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Basics of Mount Control

Basics of Mount Control

Know The Basics! 

One of the first techniques many grapplers learn when starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the Americana shoulder lock from mount. New grapplers are often surprised when they try the Americana or even a cross choke, they get thrown off their opponent with relative ease. This is frustrating because the mount is such a dominant position and it makes no sense that someone can just do that.

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Maintaining the mount position is as much of a battle as getting submissions from mount. Just because you are sitting on someone’s torso doesn’t mean they can’t easily escape or roll you off. There is proper technique in maintaining the position and without that, you will find that you have a relatively weak mount game.


There are numerous points to mention about the technicality of maintaining the mount and I will try to highlight the main ones. The first element of having a strong mount is that the attacker must keep their legs on the inside or under the defender’s elbows. If the defender manages to trap their elbows on the inside of the mounter’s thighs, the hip escape becomes very easy. This small detail can significantly improve how well you stay in mount.


The next point that will help tremendously is that the top player must keep their chest as close to the defender’s head as possible, even if that means laying on the head. In fact, laying on the head allows for a level of control that is frustrating for the defender because without the ability to move their head, the defender has no choice but to make bad movements. In the following video, Marco Barbosa goes over this simple detail.


The last tip that I have for you is that the legs and feet must remain active the entire time you are mounting someone. We often get so distracted trying to attack and set up submissions that we forget to keep our legs alive.

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First, the thighs must remain pinched and squeezing tightly against the defender’s rib cage. The feet should also always be fighting to maintain a dominant position whether they are on the defender’s side or pushing against their hips.


These are three basic details that have helped me improve my mount control tremendously. In teaching other students, I find that these three are probably the most important and should be incorporated as early as possible into one’s mount game for long-term success.

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