Last month we looked at the bridge. Today will be the “Shrimp” or Hip Escape movement.

This is one of the first movements a student will learn when beginning their Jiu Jitsu journey (and spend the rest of your life perfecting). It is usually worked in as part of a common pre-class warm-up routine. The problem is it may be glossed over without a detailed explanation of how or why we do it. The goal is not to mimmick what is seen but understand how to move the body correctly to overcome a problem an opponent presents. 

The shrimp is used to create movement and space. One of the biggest challenges of moving and space creation while laying down is the amount of body surface area we have in contact with the floor. This surface area creates friction which slows us down. Add an opponent and their weight on top of you, it only gets worse. The shrimp technique teaches how to decrease that surface area and incorporate the strong muscles of our legs in order to generate the movement we need to defend or escape when things seem at their worst. A better understanding of the shrimp technique will provide you with an important tool to progress in the art.

The three options we will view today are the standard 2-foot shrimp and also two one legged techniques utilizing the inside foot or the outside foot.

The importance of movement

At its most basic level, the foundation of Jiu Jitsu is movement. A key component to any student’s progression is having a fundamental understanding of body mechanics. By providing students with a comprehensive knowledge of body awareness, and its relationship with a specific technique, we can help provide a deeper, clearer understanding of all technical applications of the art.  

However it’s important to understand that moving without proper technique or purpose can be just as detrimental to no movement at all. One of the central tenants of Jiu Jitsu is efficiency. As such, we must consistently practice these movements like any other technique in our training regimen to ensure we are maximizing their effectiveness.  

Over the next few months we will be breaking down some core movements. 

We will be focusing primarily on proper technical execution of the movement and discussing its intended application in the context of Jiu Jitsu. 

The first movement we will discuss is the bridge.

The bridge is one of the most important foundational movements a student should master. The bridge is a key component in understanding the transfer of weight. An effective bridge provides an understanding of how to create space and move when trapped in the bottom position. It also applies to attacking.  Understanding the technicalities of the bridge and its many applications will put you on the right path wherever you are in your Jiu Jitsu journey. 

In the following video we will show the 3 core bridging movements. Beginning with a simple hip elevation, then moving into bridging with a step over, and bridging with a step under. 

The main purpose of these three options is to improve your ability to escape from underneath your opponent. This month’s focus is on understanding the correct technique and then drilling correctly. 

Being stuck on the bottom is challenging enough. We don’t want to make it worse by wasting energy on improper movement. Understanding the proper body mechanic, its practical application, and proper timing makes being on the bottom much less overwhelming. 

While it’s not a magic pill that suddenly makes all your escaping problems disappear, It will certainly increase your chances for success.