Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 14/09/2016
Today, I wanted to emphasise mobility in side control as well as focused pressure, again drawing on John Palmer's excellent 'control point theory'. 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. Also, don't rest your elbow on the mat. Putting the elbow on the mat takes your weight off them, pinch it into their far hip instead.
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.
My favourite way to practice this is using the 'no hands' maintenance drill, explained in the video:
Teaching Notes: Again, nothing to change in this lesson, I'm happy with how it works. Also cool to see people getting creative with what to do in this position, though I think I could do more to emphasise the importance of working on your weight distribution on top. The no arms drill is best for that. When the person on the bottom can use arms and the person on top can't, it's really hard, but is it as useful? I should gather up more feedback on that, as it needs to be helping people improve their use of weight and pressure on top. I tweaked my neck slightly on that one, as my partner tried grabbing my head to go with a submission (possibly?), so that's something I need to be careful of too. :)