13 Sept 2015

Review - Sit Up Escape System, ebook instructional by Jeff Rockwell & Marshal D Carper

Online e-book published by Artechoke Publishing (other titles include Mastering the Crucifix and 3-D Jiu Jitsu.) The sit-up system is a method of escaping side control without utilising grips or shrimping. Black belt Jeff Rockwell demonstrates a complete escape system that offers more than just the one way to escape side control. The e-book format provides the reader with quick loading gifs, written commentary and a highger quality short form video. With all the rich media content, pages can be slow to load. The techniques themselves are taught very well and are valuable to jiu jitsu players of all levels.

The Sit-Up Escape System is available as an ebook cloud instructional via the Artechoke website for $44USD, payable by PayPal only.

I have no personal or business connection with any of the authors. This e-book was purchase by me at full price. All views expressed in this report are my own.

Artechoke Publishing did a pretty great job with their previous title Mastering the Crucifix so I was super keen to try out their new ebook, The Sit-Up Escape System. I, like many jiu jitsu students, still find being stuck under side control one of the harder aspects to sparring and competing. Sometimes pushing out a shrimping manoeuvre just isn't good enough. The sit up escape system offers the player a way to escape side control (and many other positions) without requiring shrimping or even much in the way of grips. Here is my review

This ebook is only available as a cloud instructional. The contents cannot be downloaded (apart from the gifs) so you'll need a decent internet connection.

The book is split into seven chapters. The entire first chapter is free and available to view without requiring membership or login. See it here.

Tables of Contents
Introduction: The Rockwell Story
1 Basic Sit Up Escape
1-A Structure of This Book
1-B Concept of Frames
1-1 Sit-Up Escape
1-2 Leg Swing & Shoulder Bridge
1-3 Shoulder Frame
1-4 Biceps Punch
1-5 Guard Recovery

2 Basic Troubleshooting
2-A Protecting Your Back
2-B The Meerkat
2-1 Elbow Push to Guard
2-2 Failed Elbow Push to Biceps Push
2-3 Bottom Hook Recovery
2-4 Top Hook Recovery
2-5 Running Legs Recovery
2-6 Granby Roll Recovery
2-7 Countering the Stack
2-8 Meerkat from Failed Elbow Push
2-9 Meerkat Hurdler Split to Crucifix
2-10 Meerkat Hip Bump to Side Control
2-11 Meerkat Back Roll
2-12 Meerkat Waki-Gatame
2-13 Back Mount (No Seatbelt)
2-14 Back Mount (with Seatbelt)
2-15 Countering Mount from the Back

3 Structures & Tools Explained
3-A Building Frames
3-1 Classic Frame
3-2 Collar Tie
3-3 Reverse Collar Tie
3-4 Elbow Push
3-5 Cross Biceps Push
3-6 Reverse Frame
3-7 Halo Two-on-One
3-8 Meerkat
3-9 Ryan Hall Back Grip
3-10 Thoughts on Frames
3-B Creating Space
3-11 Classic Bridge
3-12 Shot Put
3-13 Wishbone
3-14 Head Clamp
3-15 Hip Snake
3-16 Foot Wipe
3-17 Paint Shaker Hips
3-18 Sideways Shrimp
3-19 Shoulder Down Shrimp

4 Advanced Troubleshooting
4-1 Reverse Frame from Elbow Push
4-2 Countering Mount
4-3 Reverse Collar Tie
4-4 Guillotine from Reverse Collar Tie
4-5 Omoplata from Reverse Collar Tie
4-6 Crucifix from Reverse Collar Tie
4-7 Ryan Hall Back Grab
4-8 Judo Throw from Back Grab
4-9 Leg Shelf from Back Grab
4-10 Shoulder Push vs Kesa
4-11 Shrimp vs Heavy Kesa
4-12 Cross Biceps Push vs Kesa
4-13 Schreiner Undercut vs Kesa
4-14 Cross Knee Push vs Kesa
4-15 Countering Terere Side Control
4-16 Hip Push vs Knee on Belly
4-17 Shoulder Push vs K.O.B.

5 Other Sit-Up Escapes
5-1 Reverse Frame vs Mount
5-2 Reverse Frame vs Mount
5-3 Leg Swing Mount Escape
5-4 Elbow Push vs North-South
5-5 Elbow Push vs North-South 2
5-6 Meerkat vs North South

6 Sit-Up Escapes as Counters
6-1 Failed Triangle
6-2 Failed Armlock
6-3 Cross Knee Pass
6-4 Bullfighter
6-5 Over-Under Pass
6-6 Step Pass
6-7 Step Pass with Strong Grip
6-8 Folding Pass
6-9 Leg Drag
6-10 Turning Half Guard Pass

7 Drills
7-1 Leg Swing Drill
7-2 Butterfly Sweep Drill
7-3 One Leg X-Guard Sweep Drill

Format and Production quality
The video portion of this instructional is filmed within a bare walled room. The animated gifs - usually three or four per page - load quickly and reveal the same technique shown from different angles. Occasionally the gifs might show a technique in progression.

Each chapter opens with a lengthy written explanation plus each subsequent page includes written commentary. The writing is concise and easy to follow. It's not necessary to read everything, but if you treat this title like a fun, fact filled, book about jiu jitsu (rather than a dry technical manual), then you'll find that the pleasant writing tone and style makes the content very accessible.

A typical view of each page from The Sit-Up Escape System

Rockwell himself comes across very well. His level of detail is very precise without over burdening the reader. The sound quality is fine and the filming quality, although basic, is perfectly adequate for the purpose of learning technique. Below is an authorised YouTube clip from the ebook:

The one, major negative I have about this ebook is the mind numbing tedium of having to wait for pages and video content to load. I have very fast broadband internet at home and a very powerful graphic design enabled laptop, and still it is like 1995 AOL dial-up trying to watch the video content. The animated gifs are good though, and saving them onto my hard drive and tablet is a good way to transfer snippets of content for quick reminders to myself while out and about. It's such a shame though that this title is not available as a download - unliked the previous book by Artechoke, Mastering the Crucifix because I rely on my BJJ reading and viewing while I am travelling to and from work or training. This could be solved if the video content was not stored within the Artechoke cloud system but somewhere else far more accessible, though I can understand the need to prevent piracy and unauthorised sharing.

Content highlights
As with any single system instructional, it's vital to study the opening chapters in order to understand the basics that will carry you through the rest of the book. It's great that the opening chapter is free content on the Artechoke website, this alone is worth a visit, if only to give the reader a bare bones summary of how the sit up escape can work.

Rockwell openly states in his introduction that a lot of the sit up escape system was initiated by his study of Marcelo Garcia as this is something he uses and teaches a lot. In fact, you can watch an official Garcia In Action Youtube video where Marcelo teaches his version at length.

Rockwell expands on this theme to great effect. In the Sit-Up System, outside of the basic sit up escape, he covers all of the common mistakes and pitfalls and how to deal with them. In the process, Rockwell also covers escapes from other positions - it all adds up to a more complete escape package than the title might suggest. I had a lot of fun implementing many of these techniques - putting myself under side control and trying to escape without instinctively working for a shrimp.

The Meerkat (great name!) is a useful position to be in. Once I studied the instruction, I realised it is a position I found myself in frequently before, but didn't quite know what to do with. The book introduced it as:

The meerkat position is one of the hidden gems of the sit-up escape system. It elegantly solves a positional challenge that many jiu-jiteiros attempt to overcome through panicked shrimping attempts. Once you learn the trigger for sitting up into the meerkat, you will find yourself falling into this situation again and again. It’s more common than you might think, so the meerkat can open up an entirely new escape and attack route that you never would have discovered otherwise.

It's actually pretty cool to use and I found myself more often in the Meerkat position than I did with the conventional basic sit up escape.

The Meerkat position

As you get deeper into the text and videos, a lot of the thought and concepts behind the chapters reminded me a lot of the way Ryan Hall teaches his jiu jitsu - with his emphasis on bodily structure. This is especially so with chapter 3 and is a useful foundation behind a lot of jiu jitsu techniques way beyond the scope of this specific set.

As if the main chapters were not enough, Jeff also teaches more advanced sit up escape scenarios that could be used a counter to when your opponent attacks. This ebook finishes with some suggested drills - useful if the whole idea of the sit up is a new concept.

I don't think the BJJ instructional market has too many specific escape only titles. It's something that often only gets added onto mixed technique DVDs. As someone who ends up under someone's mount or back position a lot (sometimes by intent, sometimes not) I found a great deal of useful content within the sit-up escape ebook. The basic manoeuvre to get out of the cross face when under side control is highly effective as are many other seemingly simply, yet often overlooked, escape techniques. Rockwell's explanations and demonstrations are very well executed and alongside Marshal D Carper's written text, the whole ebook is a media rich learning tool. My only downside was the very slow loading times to watch the videos on each page.


About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


The_Gwiggun said...

I bought the instructional. Really puts together a lot of things I have been doing kind of on my own. I have been doing the elbow push with mixed results. I have been framing with the collar tie as opponents passed my guard but I wasn't using it once they had gotten to side control. I just discovered the leg swing as a great way to escape the high mount and was showing it to everybody at the academy. Jeff has sorted out some mistakes I was making and convinced me to double down on these techniques.

I am actually letting guys pass my guard so I can work this stuff. Think I need a single leg X game now to go with the defense.

Had the same issues with video load times but this has improved.


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