Biomechanics: Positional

Kinesiology of the Upa

The upa or the bridging mount escape is a crucial jiu jitsu movement that often gets ignored. Being mounted against a skilled opponent can be terrifying, especially when strikes are involved. When in bad positions often people will resort to ineffective / energy inefficient movements to attempt to escape. The intention for all jiu jitsu techniques is minimal effort for maximum effect.

The goal of the upa is to explosively thrust your hips up to unbalance your opponent. The movement needs to be powerful enough to unbalance them while also taking steps to prevent them from rebalancing (posting with foot or arm). Nothing is more demoralizing than repetitively attempting inadequate escapes.

Key points for the UPA
1. Ankle and hip range of motion: by plantarflexing the ankle and extending the hips you can ensure the opponent moves enough to be off balanced. Less movement = less unbalancing.
2. Keep your opponent directly under your hips for maximum hip thrust explosive force. If they move their knees to a high mount the hip thrust will have considerable less effect.
3. Tilt the head for the proper angle. When people explode to the side the force becomes significantly weaker.
4. Trap the foot / arm: This prevents the opponent from either stepping or posting to avoid losing position.

When the upa is performed correctly it should be effortless. Once the movement is mastered additional elements, such as strikes can be added.

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