Artemis BJJ, (PHNX Fitness Studios), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 14/10/2014
Yesterday, I went through the orthodox method of holding side control, something I see as the basic, 'safe' method for beginners that will give them some control. Today, I wanted to emphasise mobility in side control as well as focused pressure, again drawing on John Palmer's excellent 'control point theory' that I talked about yesterday. Although it can be tempting to just seize up in side control, you have to keep moving. Otherwise, you aren't reacting to your opponent and they're eventually going to escape. The old "it's better to bend than to break" cliche comes to mind.
That transitional, mobile element to side control can be seen in Saulo's hip-to-hip side control, which he shows on Jiu Jitsu Revolution. He keeps his hip stuck right by theirs throughout. The only time he lets off the pressure is if he gets something better, like strong control on the far arm. As they move, turn and put your other hip to theirs, following them around with your legs sprawled back. Your elbow is across, blocking their other hip: however, be careful of pinching that in too forcefully, as that may help them initiate an escape where they roll you over the top.
Your weight should constantly be on them, because of that sprawl: don't touch the floor with your legs or knees. You can also reverse, which Saulo's brother Xande discusses in detail on his DVD set. Turn your hips in the other direction, so that you're now facing their legs. Control their far arm, also making sure to block their near hip to prevent their movement in that direction. As you turn, it's worth blocking their legs with your arms, as well as clamping your head to their hip.
Teaching Notes: I have a bit longer to play with at our Kingswood location, so I sort of taught one and a half techniques, running briefly through the orthodox side control I taught yesterday. My intention was to flow through the lessons, starting with a warm-up including lots of side control mobility drills, then some work on orthodox side control, a bit of progressive resistance, followed by some longer discussion of hip-to-hip side control.
I then moved into specific sparring from side control, but without using the arms: I especially like using that sparring drill for this hip-to-hip control, as I think it emphasises that hip connection. To finish, some more side control specific sparring (with the arms back in), then free sparring starting from side control. Hopefully helps ingrain some of those concepts. :)
We also found the time to get our ninja on, which is always good. Or at least, we tried to: not entirely successful... ;p