This week’s curriculum at my home academy addressed the mount position. You might think that most of the students are enthusiastic about working their arm bars and chokes from the mount but that isn’t the case.
The majority of the white and blue belt students will sheepishly admit that they don’t like the mount and prefer to work from side control.
“I know the mount is supposed to be good, but I always get reversed from there and end up on the bottom.”
“I’ve always heard that the mount is supposed to be the best position, but I get bumped off and end up in guard. Especially against a bigger guy.”
They are not wrong. This is a very common situation.
If it is so easy to get reversed from the supposedly superior mount, why bother? Just stay and attack in side control. This was my primary strategy for many years (blue and purple belts) of my jiu-jitsu, yet I always felt uncomfortable with the idea that I was missing out on something. The mount certainly was a dominant position in MMA where the threat of strikes changed ones ability to escape the same way as was possible in gi jiu-jitsu.
There have been the top of the jiu-jitsu fighters like Rickson and Roger Gracie who preferred mount. Why was the mount so strong for them when it wasn’t working for me and many of my training partners?
When I later started training under a black belt instructor who was tapping me out repeatedly and predictably from mount, I became convinced of the strength of the mount. My instructor had such superior leverage from the mount that even though I could see the arm lock coming, his leverage could overcome my defensive frames and grips. I suddenly realized what I had been missing in my understanding of the mount.
What my instructor had been doing to me (and I had long neglected to do) was FIRST looking to control the mounted position THEN try to attack with a submission.
Sounds simple enough right? But it was not what I had been doing. And most of the students in the academy aren’t focused on preventing those early, explosive escapes when they first achieve mount.
My mistake was simple but fatal. I was so excited for the chance to go for the armlock that I would lunge for a sloppy, fast submission. I had failed to shut down my opponent’s escape attempts and would end up losing the mount.
Mount made more sense once it was explained to me to exercise patience and forget snatching a fast submissuon. Stop your opponent’s early and best escape attempts and then once you have stabilized the mount, only then attack.
This simple shift in strategy RADICALLY improved my success with the mount, and it will improve your own mount significantly also.