This week on GB Learning we have some tips for you to have a better Side Control.

There are more submission attacks from side control than any other top position in the jiu-jitsu positional hierarchy. Most jiu-jitsu students will also tell you that they feel more stable and confident working from side mount than from full mount or knee on belly.

Once we have done the hard work of passing an opponents guard and obtaining side mount, there are some important factors to understand about a strong side control.

Submissions / Finalização partindo da Imobilização Lateral

Here are 3 ways to make your control better:

1) Understand there is more than just 1 side control position

Most jiu-jitsu students think of the cross face – underhook variation of side control as the only way to hold side control. Make no mistake, it is a great control position from which to attack, but it is not the only variation that you should use.

The video above shows the instructor switching between scarf hold, normal side control. As the opponent creates frames from the bottom and looks to replace guard or escape another way, the guy on top must switch the variation of side control to stay one step ahead.

Side control is not a static position where we clamp on and squeeze as tightly as possible. Look at side mount as a dynamic position instead.

2) Make your opponent carry your bodyweight

If you have ever experienced the pressure of a lighter opponent who knows how to use their bodyweight effectively and feels like they are twice as heavy as their actual weight, you will realize the important of using your bodyweight in side mount.

Not only does applying pressure in this way make it much harder for your opponent to move, it also causes rapid fatigue and excess energy expenditure in attempting to escape. Also, people make mistakes when they feel heavy pressure and take risks that open up submission opportunities.

It is a common error to see jiu-jitsu students with all of their weight on their knees and elbows – which means their weight is transferred into the ground and not their opponent.

When you are in side control, always pay attention to if you are in fact making your opponent carry your weight or is your weight wasted on the mat?

3) Use the lapels to attack!

Finding an opening against a tightly defending opponent is not easy. The more experienced your opponent, the less likely they are to commit a basic mistake and give up an easy submission.

Utilizing your or your opponents lapels is a creative way to attack when your opponent is keeping their elbows in tight and protecting their collars.

The “Brabo Choke” and variations of the Baseball Bat Choke or Paper Cutter Choke are powerful attacks you can look for from the side. We see lapel attacks used very often at the black.belt level of competition. They work!

What is YOUR favorite technique from side control?