hand is crossfacing) or diaper checking. So you have to see where he is holding you and know the proper escapes and you have to feel his weight to know which way to go.

4. MAKE SPACE: Hands are for frames. Frames enable you to use your HIPS to make space. HIPS are the things that make SPACE. Ways of making space I teach:

1) shrimp 2) bridge (garcia way) – look at 3) pendulum + throwing your hips up high in the air (don´t know how to call second thing in english) 4) pulse/popcorn

5. ESCAPE!!! 1) guard 2) quarters 3) reversal

When you can´t escape straight away then you basically set your frames, see where you are held (work for different frames when necessary), make space with your hips and then escape.

The first drill i do is usually letting one guy do a simple push the knee pass and the bottom guy meets the top guy with H&H and straight jacket, gets the underhook and practices replacing guard. Then going to quarters. Then whatever comes. During this drill they will learn some elements of F5 and some other important things.

Afterwards I usually teach the proper escape with hand underneath the throat (lift him with the elbow over your head and lift up your own head – this clears the crossface). And then I get them to know the space-creating hip motions and do a call-out drill. They will themselves cycle their frames after each escape and I will call out the different types of space-creators.

After they are good with that (it takes some time – usually to around the blue belt level) i go to the Look and Feel part and see how you can escape from the less common and/or harder to escape control positions. Like two hands on the near side. Or when he comes to kill the arm underneath the throat etc.

Most important things for escaping are IMO the proper use of frames (most people do not use the hand under the throat correctly) and then working the space-creating movements with the hips.

To clarify, “straight jacket” refers to a posture SBG teaches for being under side control. Your arm nearest to them is laid across your chest with your hand resting on your opposite shoulder. Your other arm lays across your stomach with your hand on your hip. Like a straight jacket. This prevents them from making chest on chest contact or getting a underhook on the far arm, which makes getting the underhook on them easier while escaping.

Boxing posture is the more standard one that most people know, where you have your hands up by your neck and your elbows in.

I hope that helps.