I was recently asked an interesting question…
“Stephan, when you’re pinned is it better to wait for a good opportunity to escape, or to spend some energy to recover guard right away?”
The answer to this is easy!
Escape BEFORE the pin is even fully established.
Your opponent didn’t just magically appear on top of you; some kind of progression had to happen first!
He opened your guard… he got control of your legs… he stepped past your legs… he dropped his weight and pinned you. Something like that.
What this means is that you had time to set up your escape BEFORE things get bad. Don’t let yourself go flat on your back, both shoulders on the mat, and cross-faced and then start your escape.
Even something as simple as getting onto your side as he’s dropping his weight can help – that way you have so much more space and it’s easier to breath too!
It’s better to spend 1 extra unit of effort fighting to get to a good position as they’re passing your guard than it is to spend 5 units of energy to escape after they get their position solidified.
Here’s BJJ black belt world champion Emily Kwok talking and demonstrating this concept.
In the video above you’ll get the background of this concept for the first 3:30, and then you’ll get some oncrete examples you can add to your game after that midway point in the video.
Hope this helps save you tons of aggravation and suffering in heavy pins!
P.S. This video is from How to Defeat the Bigger Stronger Opponent Volume 1, with Emily Kwok. This popular instructional is available in DVD, online streaming, and/or app format.
In it Emily shares her very favorite techniques, combinations and strategies that allow her to hold her own against, and defeat, people who outweigh her by 50 or even 100 pounds on he mat.