How to Escape Side Control: Modified Kesa Gatame

Updated on January 21, 2017
revolutionbjj profile image

Andrew Smith is a 3rd degree BJJ black belt based out of Richmond, VA (Revolution BJJ). He runs the BJJ Tutorial Encyclopedia here.

Modified Kesa

When I ask BJJ white belts what they most need help with or want to work on, invariably the answer is escaping from side control. Generally, this means a generic sort of "they have passed my guard and aren't letting me move" situation, but as you move up the jiu jitsu ladder, it's useful to identify certain key types of side control (although many principles will apply across the board). Here, we're taking a look at one of the most frustrating types of side control: modified kesa gatame, or the "sitout" position, as it is sometimes called. I've used this sequence and variations of it for more than a decade now (and probably closer to two decades, all told), and feel confident that the sequence shown will work for you as well.

Situp and Rowboat Escapes

The first escape starts when the person is settling into the position, but hasn't quite established modified kesa just yet. Ideally, start in head and arm side control, and have your partner work on switching their hips right as you bring your near-side elbow in to make a frame.
As your partner switches their hips, grab the backs of both of your knees (if you can't reach your knees, you can grab your gi pants, although the back of your knees is better). Now use your own momentum to rock and then kick your legs back, operating them both as one unit. It's entirely possible that you will catch your opponent off guard here and get a simple reversal, ending up on top in your own modified kesa position. However, if your partner begins to switch back to head and arm side control (an appropriate course of action to shut down the situp escape), you can use the space you've created between you and the mat to post and remain sitting up, just for long enough to hip out and recover guard. I call the second option the "rowboat escape" because you are going to row with both arms in order to square back up with your partner.

The Frame Escape

The frame escape works well even if your partner has settled into the position, as long as you can creep your far arm underneath their chin and across to their far shoulder. Note that you might have already tried the situp escape, but your partner has been able to shut it down. Once your frame is in place, there are two keys to this position being successful. First, you need to be sure that your arm is completely straight, or as close to straight as anatomy allows. Second, you will need to be very patient. If you try to come up too early, your partner is going to shut you down with the greatest of ease. Instead, stay flat on your back while walking around, Homer Simpson style, in a circle, away from your partner. As your base starts to move away from your partner, your partner will begin to slip just a hair. As long as your frame is straight, these incremental gains will add up, and you'll be able to come up on top in side control.

Simple Hip Escape

A common theme with all of these escapes you may have noticed is that, as my friend Brian says, "jiu jitsu does not happen in a vacuum." This means that your partner is eventually going to start doing the right things to shut down your first effort at escaping. Here's a great example of this: you are framed and circling, and your partner moves to switch back to being square with you. The thing about this is that they're going to give you a lot of space to slide your near-side knee in between you and your partner, and you'll be able to revert to a much more fundamental guard recovery, very similar to the first guard maintenance drill.

Sukui Nage Escape

If the above escapes haven't worked and you're locked in, it's time to work on an unorthodox escape. If your partner has passed to your right side and has your right sleeve under control, reach over with your left arm and create a frame so that you can break their grip, and continue turning over to a full "almost turtle" position. If possible, grip your partner's pants on the outside of their knees (inside is more dangerous for Crucifix) setups in particular). Next, shoot your left leg behind your partner, and then lift their pants legs up as you rock back, coming up on top in side control. If you're familiar with judo, think of this as a hybrid of sukui nage and tane otoshi.

Toughest side control to escape?

See results

All You Need is Just a Lot of Patience

Clearly, side control is a tough position to escape, and sometimes you have to be very, very patient, waiting for the opportunity to do one of the above (or even a more basic) escape(s). The good news is that you are likely to have ample time during rolling to practice these techniques, since your training partners are likely to enjoy passing your guard and establishing a strong side control position. As always, try these techniques out, and, as always, let me know if any or all work for you!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • AryavritTravels profile image

      Aryavrit Travels Agence de voyage en inde 

      22 months ago from Jaipur

      very useful trick when your are in trouble & sometime in such grip hard to escape themself

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, howtheyplay.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://howtheyplay.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)