You're probably using them and you didn't even know.
The lowest to the mat and used when you are between a rock and a hard place, or your opponent and the mat.
The shoulder level hip escape is thought of as the "common" hip escape and most likely the one you immediately thought of before clicking on this blog.
This guy is used most when you're in the bad positions.
You're being crushed say, in bottom side control or bottom mount because your opponent has you flat, shoulders to the mat.
You have the shoulder as the pivot point to swivel your hips in league with your top foot and create as much distance as possible.
This hip escape is the bread and butter of your early BJJ game well into your black belt.
Use it wisely and often.
2. The Elbow Escape
The elbow escape is used in some key sweeps and escapes especially when you get used to paying the overhook vs underhook game.
If you've been swept from half guard or even close guard, there's a high chance your opponent was up on one elbow.
The function of being higher than the shoulder is that there is more rotational torque, hence why this position helps with sweeping.
To gain some leverage to scramble or sweep from half guard, it is a general rule that you either elevate higher than your opponent's hips or control underneath them to upset their balance.
3. The Post Escape
If you watch a really high-level competition and wonder why they're going at it like maniacs over grips and no ones getting ahead in terms of position, I'd wager the guy on the bottom is using a proactive hip escape or the "post-escape".
Higher than the shoulder and elbow escape is the post-escape that uses your whole extended arm to create the possibility of an even higher swivel point to swing the bottom leg under.
This is the more proactive hip escape for your BJJ escape game as you start escaping before you're trying to undo a problem.
This is the definition of defensive urgency as you're preventing, rather than curing the bad position you've found yourself in.
This is a big boy hip escape!
Like the elbow escape, the extra space allows for the ability to generate more torque and is the foundation for the undeniably powerful hip heist/bump escape from the guard.
Remember the three levels of hip escape and most importantly when you should use them!
Keep your elbows close, stay in the roll and #WriteYourOwnHistory.
Jake Anderson is a Bachelor of Sport Development and Mixed Martial Arts commentator with over 18 years of combined training in various Martial Arts and tertiary education in health & sport. His blogs on the foundations of health and martial arts are dedicated to the communication and education of leading a holistically fulfilling life.