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The Best Way to Escape Side Control with Lachlan Giles

The Best Way to Escape Side Control with Lachlan Giles


Some of the heavy hitters at BJJ Fanatics have been sharing lots of secrets on how they escape side control.

In particular, John Danaher, Travis Stevens, and Lachlan Giles, have all released some great details on how to deal with this position that gives so many of us so much trouble.

Being able to see how these titans of the sport all choose to deal with being in bottom side control has been incredibly beneficial to me personally, as they each offer some very interesting methods of escaping.

It seems that common themes run through each of their methods, but they differ slightly in application. This makes each unique escape beneficial to players across the board searching for answers.

Let This Aussie Killer Teach You Some New Stuff From Half Guard! Click Learn More below!


As with any side control escape, frames obviously come into play in each of the players instructions, but its how they use these frames to their advantage that’s intervening to take in, and process as it relates to our own personal games.

We know that it’s not bodyweight or strength that keeps us from removing ourselves from bottom side control. It’s the proper positioning of the top players body, and as John Danaher states, a series of well-placed wedges that keeps us from getting free. We must unlock the position, attacking these wedges and our opponent’s ability to implement them.

So, how does Lachlan Giles choose to do this?

Let’s have a look at a recent video from Giles. Here he explains what he believes is the best way to deal with and escape side control. Check this out.

Immediately framing is called up as the first order of business. Giles begins in bottom side control with nothing, and must work to begin establishing frames and reclaiming the inside space.

To insert his first frame at the hip, Giles makes a small movement with his head and shoulder away from his partner. This opens up the space near the hip and allows him to set his first frame in place, using it to separate himself as much as possible. Giles then employs a hip escape to begin moving his body away and creating space for his knee to enter and connect to his elbow.

If this movement is made more difficult by top partner, and Giles isn’t able to move his hips away, he disrupts his partners head positioning by moving his partner head above his own head. This creates a scenario where his partner becomes more parallel and this makes it very difficult to block the penetration of Giles’s near knee.

Once this elbow knee connection has been made, Giles can now position his top arm across his partner’s neck and shoulders, adding yet another layer to the system of frames he’s already established.

  • There’s something important to take note of here, and this could be the reason for a lot of the troubles we have in this situation. Giles pauses for a moment and points out that we should never try to bring the knee all the way through to replace the guard, as this can easily put us right back in to side control. Have you experienced this? I know I have. Keep this in mind.

Continuing on, with the addition of the top frame in the mix, Giles has now created another pocket of space for his knee to enter and act as a shield. He’s built a seemingly impenetrable structure of framework that will be incredibly difficult to pierce.

Giles gives us a nice little trick as well to remove our head if the top player is still hanging on for dear life. He simply pommels his hand inside of his partners arm, and then grabs his own his guiding out of the space, and freeing it, so he can further extend himself away from this partner. Very nice.

If you fight from half guard, this one with will absolutely change how you approach the jiu jitsu half guard battle.


From this position, Giles can easily retract his bottom leg and bring it across his partners body to the far hip, or choose from a multitude of guards to transition to. The one important rule in Giles process here seems to be to not lead with your knee. This will lead to the stifling of our escape and certainly our attempts at guard replacement.

Escaping side control doesn’t have to be the nightmare that so many make it out to be. Of course, the more proficient the top player is the more difficulty will present itself. But if you have the proper mechanics in mind, and a good understanding of how truly important framing is, you can give yourself every advantage possible as you attempt to remove yourself.

The release of this material is incredibly helpful. I’ve pulled critical details from several players on the BJJ Fanatics roster dealing with this particular position, and some have simply been game changing. Take the time to make these important additions to your game, and reap the benefits of sound technique and mechanics. Good luck!

Want more from Lachlan Giles? Check out his DVD  "The Half Guard Anthology", and get to work on improving your half guard! BJJ Fanatics has it! Check it out here!



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