The ‘Upa’ (or ‘Bridge and Roll’) is probably the very first mount escape that a beginner ever learns. It’s taught as part of the basic curriculum for a very simple reason: it works!
You see this escape in MMA, submission grappling, and BJJ competition with the gi.
I’ve used it as a white belt, blue belt, purple belt, brown belt and black belt.
Contrary to what some people will tell you is possible, I’ve also used it against skilled grapplers who were a LOT heavier than me (although in this cases it typically took some time and gentle misdirection to get him to give me the right energy and weight distribution that I needed to pull it off).
Lots of people can do the Upa mount escape perfectly in perfectly when they’re banging out uncontested repetitions: step 1, step 2, step 3 and so on…
But as soon as you add the element of stress (i.e. sparring or live training) their technique begins to fall apart. In the heat of the moment they start skipping steps, which leads to an ineffective escape and a giant waste of energy…
…Plus staying stuck in the bottom of mount, which really, really sucks!
Here are the four most common errors I’ve seen beginners make while trying to upa their way out of mount for real…
- Mistake 1: Trying to do this escape before getting at least one of your opponent’s hands to the floor
- Mistake 2: Staying in the bridged (upa) position for the entire escape
- Mistake 3: Not trapping their opponent’s leg and arm on the same side (or trying to trap BOTH legs at the same time)
- Mistake 4: Rolling without your hips being fully bridged first
Below is a quick video I shot that’ll take you through each of these four errors (and their solutions) in much more detail.
Check it out:
If you liked this article and video you may also enjoy the article The 16 Most Important Techniques for the BJJ Beginner on Grapplearts.com
Also click here to download Stephan’s book of BJJ tips for FREE