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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a black belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©Can Sönmez

06 November 2019

06/11/2019 - Teaching | Side Control | Hip to Hip

Teaching #912
Artemis BJJ (Easton Road), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 06/11/2019

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.

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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: As ever, mainly about the drilling. But there are still things to emphasise: maximum weight through minimum area, in this case the hip bone and your chest. Also, stay low, keep on your toes/side of your feet. Use your head for both grip and balance (forehead), don't lean too far towards the legs.

I could potentially talk about moving to north south and scarf hold etc here, which I did briefly (i.e., be ready to switch to different positions if you feel you're losing it), but that's not the main goal on this. Primary objective is to get students to think carefully about weight distribution.

Also, I use the secondary control of elbows quite a lot these days, especially combined with my favoured N/S transition. Would that fit in this lesson? As I am already talking about moving around, might be good to squeeze in. :D

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