Side Control Escapes: How to Get Out of This BJJ Position

BJJ side control escape techniques are among those fundamental moves that every practitioner should learn and execute properly. It requires a deep understanding of the fundamentals of jiu-jitsu and accurate timing, just like other escape techniques.

The side control position is among those dominant and critical positions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu martial arts art.

Therefore, many students who find themselves in the bottom position would suffer from processing a good escape. Although, the top players will find the doors open to several effective attacks to submit their opponents.

A beginner jiu-jitsu practitioner will find some difficulties in escaping side control while facing an experienced opponent.

So, you’re maybe wondering about how to perform an effective jiu jitsu side control escape!

How To Escape The Side Control In BJJ Martial Arts?

The BJJ side control has become more challenging if you are underneath a heavier and stronger jiu-jitsu opponent. Thus, escaping side control will be difficult if the opponent has already controlled your head and arm.

It is essential to understand the side control’s basics and the purpose of escaping the side control. Therefore, you will find ways to neglect the opponent’s side control hold and the heavy pressure during this position.

  • John Danaher BJJ Side Control Escape

In the following video, John Danaher teaches you in-depth the process of escaping the side control position.

 Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

  • Marcelo Garcia jiu jitsu Side Control Escape In Gi

Throughout the following video, Marcelo Garcia teaches you his best jiu-jitsu escapes from side control in the gi mode.

Source: Marcelo Garcia Jiu-Jitsu

  • Marcelo Garcia No-Gi Side Control Escape In BJJ

In the following video lesson, Marcelo Garcia demonstrates some of his most effective jiu-jitsu escapes from no-gi side control.

Source: Marcelo Garcia Jiu-Jitsu

  • Chewjitsu Escape From Side Control 

Chewjitsu demonstrates some of his most effective Brazilian jiu-jitsu escapes from side control in the following video.

Source: Chewjitsu

  • Pedro Sauer Side Control Escape

Pedro Sauer shows some of his most efficient Brazilian jiu-jitsu escapes from side control in the following video. By the way, Pedro Sauer is a legendary Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner. He holds an 8th-degree red and white belt in the sport (coral belt).

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

Wait! In the sections below, you’ll find several more pleasing escape techniques from the side control in BJJ grappling, as well as in-depth descriptions of each. Stay Tuned!

What Does The Side Control Stand For In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

The side control (also known as the side mount) is one of the most powerful positions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It provides a wealth of submission options and game transitions to other dominating positions in the fight.

As a result, a wise jiu-jitsu student can get smooth submissions from side control like the armbar, kimura, Americana, chokes, triangles, and other similar techniques. And, he can have some smooth transitions like to back take, to the mount, etc.

How To Prevent A Tough Side Control Control?

Learning the side control fundamentals will help you play this position the right way, either from top or bottom. Here is what you need to do to prevent your opponent from making strict control when you’re at the bottom side control position.

  • Never Let Your Opponent Control Your Neck And Hips.

A primary goal of the top side control player is to control the opponent’s upper body by applying pressure and mechanical leverage. In addition, this control aims to limit the bottom player’s movements and, of course, prevent him from escaping the side control.

So, the bottom side control player’s primary goal is to prevent the top player from setting up the cross face or grips to control his upper body. Indeed, he mustn’t let his opponent hold his hips a chance because this is crucial if he wishes to process an escape.

  • Disturb The Opponent’s Weight To Neglect Savage Pressure.

Without proper weight distribution and pressure, any Brazilian jiu-jitsu student would not successfully defend the side control position.

So, when playing from the top side mount, The fighter will manage his weight pressure to get more leverage to process his game.

So, the bottom player should remain active to disturb his opponent’s weight and prevent him from setting up techniques quickly. Otherwise, this tactic can help the bottom player to say far away from painful pressure. It will also be helpful to process an escape from the side control BJJ position.

What Are The Basic Jiu-Jitsu Side Control Variations

In the following video, Stephan Kesting teaches you a plethora of side control variants. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced BJJ practitioner, you’ll get a thorough understanding of the famous side mount variations, including the classic version, 100 kilos position, kesa gatame, etc.

Source: Stephan Kesting

How To Escape The Side Control Against A Larger Opponent?

In the following video, Fabio Gurgel demonstrates escaping the side control position against a larger opponent. By the way, Fabio Gurgel is a 4-time World Jiu-Jitsu Champion and 7th degree red and black belt.

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

What Do You Get After Escaping Side Control BJJ?

Getting out of the side control position will provide the bottom player with additional options, such as transitioning to other fantastic positions or attempting a submission.

If you manage to get out from the BJJ side control, many options are available to you.

  • Side Control Escape To Single Leg

The single leg may be a good option when escaping from side control since it will help you create space between you and your opponent. Here’s how to perform the single leg from the bottom side control position.

Source: BJJ Fanatics

  • Side Control Escape To Darce Choke

The Darce is also an excellent option if you manage well the side control escape. In the following video, Knight Jiu-Jitsu teaches you how to set up a darce choke submission while escaping the side control.

Source: Knight Jiu-Jitsu

  • Side Control Escape To Armbar

If you successfully escaped from the side control, the armbar is another excellent alternative to seek. Brandon Mullins demonstrates how to get an armbar submission immediately after getting out from the BJJ side control in the video below. Watch and learn!

Source: Stephan Kesting

  • Side Control Escape To Back Take

In the video below, Tom Scala teaches how to take the back position after escaping the side control in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Watch and learn!

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics


The Side Control has always been among the foremost powerful and dangerous positions in jiu-jitsu grappling. At first glance, it’s evident that the top side control player is the favorite to finish the fight. However, the bottom player has limited and poor choices unless he escapes this miserable position.

So, if you learn how to get out properly from the side control position, that’s great. The darce choke, back take, armbar, and other submissions and transitions will be available to you in this situation.

Otherwise, mastering effective escape methods will assist you in developing a powerful defensive and frame system from the bottom side control.

I hope that this lesson will be of use to you in building an efficient side control escape system.

Please let us know if there are any other details about the side control escapes that we may have missed. 

Alternately, What is your favorite side control escape?