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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.