How to Escape the Mount – Basic Escapes from the Underneath Position

It’s my contention that wrestling can be taught on all levels by stressing a few basic movements from various positions. From there, a beginner can build his repertoire, and with work and experience become a polished wrestler and learn to escape the mount with predetermined know how.

Taking into consideration individual differences, I stress basic movements which fit the majority of the group. To illustrate the point, here are four basic movements used in escaping from the underneath position.

how to escape the mount


(a) Grasp opponent’s wrist with outside hand.

(b) Bring outside knee to inside knee.

(c) Bring top inside foot to opponent’s inside thigh.

(d) Rotate opponent over back, hanging onto wrist.

(e) Drill the man with your inside shoulder.

(f) Get at right angles.

(g) Shift the hips toward opponent’s feet. This will cause the left foot to be where the right was and vice versa.

(h) Make your turn at right angles, dropping your inside arm between you and your opponent. This is where you finally release the wrist.

HELPFUL HINTS: (1) Push into opponent and crowd him—the less daylight the better. (2) Keep the outside shoulder high and drop to the elbow rather than the shoulder—you get more pull. (3) Rotate the body rather than pull. (4) Stay in a ball and bring nose to inside knee.

Counters: (1) Step over planting leg toward your head. (2) Re-roll, squeezing inside knee of opponent with both of your knees, help regain knee position by staying parallel and pulling with arm around waist. (3) Keep weight back. (4) Elbow push and toe hook behind knee, stay parallel.


(a) Place outside foot 6” forward and 6” to the side.

(b) Slide out directly in line with top man hitting inside hip like a baseball slide.

(c) Make the slide on your elbow and inside hip.

(d) Bring trailing knee into your stomach and continue turn.

(e) Pull away—throw pivot arm up to block opponent from coming around.

HELPFUL HINTS: (1) Sit out directly in front of top man—a straight line from the bottom man to direction of sit out. (2) Release the knuckles around the waist before sitting out—daylight is needed. (3) Bull your neck as you complete your sit out. (4) Bringing trailing knee into the stomach allows weight to be shifted to lower part of body a split second sooner—thus freeing your arms for attacking or countering.

Counters: (1) Short way, check the pivot arm above and behind the elbow so opponent can’t pull it back. (2) Reach for the rear end—place chest on his back—spin and allow him to carry you around with his turn, fall off toward his feet staying on your knees. (3) Don’t go over the inside arm. (4) Long way, when opponent has done a good sit out and is facing you, you can go opposite way.


(a) Push down from hands raising knees about 3 inches, allowing inside leg to pivot outward.

(b) Shift inside leg away from opponent landing on outside hip on mat at approximately where outside knee was.

(c) Cup the outside hand and reach for own hip pocket.

(d) Slip cupped hand inside opponent’s near thigh.

(e) Straighten arm and body and crawl away on heels at right angles breaking opponent’s shoulders to mat.

(f) With other hand grab near end and jam opponent forward as you complete reversal.

HELPFUL HINTS: (1) Knock the opponent’s arm off your elbow before starting swtich. (2) Emphasize top man’s shoulder to mat instead of pivoting. (3) Leverage must be gotten from opponent’s thigh only.

Counters: (1) Straighten inside leg that is being hooked. (2) Pull arm so it’s hooked below elbow—step over with both legs and end up at right angles. (3) Shoulder crowd—lower inside shoulder end and crowd with inside hip, hit near arm inward. (4) Pull arm that is being switched. (5) Re-switch.


Outside Leg:

(a) Release knuckles around waist with outside hand.

(b) Plant outside foot at previous spot of outside hand.

(c) Push back against resistance, standing firmly on both feet.

Inside Leg:

(a) Move outside knee inward (center of body).

(b) Release knuckles around waist with outside hand.

(c) Plant inside foot at previous spot of inside hand.

(d) Push back against resistance, standing firmly on both feet.

HELPFUL HINTS: (1) Resistance must be released around waist before an attempt to stand up is made. (2) Pushing back must be made directly against resistance, not to the right or left, otherwise balance is lost. (3) Bend at waist and knees when attempting to stand. (4) Force inside arm inward, turn arm around opponent’s thumb. (5) Keep feet apart.

Counters: (1) Start of stand up: Trip opponent’s inside leg with outside leg forward, keep a deep waist and force inward, hack inside arm inward, make first move when your hip hits the mat. (2) Half stand up: Drop down and pick up opponent’s nearest ankle with both hands, pick up high and go through leg pick-up series trip. (3) Three-quarter stand up: Hook opponent’s inside leg from behind with your inside leg, slide arm to opponent’s small of back, keep head in front position of opponent, cup opponent’s far inside thigh, plant outside leg in front of opponent, force opponent toward his back using side of head and outside leg as leverage.

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