I’ll wager that if we asked a mat full of BJJ guys and girls which position they prefer — Side control or full mount — the results would be lopsided in favor of side control.
“I don’t feel I can control the mount and end up getting rolled or put into half guard,” some may say.
This is pretty common, and if this happens to you, you are not alone! I felt the exact same way until two things changed my mind.
1) My black belt instructor was regularly arm barring me from mount even though I was cognizant (look it up mat rat!) of the threat and understood several defenses. But he could still catch that straight arm bar from mount.
2) I watched Roger Gracie submit a bracket full of world class black belts from mount during one year’s World Championships. How was this even possible?
One of the clues was very simple that I read in an interview with Roger Gracie on Gracie Mag. The students wanted to know what his secret was to having such a strong choke from the mount. He explained.
Once I get to the mount, my first goal is to stay there and then attack. After I get the first hand in the opponent’s collar, that’s when I get the most vulnerable for the bump. So, what I do? I use my other arm to defend the bump and then I use the top of my head. That’s when I put the second hand in. If the opponent is defending well the collar, I go around his head and put only my thumb inside his collar before I go for the choke.
Perhaps nothing revolutionary in that statement. No secret to the techniques. But when I started taking that advice “first goal is to stay there” then I was not losing the mounted position as often and my submissions started to climb.
Why did that seemingly obvious advice make such a difference?
Because most of time guys are so excited to get to mount they try to jump on an arm bar immediately and get bridged off.
Instead of lunging for a fast armbar or choke, be patient and first solidify your mount. Counter the opponent’s first escape attempts. When you have shut down their bridges and elbow to knee escapes, your opponent will start to fatigue and you will be in a better situation to attack successfully.
This single piece of advice made a significant difference in my mount, and I hope it helps your mount too!