Pressure is the name of the game in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. If you can utilize it more than others can, and if you can do it in an efficient way… You’re well on your way to making your training partners’ and your opponents’ lives miserable.
One position where you can use a lot of pressure is the Side Control. So, here’s how you can double – or maybe even triple – your pressure from there by improving your Crossface!
RETHINK WHAT YOU’VE BEEN THOUGHT
The value of the details you’re going to learn isn’t just in the improvement of your Crossface pressure. Instead, you should also think about these details as a wonderful opportunity for rethinking the stuff you’ve been taught so far.
It’s a great chance for you to realize that there are better ways to do the techniques that you were already taught!
In other words: you should always think about how to improve your performance on the mats. Even if you’ve been training for twenty years and you think that you’ve aced a given technique or a setup, trust us – there are things that you can do to make it even better.
BJJ is all about the work towards unattainable perfection. You will never reach it – but you can try to get as close to it as possible.
FORGET ABOUT PULLING THEM TOWARDS YOU
With your learning mindset in place, it’s now time to learn how to enhance your Crossface pressure… And punish your training partners from Side Control!
The way that the Crossface setup is usually taught is through pulling your training partner, by grabbing his Gi from underneath and tugging it towards yourself. Now, even though this does put a lot of Crossface pressure on them, it’s not the best way to do it; partly because your muscles will easily burn out.
For that reason, forget about pulling your training partner towards yourself. There’s a more energy-efficient, pressure enhancing approach to it.
THE CROSSFACE OF DOOM
To set up your Crossface properly, you should first grab the training partner’s Gi as deep as possible – on their shoulder blade. Get a firm grip, with your balance in place. Don’t start pushing into them with your bodyweight. This is a mistake which is often made by beginners and higher belts alike. Not only is this a suboptimal way to place pressure, but you’ll also lose your balance – making it really easy for your partner to escape.
Also, don’t drive your shoulder into them just yet.
In fact, when you have the grip in place, you should turn your elbow up! Yes, that’s right; point your elbow as high as possible, to almost a north-south position.
What this will do is that it will close the gap between your training partner’s head and your shoulder, without you sacrificing the balance of your position. Go ahead, visualize and try it without a partner… With such a simple move, you’re already in ripe position to apply some damage!
And damage you will apply. With your grip high and sturdy, and with your elbow turned as upwards as possible, now is the time to utilize that Crossface pressure.
Stay on your tippy-toes and drive into the training partner. Do it slowly as you train and get used to it… As it’s going to create a lot of (unexpected) pressure – and you don’t want to make enemies in your academy, right?
You can also use this sort of a pressure to pass the opponent’s Half Guard. Watch the video below to learn how, as well as get more details on doing it from Side Control:
Attack Top Position With Systematic Strategy and Technique From 10-Time World Champion and Grappling Legend Roger Gracie’s Master Class On Side Control Dominance.
- Learn the side control techniques that Roger Gracie used in competition, packed with details from one of the world’s most knowledgeable grapplers.
- Roger Gracie is one of the most respected and successful black belt competitors of all time, and dominated elite grapplers with precision technique.