How To Improve Your Attacks From Top Mount In BJJ
The mount position is an effective position in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to dominate your opponent and give yourself many options for hitting a successful submission...
The thing about mount though is that if you do not know how to stabilizing yourself while on top it is likely very easy for the guy on bottom to bump you off, or at least break down your posture, making it difficult for you to attack. With a few key details you can greatly improve your ability to retain your position and start attacking submissions or transition to another position. The mount position is one of the best positions to secure a difficult opponent. It is considered to be one of the most feared positions to get caught in, and your training partner will likely to go great lengths to prevent being caught in it. Because of this, many mount takes are unsuccessful due to overly aggressive tactics that will not work and are easy to counter.
Fellow / former MMA fighter Dean Lister shares a lot of the same experiences as Chael Sonnen, and has developed a ruthless grappling game that works for MMA, BJJ and Self Defense. His attacks aren't orthodox, but they work at the highest level.
Taking The Mount Countering The Bridge by Chael Sonnen
Of course, how you get to the mount position is the first thing you must learn to do properly. How you get from your opponent’s guard to the mount position without getting reversed is a crucial component. Then, in the mount position it is very easy for the guy on bottom to start bumping you with his hips. If you have bad technique it is likely they are just going to continue to break you down and work towards reversing your position. In the video below, seasoned grappler and UFC veteran Chael Sonnen demonstrates how to take the mount from guard. Let’s check it out. Watch the video below and then we will break down the technique.
If there is one thing Chael emphasizes the most in this demonstration is movement. Chael from the moment you start to pass the guard you should always be looking to advance your way to mount. Chael posts on his training partner’s chest and stands to break the guard. From here he is able to get one knee flat on the mat. As soon as the knee touches the mat, Chael is looks to pin the opposite side arm of his training partner. Your training partner’s instinct will be to bridge. When he does step over and hook your leg. Good technique in mount is determinant on your ability to restrain your opponent from bridging with his hips. Keep your heels together and use your hips to pressure your training partner into the ground. You can make it impossible for him to move if you lift his head.
Mounting Using The Worm by Cesar Casamajo
Here is a unique approach to securing top mount from Cesar Casamajo. Cesar is a black belt from Brazil and he is only 25 years old with a very bright future ahead of him as a competitor. If you get too greedy and try to get to the mount position without first having proper control you are destined to lose your position and most likely end up in a very bad scramble to your disadvantage. Cesar Casamajo will show us how to correct this using the worm. Check out the video below and then we will break down the technique.
Cesar Casamajo starts off this technique as if he were playing butterfly guard and has swept his opponent using the traditional under hook and arm control. There are some details from side control that Cesar Casamajo gives us to help get into the mount position. The first detail is to always grab underneath your training partner’s head to control the arm. This works in both gi and no gi and lets use your shoulder to pressure your opponent’s head and chin at all times. The second detail Cesar Casamajo gives us is that this technique is made effective by using your hips. You want to use your hips to trap your opponent’s hips by placing them side by side. From here you can get your arm across your training partner’s waist and use your elbow to trap him from the other side. Stretch your left leg to add additional pressure. This will prevent your opponent from recovering into half guard or escaping his hips. Now you want to look for the under hook as you grab palm to palm under your training partner’s shoulder. This will trap his arm very tight and render it very ineffective for countering. From here you want to establish your knee on belly. This is a very slow and methodical approach that will work very well for you and add a high percentage of success to your game. Once you have established your knee on belly you can post with your leg to add further pressure. While you do this your shoulder should be pressuring into your training partner’s face.
Once you have established this dominant position you can post your hand to the mat to start lifting your training partner’s arm. You want to generate the lift close to your opponent’s shoulder as opposed to his elbow. This is a minor detail but a crucial one for getting this technique right. Now simply walk little by little your opponent’s arm up and around his head. Remember, it is okay to be slow and methodical with this. You are in a relatively safe position having taken away both your opponent’s arms to defend and controlling his hips. If you do this too fast it will just make it easy for your opponent to reset his arm and you will waste a ton of energy for little to no gain. Finally, you want to drive the arm and hand towards your opponent’s head. From here you can trap the top of your training partner’s head with your arm, which will not allow him to move is arm back down. Bring your posting leg right up next to the ribs and slide your leg from knee on belly over so you end up in mount position.
Stabilizing The Mount and Its Concepts by Marco Barbosa
To effectively attack from the top mount position you must first learn how to stabilize yourself. In the video below we will take a look at how to stabilize the mount and its concepts from Marco Barbosa. Marco Barbosa is one of the most infamous coaches in Brazil. He is responsible for students such as Murilo Santana. His pressure is devastating. Watch the video below and then we will discuss the technique. Check it out!
Marco Barbosa recommends that when in mount you want to stay low and connected to your training partner. Your head should be right next to his, and your belly should be pressuring down on him. Notice that when Barbosa’s training partner bridges he goes with him. If your opponent is very explosive or too flexible he will bump you off. Barbosa will change his positioning, climbing higher up on his opponent so that he is much above his head and his hips are right on his opponent’s chest. Now, when his opponent bridges it takes away all the power. He will not be able to turn because his head it stuck on the ground. From here pressure forward and control your opponent’s hips with your feet. These concepts are very important for having a good mount position.
Once you have a solid mount you can start working on submission attacks. The kimura is a great submission to go for from top mount because your opponent’s arms are readily exposed. When it comes to kimuras, Brazilian Black Belt, IBJJF Pan American and American National champion Michael Cohen is no stranger to their effectiveness. In the video below Macrelo Cohen is going to demonstrate to us how he likes to finish the kimura from mount. Check out the video and then we will break down his technique.
Cohen starts off his demonstration from closed guard bottom. He breaks down his opponent’s guard and locks up the kimura, standard stuff for most BJJ players. Most of the time your training partner is not just going to give you the submission from here. Instead they will begin to mount their defense by pressuring you down into the mat with his chest and disallowing you the angle required for the submission. What Cohen likes to do here is open his guard, and step on his opponent’s hips. When he steps on the hips he anticipates that his opponent will grab his leg to try and escape. Watch as Cohen exploits this anticipates and switches his leg to above the arm. I am impressed by this simple but high level bait (just look how fast his hits it in the clip of him in competition)! His opponent is in real trouble now that he is stuck in Cohen’s kimura trap. This trap generates the power you need to break his hands and finish the submission. But here again is another opportunity for your training partner to successfully defend the kimura. A lot of times you will see guys roll when they get desperate, landing you in their mount, still with the kimura lock. If your opponent holds their own leg for defense at it takes is a little patience as you fight for their arm and pin it to the ground and nail the submission from there. You also have an arm bar in this position, and your opponent has little they can do to easily get their arm out of the lock.
If you get to the mount but find that your submission attempts are unsuccessful you can still transition away to other dominant positions. In the video below we will take a look at a simple back take from top mount. Once you are in the mount position and you have good control established you can work towards a back take, which puts you in a great position for a submission. Check out the video below and then we will break down the technique.
In this example, your opponent has been able to capture one of your legs. This first thing you want to do is work toward freeing your leg. You can free the leg by back stepping towards your trapped leg. Now all you have to do is close up your triangle and sit on your opponent’s thigh. This prevents your opponent from repositioning. From here you can work to reverse the position. Now, forward roll onto your shoulder towards your opponent’s legs. Once you forward roll you should extend your legs as you are finishing your roll. Under hook your training partner’s arm and get your free hand over his shoulder. From here lock up the seat belt grip and get your hooks in.
Knowing how to maneuver from one spot to another is key when it comes to learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Knowing how to get to mount and maintain your position is a vital part of being a good grappler. Both the mount and the back are great positions to attack submissions from. So keep this in mind the next time you are on the mats!
Chael Sonnen is a household name in the MMA community, and it is for a very simple reason - he talks a big game, and then he backs it up.
The Chael Sonnen blueprint is really pretty simple at its base: take the person down, smash through the guard, and start hunting for chokes and joint locks. This is the formula that he has used to fight more world champions than anyone else, with incredible and consistent success. See the techniques that brought us epic main events like the vice-like Guillotine that he used to choke Shogun Rua unconscious, or the throws and passes he used to edge out greats like Michael Bisping and Wanderlei Silva. In fact, Chael is so confident in these BJJ hacks that he has competed at the highest levels of submission grappling, including 3 trips to ADCC, where he has always won in the early rounds and a huge win in a Superfight where he defeated the legend Leo Viera in 2017.