Sick and tired of being tapped from the back?
Like most jiu jitsu practitioners, you probably feel like once your opponent gets a seatbelt grip from the back, your chances of escape are pretty much non-existant.
Never fear, because help is on the way!
Today, you’re going to learn the exact method Keenan teaches at Legion AJJ HQ that he’s used to escape seatbelt control and the back at the highest level of competition.
Prevention Is Always Better Than The Cure
Your first goal when escaping seatbelt control from the back should be to stop the hands from connecting.
I know, it’s an age-old cliche in jiu jitsu – where the student asks the coach “How do I defend the triangle?” and the coach answers “Don’t get there in the first place.” – But it’s true.
Learning to preempt and stop your opponent’s hands locking together is the most effective way to escape seatbelt control.
But, we all know things don’t always go to plan, so it is important to also know how to get back on track when the sh*t hits the fan.
How To Escape The Back When Your Opponent Locks The Seatbelt
If you’re defending from turtle and couldn’t stop your opponent from connecting their hands, your next goal should be to roll to the seatbelt’s weaker side.
The seatbelt’s weaker side can be identified by which of your arms reside inside the loop of the seat belt.
In the photo above, Keenan’s right (our left) arm is inside the loop and is slightly less controlled in comparison to his other arm, which is more or less blocked by Miha’s armpit over his shoulder.
Now that the weak side has been identified, Keenan’s job now is to roll to that side, ensuring his right hip and right shoulder touch the mat before any hook can be established.
If your opponent is smart, they will recognize they’re losing the back and post there hand on the mat as you roll to your shoulder, letting go of the seatbelt to claim side control as consolation.
That’s if they’re smart, that is…
But, generally, when people achieve the seatbelt control, they get greedy and will be reluctant to give up the grip, even if holding the seatbelt will get them in trouble.
Lots of people do this…
And that’s what we’re counting on…
This time, before rolling to the weaker side, Keenan takes a grip of Miha’s hand to prevent him from posting on the mat.
Immediately after rolling to the side, he then changes direction and rolls back to the left quickly to avoid giving Miha the momentum to continue rolling in the initial direction along with the opportunity to consolidate the back.
As soon as Keenan reaches a kneeling position, he now takes a grip on Miha’s head and pivots in a circular motion, with his legs moving towards Miha’s head while his own head moves in the opposite direction, completing the escape from seatbelt control.
There is a caveat to this seatbelt escape that you need to be aware of.
Throughout this movement, you still need to be aware of your opponent’s top arm and the danger it poses in wrapping around your next for a rear-naked choke.
It is important that you defend your neck at all times during this escape.
After all, you’d hate to do all that work escaping the seatbelt only to get choked out anyway.
To see Keenan demonstrate this killer seatbelt escape, with a lot more detail, simply press play on the video below.