Given my choice of bad positions to be in, I will always pick something other than side control. Mount? Definitely. Back mount? Sure. Knee on belly? Yup.
Side control sucks to be in and when rolling with someone halfway decent it can be exhausting to escape. Your opponent can put endless weight on you with little effort all while setting up chokes, armbars, americanas, kimuras, kneebars, footlocks, transitioning to the mount, knee on belly, your back, or gift wrap. Not fun.
When I started back at jiu-jitsu after a 7 year hiatus the first thing I noticed was my jiu-jitsu wasn’t as rusty as I would have expected. The second thing I noticed was how much I hated being on the bottom of side control and how little I could do about it.
So, I did what any sensible BJJ practitioner does: I searched YouTube for “BJJ side control escapes.”
YouTube tells me that there are 112,000 results for those search terms. Some of the top results are really good videos. Others are essentially useless against an opponent who is even only mildly engaged in the roll.
Over the past year I have found 26 videos (2 hours, 1 minute, and 36 seconds total) that have made being in side control a more manageable, dare I say enjoyable, experience: escaping bottom side playlist.
One of the most important details I’ve learned for escaping side control is this: make your side control dangerous. Unlike the bottom of the mount, you are safe attacking from the bottom of side control. Sure, there are some attacks that expose you to counters, but generally the risks are moderate at worst.
ZombieProofBJJ offers a wonderful concept: the Aggressive Bottom Side:
Revolution BJJ adds some lovely leg attacks:
And Kenneth Brown makes some interesting adjustments to the baseball bat choke:
But even if you aren’t feeling like having an aggressive bottom side (which you should definitely at least try!) you should check out the playlist for other ways to escape bottom side!