Details… There’s simply never enough of them! Each and every little tidbit can help you improve your game by a substantial margin; and this is equally true for escapes, submissions and positions alike. Therefore, let’s take a small stride away from the usual focus on how to improve a certain submission (which, we get it, is everyone’s favorite thing) – and place our attention at how to improve a really important position… The Side Control!
Roberto „Cyborg“ Abreu shows some incredible, game changing details. Let’s get to them.
DON’T JUST „LAY“ THERE – TIRE YOUR OPPONENTS OUT!
Perhaps the most vital piece of perspective that Cyborg imparts – the one you should definitely take on, as it will give you an ability to build other details upon it – is that the Side Control shouldn’t be viewed as a merely static position. Sure, once you pass the guard and get to it, it’s a whole lot less dynamic than guard passing is… But you shouldn’t just lay there and „hold position“.
And nope, this doesn’t mean only that you’ll be on the lookout for submissions. That’s a given and it’s common sense, to always be searching for the possible ways of tapping your opponents out.
What Cyborg means by this is that, actually, you’re supposed to tire your opponents out while holding them underneath your Side Control! You need to be actively looking for ways and adjustments that will make them spend more energy than you do; so that when they attempt to escape and retain guard, even if they do somehow manage to do that… They’ll have spent so much energy that you’ll have a way easier time dealing with whatever may come your way.
So, the bottom line of this piece of Cyborg’s advice is: Side Control isn’t colloquially called „100 kilos“ for nothing. You need to be heavy on your opponent, making them wish you’d transfer into another position – heck, even Mount would be a better alternative!
THE DETAILS ARE IN THE HIPS – NOT IN THE CHEST
A lot of Jiujiteiros make a mistake of thinking that Side Control primarily denounces controlling your opponent by being heavy on their chest. And while doing that will tire the opponents out, it won’t control their movement. Instead, you’ll control them by immobilizing their hips.
To do that, Cyborg advises to make sure that you’re gripping the opponent’s pants at their far-side hip, pinching your elbow close to their buttocks. Your hip should be glued to their near-side hip; but your knee should be high up there as well, glued to the opponent’s lower body.
Your other hand will grab the collar behind the opponent’s neck, with a thumb facing in; while your other leg will stay straightened out.
Cyborg emphasizes that you should always stay on your toes while in Side Control, especially with the straightened-out leg. This will make it easier for you to follow the opponent when they start moving.
WINDSHIELD WIPE AND FACE PUSH TO SAFETY
Now, when they start squirming around, your opponent may try to turn their hips into you. If they somehow create space, you’ll need to stop this; to do so, Cyborg demonstrates that you’ll simply turn your hips towards the opponent’s head, as well as your leg; and then you will simply windshield wipe the leg back in, pushing their own hips and leg to the starting point.
Additionally, if they keep turning into you, you can just twist the arm you have your collar grip in and push; this will keep them at bay.
Watch Cyborg explain these fine details on the video down below: