Artemis BJJ (Bristol Sports Centre), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 20/10/2014
Last week, 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 added some takedown drills tonight, building off the double-leg trip Roy Dean teaches. I think that works well as a low-impact, easy to understand takedown. I've got a couple more in mind, then once those are embedded into class, I can start considering combinations. That's a while off though: also, I'll probably end up limiting takedowns to the Kingswood location, as those lessons are longer. Showing the takedown tonight took a good while, so next time I'll just put in some of the drills rather than going through the whole takedown.