Our first key to holding side control is head control. If you can control the head, you can control the rest of the body. Most people think of side control with head control as a cross face with the shoulder. That’s not always the case. Sometimes we bring the arm over and get more of a diagonal position. So, I’ll use the side of my ribs to force my partner to look the other way. For him to regain guard he has to be able to turn into me. Whether I use my shoulder or the side of my body either way I keep him pinned and limit his mobility on the bottom.
Key #2 is blocking the hips. For him to get his guard back he has to be able to move his hips back up underneath me. I could use my arm to block the hip or my knee to block the hip.
Key #3 is to keep your partner pinned flat on the mat. If my partner starts to turn into me, whether he has an arm over my back, under hook or whether he has a frame. The fact that he’s sideways, he’s already starting to gain a positional advantage. And he’s going to start to recover his guard. Or at the very minimum get up to his knees. Which means that I’m going to lose side control. So, my goal is to always keep chest to chest connection and keep him pinned. Whether I’m perpendicular or at a slight 45 I’ve got to keep him pinned the whole time.
Key #4 if he does start to get sideways it’s going to be difficult to get him to go flat again. The option is going to be to spin to the other side and regain that side control position. Sometimes, you just have to spin to the other side.
So remember to keep these keys in mind the next time you’re in side control.
Key #1: Head Control, Key #2: Block Hips, Key #3: Keep Partner Flat, Key #4: Spin to the Other Side – Check out our video for more explanation.
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