The side mount is one of the most useful positions in Jiu Jitsu. From this position, the person on top has great control, numerous submission options, as well as numerous transitions to other positions. The versatility and various attacks possible from side mount make it more dangerous than the full mount in my opinion. Without a basic understanding of the side mount for control, offense on top and defense on the bottom, you will be unable to make significant progress in Jiu Jitsu. Below we will explore some of the basics that everyone should know.
Side Mount- Top
Passing your opponents guard will, more often than not land you in the side mount and for this reason, it is one of the most common positions in Jiu Jitsu. Once you get there you will want to establish an underhook on your opponents far arm and your inside arm should be wrapped around the neck with tight pressure from your shoulder pressing into the opponents jaw/neck. You will want to have a wide low base on your knees tight to the opponents hip. There are several variations on this position, but this is the most basic to start with. I cannot stress enough the importance of the underhook. The difference in control and attack options the underhook from side mount will give you compared to your opponent underhooking you can be the deciding factor on who will end up submitting in the match. Once you have cleared the legs and established your underhook, you have the ability to put more of your weight onto your opponent from side mount than pretty much any other position. I believe you should never use your energy to support your weight when you have the ability to make your opponent carry it for you. This serves several needs. You can tire your opponent while simultaneously conserving your own energy. Sapping your opponents energy will lead him to make mistakes and expose himself to be finished as he begins to wear down. Once you learn how to properly distribute your weight you can even make your opponent give up from your pressure. Common submissions from the side mount are the Americana, Kimura, and Straight Armbar and it also offers many opportunities to transition to other dominant positions.
- Always get the underhook
- Make your opponent carry your weight
- Most common submissions are the americana, armbar, and kimura
Side Mount- Bottom
As great as it is to reach the side mount on top of an opponent, it is equally dangerous to be caught on the bottom of the side mount against a skilled opponent. It is not advisable to try and wrap your arms around your opponent to hold him close nor is it wise to try to bench press your opponent off of you. Your first move should be to shrink your arms in and get your elbows in front of your body placing your outside arm across your opponents neck with your inside arm braced underneath his hips ideally with your arms framed slightly outside 90 degrees. You also to do not want to be flat on your back, but rather on your side as much as possible turning into your opponent. This position allows for a much easier escape than getting stuck flat on your back. Remember how I stressed the importance of the underhook while on top in side mount? The same goes for when you are on bottom. Getting to the underhook will allow you to avoid many of your opponents attacks, pressure, and make for a quick escape. When you find yourself on the bottom of the side mount, your focus should be on escape only. Do not hunt for submissions, but look to shrimp back to guard, or reverse the position and get on top. Submitting an opponent who has you in side mount is not an impossibility, but as a beginner your focus should be defense and escape.
- Very dangerous position
- Never be flat on your back
- Always look for the underhook
- Look to reclaim guard or reverse position and get on top