“Lesson from Dream 15: Side Mount Escapes and the Power of the "Rule of Three"” – July 15, 2010

Lesson from Dream 15: Side Mount Escapes and the Power of the “Rule of Three”

I relearned a valuable lesson about escaping being pinned from side mount while watching lightweight champion Shinya Aoki rip Tatsuya Kawajiri’s ankle off at Dream 15 this past weekend.
Yeah, I know it doesn’t sound like the two would go together…but I promise if you read keep on reading you’ll double (or even triple) your success rate at escaping from side control.
Here’s what went down at Dream 15…
Before 60 seconds passed in the fight, Aoki shot for a double…switched to a single…and then snaked through to an Achilles lock.
For the next two minutes Kawajiri squirmed and spun and kicked Aoki in the face.
Meanwhile Aoki calmly adjusted his grip, repositioned his legs and refused to let Kawajiri escape. The fight ended when Aoki completely dislocated Kawajiri’s foot from his legs.
An awesome display of talent…and – if you look a little closer – a clue on how to escape when stuck underneath side mount.
I call it the “Rule of Three” and it works like this: In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu NOTHING works the first time. You’ll never hit the first sweeps, submission or escape you go for. Usually you have to try three times (at least) before anything works.
That’s what Aoki did. For about two minutes he performed little micro adjustments to the footlock until it sunk in…and then he snapped Kawajiri’s leg.
Continually doing the same move over and over again until it works has enormous power. However, if you keep on doing the same move forever and it doesn’t work…that’s just dumb.
That’s where the “Rule of Three” comes in. Basically, it means that you have to do a technique at least three times in a row for it to work. One time is easily countered. More than three times and you’re just wasting energy.
For example: Most new grapplers hip escape just once and then try and reestablish guard. But a good grappler is going to defend the first hip escape…reposition…and keep top control. However, three hip escapes in a row are much harder to defend, and will give you the  open up space you need to pull guard again.
Even better, once you practice this “Rule of Three” with hip escapes you’ll get so good at defending the side mount, opponents won’t even be able to pin you in the first place.
That’s when the bjj game gets really exciting.

One Response to ““Lesson from Dream 15: Side Mount Escapes and the Power of the "Rule of Three"” – July 15, 2010”

  1. i’m definitely going to give this a shot this week at training… as a new grappler i’ll go for something and sometimes get discouraged..hopefully this helps. Thanks.

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