Side Mount Leg Placement
Disclaimer: I've been out of training for a while, and I am no expert on grappling to begin with. This has mostly been inspired by thinking too much and reading books/watching videos on the grappling.
I know there are just about unlimited variations on every position, but I'd like to talk about where your legs are when you have the side mount on someone. There seem to be three major schools of thought on this one. I know there is also the twister side mount, the Bas Rutten style side mount as well as a whole crapload of variations of scarf hold, but let's try to stick to these for now.
The way I learned it (also what I believe to be the most common way to hold the side) is to put your leg side knee against their hip to prevent turning in and your head side knee under their shoulder to increase discomfort and to trap that arm.
Another way I've seen (primarily advocated from catch guys from what I can tell) is to have both legs out straight behind you almost as if you've just sprawled, but remaining on the balls of your feet. This is in order to create a lot of discomfort by keeping your weight off the ground, and putting it directly on top of your opponent. To prevent turning in to get the guard you must "hip cut" or stop the turn in by putting your hip into the ground, almost transitioning to a scarf hold or modified scarf.
The compromise between two is to press your leg side knee against their hip, while leaving your head side leg back on your toes. This makes it so you don't have to hip cut on every attempt to turn in, but also allows you to put some extra pressure on your opponent.
I've played around with all three, and understand that none are static positions, but I'd like to hear which you like and why. What advantages and disadvantages does each position offer? Does it makes a difference if doing gi or no gi, striking allowed, different rule sets, etc..?
1.) You should be careful with your terminology, as sidemount can also be used to reference a position other than crosside/side control (that position being perfect mount and its myriad names).
2.) I have no overall preference. Which "version" of the standard crosside positions I'm using depends on two things: what my opponent is doing and what I am trying to accomplish. I'll throw out an example or two for each of the positions you named:
A.) Both legs sprawled - I use this almost exclusively as a transitory position. If I sprawl my legs out, chances are I'm either walking to north-south or my opponent has managed to face me and I'm now walking around to his other side to get behind him.
B.) Knee in hip, far leg sprawled - Holding/resting position. My opponent is squirmy and I want to tire him out a little. I might also be baiting my opponent to grab at my leg or try to reach under me so I can trap his arm and/or work for a submission. If I've got my opponent's arms pinned, sometimes I'll use this position to take mount via the breadancing method.
C.) Both knees tight - Here is where I generally am going to try for bread and butter side control submissions (keylock, kimura, etc). I also use it to take mount. I can use B or C to take knee on belly. It kind of depends on the opponent.
Edit: These are just some general examples. The point is that all the variations of side control have their uses.
Last edited by Cassius; 3/11/2006 11:41am at .
Usually, right after passing I go to a standard side control position (one knee up, one leg back, head and arm control), then I transition to twister side control (facing the legs) and take mount. I have no attacks at all from side control so I don't spend a ton of time there.
Depending on how the other guy reacts, you will need to take different actions to keep control and base. Balance is in motion.
If he allows me to, (sidecontrol on his right side) I like to bring my left knee knee far in under him so that his head is resting on it and his right arm is trapped between my arm and hip. From there I work to get good grips and then for a better position or a submission.
It depends on whether I want to control the guy or whether I want to finish him. In general, I want my knees in to finish, and my legs out to put weight on him and control him.
I prefer to have a switched base side control facing his feet. It allows me to put weight on my opponent, attack his arms and set up my favourite chokes and armlocks.
I will sometimes switch forward and have my hip against my opponent. When I do this I make sure I'm driving sideways with my legs and through my hips. This keeps my opponent's hips flat on the ground and stop him escaping into me.
I tried both variations (both knees pressed against their side and both knees splayed out) and found that it largely depends on your/your-parnter's body dimensions and both of your skill levels. When I side-mount larger people who have thicker torso, I prefer to jam both knees onto them because if I splay out, they automatically have more space to re-pull guard...
I've found the "best of both worlds" sort of compromise you mentioned...and it works for most people: I take the hip-side leg and press that knee against their both...but I do it a little differently, I'll try to put my shin parallell to their entire side, with my knee pointing towards their feet...that way it keeps it nice/tight and they have a MUCH harder time shrimping to create space and pull guard...then I keep my head-side leg splayed out and kinda on its toes to elevate my body just enough to "steam roll" them and create downward pressure (much like the catch wrestlers recommend)...
I've found this works best for MY BODY...so take it for what it is...I'm relatively knew to BJJ (been training since May 05) so I by no means know much about it yet...I've just found what kinda works for my style of fighting and my own strengths...
Best of luck
Me too, if I am going to spend any amount of time in side mount this is the position I keep. For me side mount is the least static position in that I'm either transitioning to mount, north south, or a submission attempt so position may cycle thorugh the three you have listed depending on what my opponent is doing. Although, I try to stay away from the both knees up position because I'm tall (6'3") and my base tends to be unstable if I'm up on both knees in this position.
Originally Posted by Raynor
I do the wrestling style side control against bigger or stronger guys, not as easy for me to sub since I haven't been using it for as long but I can keep the position longer. If someone's the same size as me then I do the BJJ side control.
I play side control in one of three ways -
all of the following assuming that I am positioned so their head is on my left, feet on my right.
"scarf" side control - underhooking their left arm with my right arm, sitting on my right hip, facing their head, pushing slightly to drive my weight into them. Excellent to completely shut down their shrimping back to guard and set up keylocks and side chokes.
"center" side control - left leg straight and on the toes, knee off the ground, right leg on the knee pressed to their hip. This is my "Base" side control, good for the whole armlock series as well as taking mount.
"twister" side control - left elbow against the left side of their hips, left knee against the right side of their hips, sitting on left hip, facing their feet, pushing slightly to drive my weight into them. Good response to my opponent getting an underhook, also good to take mount or the back, or set up kimuras.
I never get on both knees for side control; it takes your weight off of him, and I don't feel it offers any significant advantages over "center" side control.