How To Work Your Way Out Of Side Control Into A Dominant Position

 Side control can be one of the most beneficial positions in all of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu if you know how to properly execute from here.  Often times I see grapplers stall out and are unable to work from this position, unsure of what their next move should be.

Luckily, today I’m going to take a closer look at the knee ride setup from Stephen Whittier.

Whittier explains what seems to be a complicated setup, at first, but ultimately can be used by any level of grappler, and will be sure to make you a force on the mat, not to mention it’s also a pretty cool looking setup.

Properly Leveraging Your Body Weight As A Weapon

As we look to execute this setup, we must understand that our best and most efficient tool from here is our own body weight.

·       As we start out, we must make sure that our knee is to their hip, and firmly in place.

·       With all your weight on that knee, make sure your other leg is sprawled back, as you remain on the ball of that foot.  Make sure that the only thing touching the ground is your knee.

·       From here, start to turn your weight into your opponent by pushing into them.

·       Next, grab their Gi on the far side, and try to feed it to your top hand, which should be placed just around their shoulder.

·       This next step can make or break your attempt at gaining the dominant position!

·       Turn their head up and away from their body by driving your upper arm into it.  Meanwhile, grab their Gi pants firmly and don’t let go.

·       As you turn them away, pop up and quickly place your knee on their stomach.

Timing Is Everything!

For this specific setup, you must be ready to strike at a moment’s notice.  For the knee ride, it should be the same exact way, in terms of how you approach it.

The setup for this technique can be fragile in ways, and can very easily be made useless if you aren’t careful.  One thing we must assume going into this is that at a certain point, our opponent will be aware of what we are trying to do, so they will try and bring their knee to their elbow.

Upon doing so, we must be able to work around this quickly and efficiently.  This is why we must put the right amount of weight onto them as we are driving their head up and away from the mat, towards their hips.

Failing to do so will allow them to stuff our attempt at getting our knee on their belly, which is our ultimate goal.  Don’t lose focus and make sure that you pay attention to all of the little details!

If you do, then there is no doubt in my mind that this will become a staple to your grappling game.

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Dan Faggella

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