Side mount control


Orange Belt
Aug 28, 2005
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I am a noob to grappling but did muay thai for a couple years, and now am doing BJJ. One problem I run into is side control. I can't keep it very long against larger opponents (90% of the class), and when I get it I can't really do anything with it. I have no problems getting side control though. Any tips?? I usually try kimuras or side chokes from side mount and I never get em. Also, how do you control the opponents near arm, aside from pushing it up by his head with your hip...when i try this with stronger/larger guys, they get it under me and bench me off.

Sorry about all the questions in one post but I'm stoked to find this forum to help improve my ground game.
From their right side, get your right knee in their hip, left leg out straight at an angle form you. Put one arm under their head, your right arm under their left shoulder, and gable grip, then roll your shoulder into their face. Keep your hips low, and push into them by getting on your toes.

Once you can hold that position, worry less about getting a hold of something, and more about forcing that shoulder down, and your chest on theirs. Make them uncomfortable, and make THEM move, and then take your openings.

If they're bench pressing you, they're asking to be armbarred anyway. Appease them.
Position before submission. You need to learn the control before you try subs.

You have a few options:

BJJ Side Mount: Get a wide base with your knees and keep your butt down. Close the distance between your knees and their side.

Try switching to a Kesa, or scarf hold:


Similar to that, but you want to keep your head down.

Or you can do the Tony Cecchine style of side mount. Put your chest on thiers, sprawl your legs out and drive your hips as low as possible, while putting all of your weight on their chest,
The subs from side control pretty much suck unless you are bigger/stronger than your opponent. Just hold it, and go for mount/knee on belly.

As far as holding side control, I've had good luck recently with the approach recommended by Saulo Ribeiro. Three elements: One, block the hip with your own hip. Constant hip/hip contact. Two, get off the ground (similar to catch approach), but keep your hips low. Three, arm under your opponent's head -- if you get his head off the floor and grip his gi, he's really screwed.

So far this approach has been great for me ... if they try to move their hips away, you are driving right forward into them, so there's not much they can do to create space. If they try to turn into you, you control their head, so they can't. If they bump you up, who cares, just stay relaxed and pressing in on them, let them waste energy.
If you start to lose side control go North/South on big guys.

But the reason you lose side control usually is because you are carrying your own wieght on your elbows and knees while trying submissions. You create a nice little bridge with space they can use to get out. Stay flat and make them carry your weight.

This is no guarantee however. Because big guys can sometimes just power you over as they turn. Be mobile and fast enough to MOVE when you start to lose your position. Don't just freeze up and go over. Also, keep pressure on their face whenever possible and keep their head pinned to the ground. When you allow them to move their head around their body usually follows. And then consequently your body follows. Then you are on bottom. And it sucks.
All of the above are good advice but also you need to develop a "feel" for it. It's hard just reading what ppl wrote and doing it. The only way to get that feel is maybe having ur partner start off being sidemounted and practicing from there. Btw I recommend Roy Harris' Vo2 Dvd for this.
Thanks guys, I'm gonna try those out. I think I had my weight more on my knees so I could move quickly, and from there either got benched or put back in the guard. I do no gi, so I can't really grab a collar though
stabmasterarson said:
Thanks guys, I'm gonna try those out. I think I had my weight more on my knees so I could move quickly, and from there either got benched or put back in the guard. I do no gi, so I can't really grab a collar though
Sounds like you're giving him too much room, next time put most of you weight on the guys body. You'll still move quickly, but this time you can move without giving him space to counter.
And if he's bench, it also means he's giving you an arm; Take it!