Escaping Side Control Against Bigger Stronger Opponent

One of the things about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is being little isn’t easy. Yes the system is designed around a weaker opponent beating a stronger, but there’s times it’s hard to see that, such as being trapped in the bottom of side control. Personally I struggled with this when I was first diving into BJJ and I would like to share with you my secrets to escaping bottom side control against a bigger and stronger opponent

Getting a Grappling Hook

Recently I made a trip out to Oklahoma to teach a seminar on beating bigger and stronger opponents. You can learn about the seminar in this article from Science of Skill! One of the techniques they requested to see was escaping bottom side control. You can check out the technique below:

So what can we learn from the video? There are some key concepts we need to ensure our escape is swift and safe. One thing I cannot stress enough is how important using proper technique is against bigger and stronger opponents. The odds are stacked against you if you try to out muscle them.

Firstly we see that in order for me to escape, I have to be on my side. If I’m squished down on my back the technique won’t work. Conceptually that works for almost every escape and sweep against bigger opponents especially in bottom half guard, mount, and side control.

Next I get my underhook and grab at the far hip.  It is extremely important that we lead with our elbow when attaining the underhook and not our hand as the elbow may not fit through if we go hand first which will lead to us being smashed back down.

Once we get the underhook we slide to the back as if we were going on a trolley under a car. It is important we don’t take our time with this; we need to explode out of there to avoid being suffocated. While heading back we knee our opponent in the tail bone to send them forward and capture their near leg under ours.

Getting the Finish

Odds are when we got our underhook our opponent countered with an overhook, if not happy birthday the back is yours. We are now in the position known as the dog fight. The dog fight is one of those gritty situations where you see tons of heart and muscular power being demonstrated.  

We want our shoulder to be higher than our opponent’s. In essence if our opponent is bullying us down with the whizzer, there’s not much we can do. To counter this try to make your hand touch their belly button.

Once we have the dominate angle there are tons of finishes we can go for. I personally like the limp arm so I can take the back which you can learn how to do in this article by Damage Control MMA. Today we will be covering a fundamental knee pick.

Start by stepping our free leg up and driving into our opponent. From here simply grab the far knee and drive. When our opponent falls we will pass to the back side and either settle into a side control, starting working to take the back, or work or submissions.

In conclusion it is important we keep these concepts in mind and drill our technique as not to muscle the technique

Keep slayin’ the giants

Dan Faggella

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