Last night during team training we all got a chance to work on escaping one of the most uncomfortable positions in jiu-jitsu, the crossface. For the top jiu-jitsu player the Crossface is an amazing position to have because it severely limits the direct of movement the bottom jiu-jitsu player has while at the same time putting them in a very uncomfortable position.
In this position we can not escape with an explosive movement, we must use a series of small adjustments moving towards open space. So a majority of this class was drilling in-order to find where the open space is. Moving towards this open space allows us to use all of the escapes we have learned in the Fundamentals of Jiu-Jitsu class, however if we simply attempt to use generic escapes from a very specific position a majority of the time the escapes will not work. We must move away from the shoulder that is applying pressure which gives us the ability to get onto our side and begin to work our way out.
After drilling the correct way to move we also discussed exactly where you want your elbows and forearms to be positioned to to actually be able to escape. when you are in the bottom position in Jiu-Jitsu if your elbows separate from your ribs the top Jiu-Jitsu player can use your arms as handles or hooks to hold you in position, so keeping your elbows tight to your body gives your training partners less ways to control you which in turn gives you more options to escape. There are only a few escapes from side control and because at a higher level everybody knows the escapes whether or not you are successful comes down to how deeply you understand the escapes and how good your timing is. Both your knowledge of the position and your timing all increase with drilling.