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Effective Framing Options From Bottom Side Control With John Danaher
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Effective Framing Options From Bottom Side Control With John Danaher

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Good technique from side control is imperative. With a few good adjustments from the person on top, your defense can be totally shut down, giving them the freedom to attack however they want. The most useful tools you have on the bottom in this position are your arms and they need to be used correctly to both help you get back to a guard and to prevent your opponent from attacking.


You learn very early on in Jiu Jitsu the importance of framing with your arms. However, there is definitely a wrong way to do it. It is not as simple as getting your arms in front of your opponent and pushing them off of you. It is much more strategic then one may think, and it is important to remember that the top opponent has the advantage of gravity on their side.


Submissions such as the arm bar, kimura, and americana and extremely popular choice from the top position in side control. These are pulled off when the top opponent is able to gain full control of one of your arms, so this is obviously what you want to try and avoid. Proper placement of frames will help you defend against submissions such as these, and start to create and maintain space to start getting your guard back.


In this video, John Danaher demonstrates three of the most effective options for creating frames from bottom side control, and utilizing them for a multitude of different options. Check it out below!


The Technique

The primary focus of these techniques is going to be the outside arm. The inside arm should be placed with the elbow wedged tightly into the crook of your partner's hip. Play around with the placement here and you will notice if your arm is too high your opponent could start to walk your arm up towards your head, and if it is too low it's not as strong and your opponent can smash it to the mat and trap it.


The first technique using the outside arm that professor Danaher covers is using it as a frame across your partner's neck. This would be a reverse cross face, and it should be deep enough for you to grab your partner’s shoulder/tricep area with your hand. Be sure that your hand does not get buried in front of his shoulder, as there are a few wrist lock submissions available to him from here.

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Additionally, if your hand is too far down he is able to smash down and crunch it up against your body, essentially rendering it useless. When you get that arm all the way through to grip on the shoulder, it offers you maximum strength and gives you the ability to move your partner's head with your forearm.


Another option is to bring that outside arm under your opponent's chest and have it become an underhook. An underhook from anywhere is typically a good option as it offers a ton of control. When you get the underhook from side control, drive it up through your opponent's armpit while you shuck him and start to move your position down. This effectively drives his head and body upward as you are moving downward, creating space for you to begin to turn into him and perhaps get up into turtle or get to a guard.


The last option Danaher covers is the bicep frame. For this method the outside arm is going to go straight over the top of your opponents back. Some people try a sort of headlock from here and start to grip over the top of their opponents head. Make sure you don’t do this, it's not benefiting you at all. Rather, keeping that arm directly over your opponents back gives you better control of their head. You can start sliding your arm back so your bicep is pressed against their temple, and then utilize a similar motion as you would with the underhook to move your opponent's head. Doing this simultaneously with a bridge and a hip escape serves as a great option for creating a bunch of space to get your guard back.


In Danahers opinion, the first option with the frame against your opponent's neck is arguably the best option. It offers great manipulation of your partner's body, and serves as an extremely strong frame to maintain good space between you and your partner. Along with many other techniques in this instructional, John Danaher also goes into depth explaining the positioning of the inside frame from side control.


About John Danaher

If you are at all involved in the Jiu Jitsu world, you know that Professor Danaher does not need an introduction; however he is going to get one anyways. As the leader of the notorious “Danaher Death Squad” he is the professor to some of the best grapplers on the planet including Gordon Ryan, Gary Tonnon, Nick Rodriguez, and many others. His competitors hold numerous world titles in all the major organizations such as ADCC, IBJJF, Eddie Bravo Invitational, and others.


Danahers martial arts career began in the early 1990’s at the Renzo Gracie Academy. He then became a full time instructor at the school, helping teach some of the best in the world. John Danaher has devoted his life to teaching Jiu Jitsu, and has played a key role in the development of technique including his own leg lock and lower body attack systems. 


About John Danaher’s Instructional 

In John Danahers New Wave Jiu Jitsu series, he focuses primarily on new philosophies of positional escapes. Included you will find techniques such as solving the problems of pins, the ankle trap escape, escaping seat belt, body triangle preliminaries, and so much more.

John Danaher is by far one of the most influential names in the world of Jiu Jitsu. From his mentorship of top athletes to the development of new techniques, his understanding of the art runs deeper than one could imagine. Absolutely everyone can benefit from his instructionals, so don’t waste another minute and check out his instructional here!

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