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Side Control Dominance and Devastation with Bernardo Faria
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Side Control Dominance and Devastation with Bernardo Faria

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The side control. In many cases, it’s the first dominant position we become comfortable in. This was the case for me, and I still enjoy it, more so than the back or the mount. I feel more in control, and I really enjoy the platform for attacking.

When we secure side control, it’s obviously of great importance that we can stay there. There’s nothing like winning that hard-fought guard pass and then succumbing to the bottom players guard retention skills immediately. There are a few key elements that need to be considered when we’re trying to settle in. Things like frames, controlling the bottom leg, and what kind of space were allowing can have disastrous consequences if not managed properly.

So, when we do finally get that guard pass, what the best way to settle in and control the opposing party? There are many methods, but lots of the principles remain the same. We must kill the frames. We must manage the hips. And we most definitely must apply pressure. Pressure in side control is essential to affording us the ability to make our next move. If we can’t control the bottom player, our stint in side control will be over before it starts.

I can’t think of anyone more qualified to give us some advice on pressure than Bernardo Faria. AS a quick side note, I once had the pleasure of feeling Faria’s pressure firsthand, and it was incredible. I have never felt anything like it in my entire life. It was like a lead blanket being spread out over my entire body. I felt like an infant. It was one of my greatest BJJ experiences.

Let’s have a look at how Faria creates pressure in side control. Check it out!

Settle in after passing, Faria must now establish a solid side control. He begins by using his cross-face hand to reach deep under his partner and control the far side armpit. Using his opposite hand as a post, Faria then begins to load the entire weight of his body on to his partners face. This does not appear to be a very pleasant spot to be in. With his weight in place, Faria then secures his partners pants near the knee and begins to walk toward his legs. He then works in reverse, using his hip to clear the nearside frame from his path.

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Claiming the space between is partners arm and body gives Faria a huge advantage, as his partner with not be able to use his arm to frame. Taking away the ability to frame will drastically reduce the chances of Faria’s partner initiating a hip escape and beginning any efforts of exiting the position. 

With this kind of position acquired, Faria can now do anything he chooses. He can mount, look to work towards submissions, etc. Clearing that near side frame looks to be paramount to advancing!

Now that we understand how to establish a devastating side control, let’s look at a submission from the position. Here were treated to a couple of Faria’s idea on the baseball bat choke. Take a look!

From side control, Faria begins with a grip on his partners belt, and a thumb down grip in the back of the collar. With his grips secured, he pops up in to the knee on belly position. Because he already has his thumb in the collar, he only needs to slide it a bit closer to his partner’s ear. His other grip enters palm up on the opposite side of the lapel. With the traditional baseball grips in place Faria then makes a very quick transition to north south position. HE the drives his head down towards the floor on the opposite side, places his knees down, and begins to squeeze, forcing the tap. 

Faria also likes to set the baseball choke up from a classic side control position. Again, he places his thumb in the collar but before he can enter his other hand in to the mix, he must be sure his partners near leg is kept at bay. He does this by placing his knee on his partner’s hip. This pins his partner a bit, and blocks the area that the leg would penetrate. Next, Faria gives himself a little bit of space for the second hand to slide into the collar, and from here the finishing touches are exactly the same as the first variation. 

I thoroughly enjoy Faria’s instruction, as everything he teaches is highly applicable and easy to follow. Keep these details in mind, and make your side control a force to be reckoned with! Good luck!

Bernardo Has Become World Renown For Teaching Older Guys Because His Moves Require Almost Zero Strength, Speed or Flexibility. Side Control Setups & Submissions By Bernardo Faria will definitely give you a competitive EDGE!

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