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Side Control Gold With Matheus Gonzaga

Side Control Gold With Matheus Gonzaga


Matheus Gonzaga is on the warpath. Boasting a successful competition run over the past couple of years, Gonzaga is now slated to begin competing at black belt and the future is looking bright. Formerly an instructor at Bernardo Faria’s academy, Gonzaga now fights out of Atos, spending time with Andre Galvao and crew to prepare for his competitive endeavors at black belt. Gonzaga has all the tools to become successful at the elite black belt levels and he’s been sharing some his methods with BJJ Fanatics. He’s known for his incredibly efficient side control and with Gonzaga’s new instructional, Side Control Master Class, we’ll be getting a look at this young up and comers A game. 

Gonzaga is not large athlete, making his dominant side control even more impressive. He’s got a knack for applying pressure and causing the bottom player to make mistakes. His game from here is impressive to say the least. IN this next video, Gonzaga gives us a look at one of his favorite attacks from side control, the triangle. You may not be used to going after the triangle from a side control scenario but Gonzaga’s got a great path to the submission for you to check out. Have a look! 


Removing frames when we’re riding in the top side control position is always a consideration. Many times, it’s nearly impossible to advance without clearing the frames first but this can be a challenge. There are multiple methods of getting the job done but a proficient bottom player will be on the lookout for the common ones. Gonzaga recognizes this fact and demonstrates a simple idea to help us deal with the bottom frame. Keeping his cross face in place, Gonzaga uses his opposite hand to cup the elbow and moves it away from the body just enough to find a spot for his knee cap to enter behind the elbow. With this small wedge in place, Gonzaga returns to a traditional side control and uses his cross-face hand in combination with the knee to completely clear the frame. 

Check out more from Matheus Gonzaga!!



With the frame clear and side control establishes, Gonzaga reminds us to fall victim to a common mistake here, allowing the bottom player to reconnect the elbow to the floor. To makes sure this doesn’t occur, Gonzaga makes a grip on the underside of his partners shoulder with his cross-face hand and sucks his partner underneath him and positions his knee on the outside of his elbow, trapping the arm even further and immobilizing the bottom player.

Gonzaga now turns his attention to the far arm. He captures it and begins to push it downward in to his partner’s chest or belly. This will vary depending on the position of the hand. This arm must be pinned so that Gonzaga can make a smooth transition to the top and capture the triangle. 

This next movement should be observed careful. I think this is where many of us screw this one up. The transition to the top must be efficient. Clunky movement here will result in an award transition to the top and leave you out of position to continue attacking. Pay close attention to this part.

Gonzaga begins with employing a windshield wiper motion to get his shins close to his partner’s nearside ribcage. As he does this, his head also travels up toward his partner’s head in a leaning motion. This important motion gives Gonzaga the space he needs to transition his leg over the top of his partner. As he swings his leg over, it lands in an inverted fashion on the side of his partner’s neck. He then uses his cross-face hand to lift the head a bit and then slides the hand up to the triceps area. Here, he begins to use a posted hand and his free leg to elevate his body. Gonzaga walks us through an arm bar first by bringing his shin close to the head and hipping in a bit to secure the lock. This is a low risk high reward submission as Gonzaga is not falling back in the traditional manner to secure the arm bar. Worst case scenario the tap is not there and he can still maintain the top position, giving himself plenty of options to finish.

Gonzaga takes us through several different ideas to finish from the mount and even transitions tot eh guard for a few. This mounted triangle position is a wonderful place to be. From here the options are many but what I also really like about the position is that even if you do get rolled, you end up in the guard with a triangle set up intact. This is a great place to be and again offers us a ton of possibilities. Choosing to attack the traditional arm bar from the mount is not wrong of course but if it fails it can leave us in an unfavorable position and force us to work much harder to get back to a position where we can become offensive. 

The small detail on removing the frame in in this particular video is worth the price of admission. This is something that most people won’t see coming and you’ll probably find a lot of success with it. Frame removal from side control really is a critical principle. Getting the near side arm stuck up in your hip can have disastrous effects for eh bottom players progress and it definitely gives us a massive amount of control over the bottom player.

I’m a huge fab of side control myself and I’m also a smaller grappler. I’m interested to dig in to this one to see what else Gonzaga has up his sleeve. This release is available now at the BJJ Fanatics online store!

Side Control Masterclass by Matheus Gonzaga

Check out Matheus Gonzaga's Masterclass on side control today!



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