Side Control BJJ: Things You May Not Know

side control

The side control (BJJ side mount) is one of the foremost dominant Brazilian jiu-jitsu positions. Thus, it offers many submission opportunities and game transitions to other dominant positions, such as the north-south, mount, and knee-on-belly. Therefore, an experienced fighter knows that the side control jiu-jitsu can give them smooth submissions, including the BJJ armbar, kimura, Americana, chokes, triangles, etc.

Often, the newest practitioners misunderstand the side control position, especially regarding points and competition use. Moreover, the presence of several side mount variations could sometimes be more confusing for beginner BJJ grappling people.

Source: Atos Jiu-Jitsu HQ | World’s Best BJJ Academy – Home Page

As an edge, the side mount may be a fundamental pillar of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu basics. Therefore, the sooner you understand all the associated side control variations, the earlier you’ll put them to good use.

However, it could be a bad position (maybe the worst) for many BJJ martial artists who find themselves at the rock bottom side mount position. This means that the bottom players could find several issues getting out of side control BJJ, especially if the person on the top is an experienced one.

As a result, the side mount can often be mistaken, and it is difficult to maintain many Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners.

How do BJJ folks view the side control position?

bjj side mount

All Jiu-Jitsu folks perceive the side control position differently as they progress through BJJ martial arts. In the beginning, they see it as the next cool position after passing the opponent guard, where they could apply massive pressure, get points, and prohibit the opponent from processing an escape.

However, the students find that there are many cool things to do from the side control other than the 100 kg pressure. Therefore, they start to become dynamic players with good management of submissions, transitions, timing, and weight.

We will discuss in this article the elemental aspects of the side control position. We will also reveal the most wanted BJJ side control submissions, transitions, escapes, and variations. Sure, you will fall in love with the side mount at the end of this article, and regain trust to play it again.

BJJ Side Control Basics and Fundamentals

Source: Chewjitsu

What is the side control BJJ? Side control is one of the best BJJ positions to be in, especially if you have a dynamic attacking game from the top. Furthermore, it is essentially a cross-body position, which allows the practitioner to control the opponent’s upper body.

What to do from side control BJJ? Side control offers many jiu-jitsu attack opportunities that involve both joint locks and chokes. Indeed, the side mount is also the fertile position to use the jiu-jitsu basic moves, techniques, and fundamentals just like the mount or the back control.

but first, you have to learn, how to keep the side control in jiu-jitsu? keeping and maintaining the side control position begin with learning the basics and fundamentals of this dominant position. Here is what you need to build a tough Brazilian jiu-jitsu side control. 

  • Control The Opponent’s Neck Or/And Hips.

Reverse Kesa Gatame Side Control

Controlling the opponent’s upper body through pressure and mechanical leverage is one of the main purposes at the side control position. Therefore, the student has to control the opponent’s neck or/and hips by installing the correct grips.

You may need to regulate your body to be at a 90-degree angle within your opponent for more pressure and stability. And, you should maintain the side mount position for more than six seconds without giving any chance to your opponent to escape this position.

Maintaining the side mount position might be a very difficult task like all Brazilian jiu-jitsu positions. Because most jiu-jitsu fighters will explosively prevent being at the bottom side control to prevent an easy kimura, armbar, or other side control BJJ attacks. 

  • Maintain good weight distribution and pressure

side control

Any Brazilian jiu-jitsu student could not play the side control position without a good weight distribution and pressure.

However, staying active while playing the top side mount will give the BJJ students more leverage to prevent your opponent from processing some escapes from the side control.

Moreover, the student could transit between a number of the foremost common side control variations.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Side Control Variations

cross face BJJ

  1. Traditional “Classic” Side Control

Classic side control is usually referred to as the wrestler’s side mount position. Moreover, in this BJJ side control variation, a student would like to pass the opponent’s guard then frame his/her from moving or escaping the position.

Therefore, you have to control the opponent’s neck and hips; indeed, it is possible to use the chest-chest contact for more control, especially against heavy opponents.

Furthermore, the cross-face may be an awesome weapon to get what you want at the top classic side control in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In addition, don’t neglect the shoulder, hands, and face work to block the opponent’s movements and put him in an uncomfortable situation. 

  1. 100 Kg Side Mount BJJ Position


The 100 kg side control is one of the famous side-mount variations for many practitioners, especially heavy BJJ fighters. The main fighter’s purpose in playing this position is to put massive pressure on his opponent. However, the 100 kg side mount position allows the opponent to escape, because of the lack of compactness.

As the classic Side mount position, in the 100 kg position, the practitioner starts from the same starting position, and then he should the opponent’s upper body for example using cross-face.

Although, there are some differences between these two side control variations such as leg positioning. Thus, you would like both your legs sprawled behind you when you are at the 100 kg side control.

Other important things to do perfectly on the 100 kg side mount you have to concentrate carefully on where you put your chest (at the middle of the opponent’s torso may be good); also, you need to manage your weight for maximum pressure.

  1. Kesa Gatame Side Control Variation in Jiu Jitsu.

Kesa Gatame Side Control

Kesa Gatame may be a good transition in between side control variations. Furthermore, Kesa Gatame is among the basic mats held in Judo martial arts.

Otherwise, it is an awesome side mount position that can disturb the opponent’s mood due to the great hold and control produced. Furthermore, the Jiu-Jitsu Kesa Gatame techniques are among the basics are head control, trapping the near pistol, and leg positioning.

At this BJJ side mount variation, you would like to get on your hip/butt, legs spladled pointing towards the opponent’s head, and keep your head low near your opponent’s head.

However, the downside of this variation is that your opponent may find ways to take your back if you stay for long at it.

  1. Reverse Kesa Gatame Side Control Variation.

Reverse Kesa Gatame Side Control

Reverse Kesa Gatame may be a far more practical position for the BJJ side control position. It’s just the equivalent of Kesa Gatame, but you’ll be facing the opponent’s legs.

Otherwise, the Reverse Kesa Gatame is additionally called twister side control and it is a great position for hunting several attacks in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Nevertheless, in this position you’ll obstruct the opponent’s view, thus he can’t predict your sneaky making grappling submissions moves.

  1. Twister Side Control Position 

Source: Eddie Bravo

Twister side control may be a reverse Kesa Gatame variation in jiu-jitsu grappling martial arts. Therefore, it’s an excellent way to isolate the opponent’s head and shoulders, and a niche of several powerful jiu-jitsu side control attacks.

Otherwise, the side control twister offers to the practitioner a great possibility to regulate the hips using his/her legs and making it so effective.

Moreover, the twister body positioning exposes many transitions including the mount, back take, and truck position. In addition, it offers a variety of sneaky submissions such as armlocks, arm-triangle choke, kneebar, D’arce choke …

BJJ Side Control Submissions

Side Control Submissions

Side control is a niche of a plethora of sneaky Gi / No-Gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu submissions including joint locks, chokes, etc. Here is a list of some awesome side control BJJ attacks. Have fun!

  1. Darce choke from side control

Darce choke is one of the most popular head and arm choke variations in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Furthermore, the D’Arce choke is a tough submission that can be applied from the side control positions, half guard, mount …

Here’s an awesome instructional video on how to do the D’Arce choke from side control.

Source: The Grappling Academy

  1. Americana jiu jitsu side control.

The americana is another tough Brazilian jiu-jitsu attack that you can get from the side control positions. Learn more about the Americana from the side mount in the video below, have fun!

Source: Howcast

  1. Jiu Jitsu Kimura from side control

kimura lock from side control

BJJ Kimura may be the sneakiest submission from side control. Learn more about the Jiu-Jitsu Kimura Lock from the side mount in the video below.

Source: Howcast

  1. Straight Armbar From the Side Mount

Straight Armbar From Side Mount

Straight Armbar from side control may be the hottest submission in BJJ martial arts. Have fun learning awesome tricks about the straight armbar from the side control in the instructional video below.

Source: Roger Gracie TV

  1. BJJ Side Control Paper Cutter Choke

Paper cutter choke is among the tough choke submissions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu that can be applied from the side control position. Learn more about paper cutter choke from the side mount in the instructional video below and have fun!

Source: MMA Leech

  1. Jiu Jitsu Side Control Near-Side Armbar

The Near-Side armbar is among sneaky BJJ side control attacks, because more likely at the starting position your opponent will be expecting a spinning arm lock (or juji gatame), but you’re just stepping up and finishing the near-side arm moves.

Learn how to do a near-side armbar from side control in this instructional video and have fun!

Source: Steve-O Solo

  1. Baseball Bat Choke From Side Control

Baseball bat choke is one of the sneakiest submissions from the side control position. Besides, once you get this choke it’s really difficult to get out.

Moreover, the key point to do a savage baseball bat choke is by maintaining pressure using your shoulder onto your opponent’s face to prevent him from facing you and bridging out, which may be a way to escape side-control.

In this video, learn how to do a baseball bat choke from side control, have fun!

Source: Sidewinder Jiu Jitsu

 Jiu Jitsu Side Control Escape

Jiu Jitsu Side Control Escape

The side control is often a hard position to be stuck in, despite being an inferior position in Brazilian jiu-jitsu martial arts. Therefore, the BJJ side mount will become harder if you’re positioned underneath a heavier and stronger opponent.

Thus, escaping the side control will be difficult if the opponent has already controlled your head and arm.

How to escape side control? It is important to know the basics of escaping side control techniques that will help you to deal with tough control and heavy pressure in this position.

Discover in this instructional video John Danaher’s BJJ side control escape.

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

Discover in this instructional video Marcelo Garcia’s side control jiu jitsu escape.

Source: Marcelo Garcia Jiu-Jitsu


The BJJ Side control is among the foremost common positions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. There is no well beyond side control variation during a roll, whether you are on the receiving side or giving an end to it.

Otherwise, Side Control has always been among the foremost powerful and dangerous positions in jiu-jitsu grappling martial art.

It is extremely hard escaping the Side Control when it’s performed correctly, and therefore the position makes possible a mess of attacks, which will easily overwhelm any opponent.

Unfortunately, too many students only see it as a stalling position — their goal is merely to carry their opponent down long enough to attain points, and that they hope that they will eventually transition from the Side Control to the Mount or Back Control.

Speak your mind; what is your favorite BJJ side control variation or submission?