Having Trouble Escaping Side Mount? Then Keep On Reading!
In every sport, there is always one specific area or scenario in which many of the less experienced competitors have problems dealing with. Some may have issues shooting free throws in basketball, or perhaps embracing contact from a vicious line backer in football. In BJJ, one very common issue I see amongst my students and grapplers in general is having issues dealing with side mount and side control. You can check out the video below where Roy Dean describes it best:
Escape From Side Mount
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has so many moves, submissions, sweeps and transitions that there is plenty to have problems with, but this seems to be the most common, especially for young grapplers. Being stuck here can cause some issues; how can I get them off of me? How can I prevent a pass? Where do I put my arms? There are so many variables that come into play.
Luckily, as a diehard fan of the sport, I love to analyze and pick apart the science of Jiu Jitsu and all that comes with it. Today, I will analyze the escape techniques that any belt level can utilize when looking to escape from side control. Enjoy these precious last moments, because when you’re done reading this, side control problems will be a thing of the past
The Basic Side Mount Escape
There are so many ways to go about this, but we’ll take our time and really dig into a handful of them.
First, we’ll focus on a common technique even white belts can use. So often—especially in MMA—we see people hugging their opponents to prevent them from posturing up. They correlate it this way because in MMA they can throw strikes while in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, that is clearly not the case.
Rather than hugging them, we want to take our top hand and place it on their shoulder. While doing so, turn out forearm into the throat of our opponent and push up. This will cause them to slightly rise up off of you. Once they do, bring your feet up and bridge upwards. Once your hips create some space, shrimp off to the side slightly.
From here, bring your shin in and reapply guard. Just like that, your opponent has lost their dominant control over you and is at the whim of your closed guard.
Performing The Spinout Escape
Every situation should call for multiple types of escapes. If you become a master at one, that’s fantastic, however, your opponent will key on this and adjust so that they can defend this escape so they don’t end up in the lesser position. This is why you should learn as much as you can no matter what.
In this specific escape, we’ll look at the spinout variation. This is another quick hitter that doesn’t call for a lot of steps; however, it calls for speed and accuracy.
As our opponent settles into side control, you want to create as much space as possible near their hips. Bring your knee up and push their elbow away, creating space near their hip. From here, you want to apply a deep underhook with your left hand.
Once you grab hold, push off of them and spin outwards, going under them. You should spin out and end up facing them, ready to pull guard.
The risk factor is evident in this escape technique. For a brief moment, you are fully exposing yourself to your opponent, and not just that, but you are spinning under them. At any given moment they can react and take your back. Which is clearly what you don’t want.
Escaping Right Into A Reversal
Escapes are fantastic to have in your arsenal. However, they can become even more effective once you are able to turn them into reversals. In this case, we’ll look at how we can do just that and make our opponent have to go from an offensive mind frame to a defensive mind frame.
As they are in our side mount, what we want to do is create space with our hand by pushing on their neck, like we did in our first escape. Once we get a little bit of real estate, we will then circle our hand and apply an underhook.
Once we do, we then want to rotate our hips to the mat, and then slide up to our knees. Keeping our underhook applied, we can now reach over and grab our opponents knee and drive forward, sending them to the mat.
From here, an easy pass right into side mount should be rather accessible for us to obtain. This type of setup is a fantastic way to take our opponents by surprise and gain the upper hand.
Never Getting Comfortable
By now, I’m sure most of you out there have been grappling for quite some time. It’s no surprise that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu isn’t a “wait and see” type of sport. Many people will allow their opponent to work and work and work, waiting for their chance to slap on a submission or score a sweep. However, in a day where points rein king, stalling is very common.
The last place you want to “wait and see” what your opponent will do is in bottom side mount. From here, you opponent can do some serious work, and will take full advantage of you giving them time to work and execute their moves.
Which is why having proper, effective escape techniques is a must. Side control isn’t a death sentence, but it sure is a pain when you can’t get out. These three escapes I touched on are pretty basic yet effective, and should be learned by any and all grapplers our there.
Hopefully you picked something up for the next time you’re on the mat!
Written by Dan Faggella
Make sure you have a few escapes in your toolbox and especially when it comes to getting out from under the side mount. In our opinion, escapes are one of the BIGGEST areas of frustration for most grapplers, especially against bigger, stronger opponents.
So if you do want to add more escapes to your growing arsenal, check this out. You can get 3 escapes DVD for $1 and that includes a tonne of side mount escaping techniques.
Get the Side Escapes Blueprint DVD, also the Half Guard Escapes DVD and the Sneaky Side Control Escapes DVD all for $1. That’s 3 DVDs for $1.
You see Dan Faggella is a writer for this website (BJJ Today) and he so confident that you’ll love the content that he is willing to let you have all 3 DVDs at next to nothing so you can test his stuff out. And if you then want to continue with his courses after 30 days, there is a membership fee (e.g. you will have to start paying). But even if you don’t continue, you still get to keep the 3 DVDs for just $1.
So head over to 3 x DVD for $1 Package