These Are The Five Highest Percentage Side Control Escapes

These Are The Five Highest Percentage Side Control Escapes


Guest post by Evolve MMA, Asia’s premier championship brand for martial arts. It has the most number of World Champions on the planet. Named as the #1 ranked martial arts organization in Asia by CNN, Yahoo! Sports, FOX Sports, Evolve MMA is the top rated BJJ gym in Singapore.

There is always one situation that seems to give most of my students—and grappling buddies out there—fits.  Through years of training, studying and instructing, the one spot that I find many people have issues with is the dreaded side control.

Leaving you with a feeling of hopelessness, bottom side control is far from a desirable place to be in.  In this position your opponent can exert their dominance and dictate where and how the match will play out.  It’s vital to have a counter attack to this spot so you can get to safety. Normally I like to find match specific details.  Many escapes I look at are directly linked to either Gi or no Gi, and would be difficult to utilize in the opposite one.

Escaping From Under Side Control

We’ve all heard the expression “stuck between a rock and a hard place” I assume.  How about stuck between a rock and side control?  That’s very relatable for most of us out there reading this.

  • Taking your far hand, reach under your opponent and apply an underhook.
  • With your opposite arm, drive your elbow into the opponent’s hip.
  • This will slowly create some space.
  • Chances are very high that your opponent will feel this pressure and being to work their way towards your head.
  • As they do, maintain your underhook, which will be the most vital part of this approach.
  • Taking your outside leg, plant firmly on it.  As you push off of it, utilize the underhook to help you sneak out from under your opponent.

While this sequence depends greatly on your opponent presumably going towards your head, it is still effective in defending the advancement from side control.  This will be the stepping stone to helping you escape a dangerous situation for a far more desirable one.

Anticipating Your Opponents Reaction from Top Side Control

While it sounds fantastic and simple, chances are high that this escape won’t go off without some form of defense from our opponent.  As we go to escape from the position, they will likely become heavy and drive us to the mat.

To counter this, use our hunderhook to grab hold of their neck.  Applying a firm grip, we must not let them exert their dominance over us.  As they drive, we must make sure our legs and hips are free so we can bridge.

Once we do, this will allow us to float over and obtain the back of our opponent. Overall, the side control can be a scary place to be in if you aren’t careful.  While it’s easy to panic from here, if you have the proper escape techniques, you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

In this video, 2x Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt World Champion Teco Shinzato from the Evolve Fight Team shows 5 ways to escape from side control.