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Control, Dominate, and Finish from Top Side Control with Lachlan Giles

Control, Dominate, and Finish from Top Side Control with Lachlan Giles


Getting a solid finish from side control has a great deal to do with the position and posture the bottom player chooses to take.

Part of the bottom players goal will be to put frames in place. The frame allows them to create space and begin attempting to escape. With the creation of solid structure and sound framing, it can be difficult to work toward a finish. As the dominant player, it is the job of the top person to begin removing these frames or attacking them to find finishes or improve position.

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The arm nearest to us, in particular, can really cause quite a bit of trouble. It may be blocking our hips, our bicep, or preventing us from settling in. As we begin our conquest of the top side control position, it is important to track the actions of this near arm and adjust our plans accordingly when we begin attacking. Having a good sense of how to deal with this arm will make or break your efforts to advance here.

Let’s take a look at some methods of dealing with this near side arm, so that we can begin attacking efficiently from top side control. Lachlan Giles has some tips for us on this exact subject. Have a look at this video and see if you can pick up some details to make your side top side control a little more dangerous.

Dealing with the Frame:

In the first example, the frame is placed in the hip. Giles advisees us not to stay on our knees if this is the case, as it may be easier for our opponent to create space and begin recomposing the guard. To combat the frame, Giles switches his hips, blocking his partner’s bottom knee and taking a bit of steam out of the frame in the hip.

From here, Giles slides his body forward, high into the armpit of his partner. As he drives forward, he’s careful to make sure his top hip bone passes the line of his partner’s elbow. This will keep his partner from reacquiring the frame as Giles turns back to his knees. As Giles squares back up, he sucks his partner in tight to his body, keeping his shoulders from moving and preventing the frame from being replaced.

In the second scenario, Giles again makes a hip switch, but this time he begins to walk his partner’s hips away. By staying on his feet and walking in a circular motion backwards, Giles causes his partners hips to tilt and begin to move out of his path. If his partner chooses to stay with the frame, the arm becomes extended. This gives Giles a longer lever to work with and he can simply pluck the hand from his hip and continue as he did in the first scenario. Giles can also pommel for an under hook here and begin to expose the back if he chooses.

If Giles’ partner decides not to pursue the frame in the hip and instead keeps the elbow tight to the floor, Giles will lift his hip and pin the arm tight to his partner body. From this juncture he begins to reach over the top of his partners head in the fashion of a North south choke, and again switches his hips back in the other direction. He reaches the arm as deep as possible under the head and plants it under his partner’s near shoulder.


  • Triangle

Using the first method of clearing the frame, Giles sits through and turns back to the top, squaring up and landing in a traditional style side control with a cross face and a far under hook secured. Here, he decides to begin taking the mount. He first positions his knee on the belly, but is partner chooses to block the knee from traveling to the other side of his body. As his partner touches his knee, Giles secure the hand and pins it to his partner’s body. Here, he sits back on his hips a bit to give his leg as much mobility as possible and swings his leg over the top to being attacking a triangle.

As his leg clears his partners body, he leans to the opposite side and shoots the leg deep under his partners head. At this point Giles can begin pursuing a triangle finish.

  • Back Take

If Giles chooses to hunt for an under hook instead of squaring back up, he can create some back exposure. As this occurs, he places his knee as a wedge behind his partners back and secures his partner’s front side elbow, so that he’s not able to resist the back take. Giles then drives forward aggressively with his hips to make his partner turn and place his hand on the mat. This opens up an opportunity to secure a seatbelt grip and a chance to acquire the back.

  • North South Choke

Using the third method of frame removal, Giles pins his partner’s frame tight against his own body. AS he turns his hips over and hunts for that deep penetration of the arm under his partner’s head, he looks to force his partner to look away with his ribcage. Giles then connects his hands, and through a series of incremental movement slides downward. His shoulder starts near his partners sternum and as he adjusts to move down toward the neck, he makes sure to continuously close the gap with his ribcage so that his partner can’t turn into him and dismantle the submission attempt. Through these small movements and adjustments, Giles eventually commands the tap.

I picked up a ton of incredible details here. Giles has a way of uncovering those simple things we tend to forget or pass up I our training. Just the methods of dealing with the frames alone are pure gold and could lead you to multiple favorable scenarios. Amazing stuff here!

Are you ready to take your No Gi game to another level?  With Lachlan Giles' High Percentage No Gi Chokes, you will do just that.  You can get this amazing instructional here at BJJ Fanatics!




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