Escape Leg Grabs With Jean-Charles Skarbowsky
One of the most important aspects of martial arts is our ability to escape bad positions, and why is that?
A fighter who trusts in his ability to escape bad positions will take more risks and would be more active as he knows that if the opponent defends the attack getting back to safety would be easy, and he could quickly get back on the attack.
Many fighters fail to understand that and only train their offensive ability with no feedback from their partners. Avoiding bad positions in training can lead to a bad outcome as they enter the ring and freeze as they don’t trust their ability to escape, so the thought their opponent capitalizes on their attack and puts them in a bad position freezes them.
In Muay Thai, for example, we can see it clearly; fighters will not get into punching range as they are afraid the opponent would clinch them and they won't’ be able to escape. Another example would be fighters that are afraid of the opponent catching their kicks, so they don’t throw them.
As we can clearly see, a fighter who is afraid to punch or kick will simply become a heavy bag for his opponents. He is too passive to make anything happen no matter how good his offense might be; meanwhile, his opponent can pick him apart.
So to become good at escaping bad positions, we must make a deliberate effort to spend time in those positions and specifically drill them. For example, we can use the following drills:
- Let the opponent catch your kicks and work to escape from there, each time changing the kicks (teeps, middles, knees)
- Roleplay - one fighter is allowed only to punch, and the other is allowed to the only clinch - this will develop confidence for being close
- Let the opponent clinch with you in different positions and work to escape from there
Who Is Jean-Charles Skarbowsky?
Jean-Charles Skarbowsky is a French professional Muay Thai fighter who has retired in 2006. Jean-Charles is known for his unique skills in the ring, where he relies on pure knowledge and skills as he doesn’t believe in an athletic lifestyle. Jean-Charles made a name for himself when GSP brought him as a coach in the television show TUF, where he amazed everybody with the superior skills he showed while sparring with the professional fighters.
Check Out Skarbowsky’s Other Instructionals HERE! Click Learn More!
Pulling Our Leg Free After A Caught Kick
To start the video, Jean-Charles tells us that we will learn how to escape if the opponent catches our kick; this is a crucial technique to understand so we can be confident in our kicks and deal effectively with the grab.
After the opponent catches our kick, many people like to grab the neck and pull but to escape this position; we will use a push instead of a pull. As the opponent holds our leg, I’m going to push on his neck or shoulder and slide my knee out like an eel.
Notice that when I pull my leg free, I want to rotate my knee until it points at my second knee and push him with my hand as I extract my foot. Remember, our hand must be fully extended as a frame to keep the space between us; if I fail to do that, he can follow me as I pull my leg and close the distance.
If an opponent has managed to close the distance on me, it is bad as I am giving him my back. Now I cant see what he will throw at me until I can rotate myself back at him; this is dangerous as the strike you don’t see is the strike that will knock you out.
So we have to make it a rule of thumb that as I extract my leg from his grip, I must face him immediately, giving him no space to close the distance or surprise me.
Learn More From Charles Skarbowsky
If you enjoyed the way Jean-Chares simplified the subject of escaping the grab, you would love to check out everything he has to offer at- “Muay Thai Masterclass - Advanced Edition” available exclusively on Dynamic Striking.