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Adult Program

5 Tips to Supercharge you Side Mount Game by Rob W. Gramer

If you want to open up a world of side mount control submissions and pin guys with ease, then check this out.

When I first started jiu jitsu I spent a lot of time on top. Why? Because I’m a big/strong/fast guy and almost everyone else was smaller…or…didn’t have enough experience to handle my body type (I started with a bunch of blue belts).

This was great at first, but as time went on I started noticing guys would pull guard or roll to their knees – effectively neutralizing my side mount game.

So, I moseyed over to the local wrestling team (I was at Florida State University at the time) and asked their guys for some pointers. Here’s what I learned.

Side Mount Tip #1: The Pin

A classic wrestling pin is the head and arm. You simply underhook the arm that is farthest away from your body…and…slide your other arm behind his neck. Then you clasp your hands and hold.

A key point of this pin is to drive your shoulder into your opponents chin and make him look away from you.

This prevents him from looking into you and getting to his knees. And since you have an underhook, he cannot roll the other way.

Now this works great for wrestlers. But because you have to worry about your opponent pulling guard in jiu jitsu, you have to do some small slight modifications. And that brings us to…

Side Mount Tip #2: The Hips

A lot of new guys will lift their hips to help drive their shoulder into the opponents chin. This is a big no-no. Why? Because your hips are way off the ground. This gives your opponent tons of space to pull guard.

To block against your opponent pulling guard, you must flatten your hips against the ground. This removes space and makes it difficult for him to slide a leg under you. But there is a certain way to do this once you’ve pulled the head and arm pin.

Side Mount Tip #3: Cockroach Feelers

Ok, so you’ve secured a head and arm pin…and…you’ve flattened your hips against the ground, but you’re still getting pulled back into guard. What’s going wrong?

Well, you’re not using your cockroach feelers.

Let me explain. Have you ever seen a cockroach before? They are a disgusting little insect that scurries around in dark places. In these low light conditions they can’t use their eyes. Instead, they’ve grown long antennaes in front of their heads to “feel” what’s going on.

Just like a cockroach, you have feelers too. In this side mount situation, your feeler is your knee.

After pulling the head and arm pin…and…flattening your hips to the ground, you must place your knee against his hip. As long as this knee is always against his hip you can “feel” how he moves and prevent him from pulling guard again.

Ok, that’s it for the head and arm side mount. Let’s move on to the next basic side mount pin…

Side Mount Tip #4: Pizza Spatula

My first black belt instructor was an Brazilian ex-special forces badass named Ricardo Texiera. He taught me this following move.

If you can’t get the head and arm pin, there is another highly effective side mount pin. In this case you reach your arm over his head and overhook the arm that is on the other side of you.

Then, you put your other arm between your hip and his hip. Here’s why it’s called a pizza spatula. Just like a spatula, you place your hand palm down on the mat and wedge it right under his hip.

This acts just like the cockroach feeler and allows you to move around while still “feeling” his hip.

Side Mount Tip #5: How Control his Free Arm

In each one of these situations you are completely controlling one of his arm (either with an overhook or an underhook).

However, he still has a free arm…and this is where his escapes will come from.

So, how do we control this arm?

I use a little trick called the knee rake. And it works for either one of these pins. Here’s how you do it:

1. After you’ve secured the pin bring the knee that is closest to his head up and place it against his rips.
2. After you feel his ribs with your knee, rake the knee up towards his armpit…always keeping contact with his body.
3. When you get to his armpit, dig your knee underneath him and trap his arm between your thigh and ribs.

If you’ve done this properly you should have complete control of his upper body with a full lock on both of his arms.

These two moves will make it a huge pain in the ass for anyone to pull guard on you. Plus, they’ll open up numerous side mount submissions for you. Try them out and watch your top game go through the roof.

Refer a Friend and Spin the Prize Wheel at Tai Kai

We have a new promotion at Tai Kai Jiu Jitsu. It has the ability to pay you for referring friends to the school and train for free for ever. Here is how it works. You can refer friends to the school or see Jackie at the front desk and she can give you some free pass cards that you put your name on it to give to people. If anyone comes in and says they referred you or with one of your cards and signs up, you get to spin the prize wheel for a prize. There are prizes ranging from private lessons to $100 Cash, to Free Tai Kai sweat shirts

Every time a friend signs up you get a credit. Here are the bonus prizes


5 Credits= A free year at Tai Kai
10 Credits= $1,000 Cash
15 Credits= A lifetime Membership to Tai Kai

So help us grow the school and get paid and train for free

October 23rd Belt Ceremony News- FREE Jiu Jitsu Matrix Seminar

On Saturday, October 23rd at 11:30 AM we are having our belt ceremony. Candidates were announced earlier. There has been a slight change. It is still starting at 11:30 AM. but for the First hour and half, there will be a BJJ seminar from Phil Migliarese, Owner of Balance Studios. These seminars usually cost at least $75 per head. I want to give something back to all of the students who have made Tai Kai Jiu Jitsu such a great facility(and one big family), so Tai Kai is taking care of the bill. So not only do you get to be there for the ceremony, but you get a free seminar from Relson Gracie Black Belt, Phil Migliarese. All Belt Candidates are required to attend the seminar. This is a gift to all of the students, and I just wanted to say thanks for making Tai Kai such a great place.

Thursday 9/2/2010 Techniques

I want to start listing techniques as we do them in class. I meant to take a video of these but forgot so next time.

All the techniques were from our opponent in the turtle position

1) We did a turnover to get side control on our opponent
2) We did a spinning collar choke from the turtle
3) We did a rolling armbar from the turtle

I plan on listing future class techniques but next time with video

Alec Kearns-Grapplers Quest Quick Submissions

Check out these two videos. Alec Kearns is a Blue Belt at Tai Kai and is an assistant instructor in the kid’s class. Alex came up through the kids program and is now in the adult program. He inspires me to train because he is always ready to roll and give it his best at 16 years old.