Monday, October 11, 2010

Sidecontrol Concepts

I don't know how many times I get a nice pass that I work so fricken' hard for then... bang! I'm back in the guard, half guard or swept. It's really disheartening to me and very bloody frustrating. So I've had to think about what I'm doing wrong, how my opponents are getting it back so easily and what I can do to keep the position for longer giving my self a chance to set something up. I'm a big fat pie eater but at times I can't even pin the smallest dudes in the gym.

Being under a solid top game is miserable, I'm nearly 40kg heavier than my coach but in sidecontrol the dude weighs a ton

After watching the higher belts at the gym, doing some research and some trail and error of my own. I've found a concept that really works for me. The main part of the concept comes directly from Matt Thorton from Straight Blast Gym.  I watched a DVD of his called "Iron Coffin Top Game".

1. Control the near hip, use any thing the knee, hip, hand or if in knee ride the foot.
2. Lock up the upper body, make your opponent bear your weight, shoulder pressure on the chin (shoulder of justice) and control the far shoulder.
3. Kill the near arm, I was taught a great way to pin that arm by switching the hips
4. Control above far elbow, I like to get that underhook but if i can't I'll make sure i control above that elbow
5. Move, This means to not be stagnant in one position. Be able to adapt & contour around your opponent. 

The Tight Pressure Game
So that is basically the concept I use in sidecontrol. All 5 points are important but I really focus on controlling the near hip and movement. I think there are two ways to use this concept. One is to be very tight, use pressure, pin the opponent and work on that far arm 'The Tight Pressure Game'. When I play this game I work for cutting arm bars, kimura's and americanas on that far arm. I've found the key for me to work the Tight Pressure Game is to be really aware of where my weight is being distributed. Making sure the pressure is always on my opponent.

The other is to flow, move and lead your opponent in to a mistake, still using all the concepts but not as heavy 'The Flow n Go Game'. The game that my coach uses very much relies on movement and flow and this is the game I like to play.
Over the last few months we've been drilling a series of moves our coach has shown us in the gym. It's basically popping up to knee ride and making your opponent react then getting the underhook and working for kimuras, spinning armbars or spinning to the gift wrap and taking the back. I've added a move I call the windscreen wiper to that series. It involves going to knee ride then switching to knee ride on the other side in one fluent motion. I find it opens up the underhooks better for me and It also makes it hard for the bottom player to work his escapes. (Plus I think it looks cool.)

Using Knee Ride to start my Flow n Go Game

I'm still in the early days of all my concepts having only been training for under 2yrs. It's very hard right now to give one part of my game too much attention because I'm still working on getting all the basics tight. Plus I'm always trying new shit out. So my thoughts and approach to stuff might change as time goes on and I get to focus closer on specific areas of my game. Having said that, I still think this 5 point concept for sidecontrol is rock solid.
If once I get that pass or sweep and flow straight into this concept I have excellent results but if I admire my work for a split second, loose focus or get lazy. I'm straight back into my opponents guard or they scramble to their knees.
So this is the first of my concepts I've broken down a little. There is a lot of other details that go in to it but BJJ techniques are way to complicated to break down and describe in to fine detail. Concepts on the other hand are a bit easier.
C u on the mat,

P.S. My wife has had our baby. A beautiful little girl!! So happy. Baby and Mum are both well. It's an amazing feeling having kids. I got just as big of a buzz this time as I did with our first. Looking at your own new born is so cool. When I look at my little girl I see beauty, innocence and unlimited potential. Good Times!!

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