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Grind Them With Will Grundhauser's Side Control Principles
Side control is one of the most dominating positions in jiu jitsu. Once you finally get past the opponent or training partner's legs, side control can appear like an oasis in the distance. It is common to get to the coveted side control position and let our guard down and not hold the opponent down where we need them to effectively advance or attack. If we're not careful, the opponent can escape or recover their own guard and put us back to square one.
There is an important dichotomy that must be understood in side control. It is a position based on strong control and pressure, but if this pressure is static and doesn't create tension at the proper points, they will be able to escape or defend our submissions too easily.
Will "Grinder" Grundhauser is a BJJ black belt, competitor, and the first American affiliate of 5 time world champion Bernardo Faria. The principles and techniques he has developed from side control makes him feel like he is much larger than he is. It's easy to see why Will Grundhauser is a student of Bernardo Faria as his game brings an incredible amount of pressure. The beauty of Grundhauser's pressure is that it is coming from an average sized grappler. Holding someone in side control can take a lot of effort and energy. By adding these simple tweaks to what you are already doing, you will no doubt be able to hold down your opponents with less work and by not expending as much energy, you will be more likely to catch them in a submission.
Let's look at some fundamental principles of side control that Will Grundhauser shares in his new series Side Control Destruction Gi and No Gi available from BJJ Fanatics in easy to watch On Demand and DVD formats.
Standard Side Control is Not Going to Grind Them
The first time you're taught side control, you are probably exposed to some concepts that are important and effective, but probably not as effective as they could be. Will Grundhauser is going to take your side control to the next level. One of the first things he stresses is that classic flat side control is not going to keep them on the ground. Even though you have the head side arm under their neck establishing cross face, the pressure isn't what it could be. Even though you have your hip level arm securing the under hook, is it as powerful and controlling as it could be? And finally, with your knees against their hip and torso, they are feeling some pressure but with your butt back there is still space that your opponent could capitalize on.
The first thing Grundhauser recommends is gripping under their arm and pulling them up allowing you to bring your knees tight against their back, which keeps them from being completely flat and drastically limits their mobility. From there he will make the necessary connection with his hands once his knees have the opponent propped up off the mats.
The Grinding Under Hook
Once the knees are firmly and tighty set in place behind the back, keeping the opponent slightly elevated and twisted, the next step is to secure a super tight under hook that comes from the same arm that is securing the cross face. By reaching far into the armpit to tighten the cross face more and more, Will Grundhauser is able to maximize the crushing pressure of his shoulder onto their jaw, further diminishing the ability to move and possibly escape.
The Ridge Control
Once the knees and the deep cross face that works also as a reverse under hook is secured, Grundhauser will utilize a tight ridge hand style grip on the opponent's far side arm. It will be the tight control this grip gives and the interplay of his head positioning that will guide them towards different submission funnels. By keeping the ridge hand tight and the head extended, the opponent will feel immense control and could potentially tap from the straight, extended arm. Relax the head positioning a bit and the opponent's natural reaction will be to try to bring their arm in front of the head to create space, which will set them up for Americanas and Kimuras for instance, amongst other things.
In the final image below, we see a different angle of the side control principles, where Grundhauser has established his knees tight underneath the back of his opponent. Notice too, that he has begun to adjust his body's angle slightly towards a north/south style position to further allow him to safely increase the pressure on the opponent's face with his shoulder and keep that tight armpit and ridge hand control of the far side arm.
By making these simple adjustments to how you secure side control, you will have your opponent's nearly tapping simply from your control. Pull them in and secure the knees under and behind their back to keep them up off the mats and immobile. Secure a strong cross face that reaches to the far arm pit that will allow you to put incredible pressure onto their face with your shoulder. By using the active ridge hand control on their far arm, you will be able to set up extremely powerful Americanas, Kimuras, Head and Arm chokes and more from this extremely stable position.
You can get all of these techniques directly from the source by getting Will Grundhauser's Side Control Destruction today from BJJ Fanatics! In the first video, Will focuses on Gi strategies and in the second, he will share his approach to side control in No Gi scenarios. This set will give you everything you need to control your opponents more efficiently and also add a ton of new submission tools to your side control toolbox and BJJ game.