Sidemount- Control vs. Pressure


Orange Belt
Oct 29, 2005
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Watching a lot of MMA matches, I see guys with their knees tucked in close to their opponent once they've gained side control. It seems like you can keep good control and set up a G&P that way.

In BJJ class yesterday however, someone told me to go up on my toes and maintain a chest to chest contact instead though. Obviously this puts more pressure on the bottom guy.

From my amateur perspective it seems like a control (top man with knees in close to bottom guy to control his movements better vs. pressure (top man putting his weight on the bottom guy.

Am I completely off on how I'm perceiving this though and which is 'better'?
Last night at my pankration class I was told to keep my knees in tight to their side and vice down with my elbows on the other side.

I guess its just a matter of opinion?
Good tips for the sprawl on your toes position can be found in Cecchine's catch instructionals. Make sure you keep your hips as low to the ground as possible. You can work to the Kesa, or Scarf Hold pretty quickly from there.
KOU, I think the sprawled out version has better control AND pressure. The knees close gives you more attack options as your legs are much closer to the opponents body.
The knees close gives you a headstart when going for knee on belly, full mount or even trying a sub like the armbar.
The pin(legs sprawled out) basiclly keeps the man down and almost immobile as long as you have a good pin going.

The advantages?
Well depends on the application.
If your buddy gets drunk and a little wild a pin is just fine since youre probably not gonna arm bar him...
If you just passed a mans guard in a sub grappling comp with 5 seconds left and just took the lead a pin is very handy.
If you are down on points in sub grappling and need a sub to win, a pin does you no good.

so they both are handy just depends on what you need at that moment.
more pressure tires out the opponent... and when he tries to get you off by "crimping" i think it's called in english or bridging he tires out or gives up an arm etc, which will be be to YOUR advantage.
Technically, both ways are correct, it just depends what position you're in (or rather your opponent is) when trying to use them.

When you're in the scarf hold and have just passed, you typically want your knees to be off the ground. Usually when you see fighters (the ones who know what they're doing anyways) go to their knees, they're doing it after they've setup the position.

For example, the proper position for the man on bottom is to have his elbows tucked in tight. If you can lift his elbows out, you can use your knees underneath his armpit to prevent him from regaining his position. This gives the man on top more submission and mounting options.

Just watch when Nogueira mounted Cro Cop in their fight and you'll understand.
Against bigger guys I like going on my toes because Im more mobile. I can change going from sidemount to N/S easily in case he shifts his weight.