Escape from Scarf-Hold & North South (diary entry)

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Tonight’s lesson was the fifth hour of my client’s second MMA course. We looked at escaping the scarf-hold and the north south positions.

The lesson began with a dynamic stretching and calisthenic-based workout focused on ground-fighting. After overhand squats, arm circles and torso rotations we began with upas to properly engage all the right muscle groups. These changes to various snaking movements, sit-outs, different crawls and then I introduced my lockdown couple to some submission calisthenics from guard.

Both my client and her lockdown partner then went through their pin transition drill before we began technical work on escaping scarf-hold. We began with the reversal. Key takeaway points here were replicating the grip of the person pinning with an under-hook/over-hook hold, getting the hips under the opponent and engaging the core and legs before moving in one motion for a successful reversal. Next, we covered snaking. Ideally, a reversal is the preferred counter to being pinned in scarf-hold or any pin that affords this possibility. It is the fastest way to get an opponent into a prone position and for the fighter to be in a strong position of dominance. However, snaking is a more likely escape. This occurs when the reversal option has been blocked by the opponent. The fighter escapes with their hips out and moves the opponent into guard.

The second sequence of the lesson dealt with escaping the North South position. This involved bridging or using an upa first and turning to attack the opponent from the side into the “dog fight” position. From here the fighter has several options, but the first one is to stay low and shot for a takedown by gripping the opponent’s far kneecap and foot.