Side mount can be a completely devastating and totally immobilizing position when applied correctly.  When you know the proper “tricks” you can truly cause your opponent great suffering with your bodyweight; making it difficult for him to breathe and eventually force him to make a fight ending mistake.

Let’s start with a self-assessment. Ask yourself the following questions: When you are pinning your opponent in side mount what is supporting your body? What parts of your body are touching the mat and which parts of your body are touching your opponent?

Now that you’ve thought about that let’s go over some specific things you can do to make yourself heavier. Let’s first look at the wrong way of doing things.

Case: You have your opponent pinned in side control. You are on his left side, your right arm is going under his head, your left arm is going through his far armpit and your hands are gripped. Your legs are bent and both of your knees are next to his body. In this case what parts of your body are touching the ground?

  1. your right elbow
  2. your right hand/wrist
  3. your left elbow
  4. your left hand/wrist
  5. your right knee
  6. your right foot
  7. your left knee
  8. your left foot

Given the fact that each time a part of your body rests on the floor it removes weight that could be placed on your opponent is the above scenario really the best? The answer to the question is absolutely not. What can be done to correct the problem?  Think skydiver!

Imagine first unclasping your hands so that you can lift your elbows and hands slightly off the floor by pulling them in towards your own body. It is important to note that you are not trying to squeeze the opponent with your arms; you are only removing weight from the floor. Now straighten your legs so that only the balls of the feet are contacting the mat. Once you have done this slightly turn your hips towards the opponents head. Next puff out your chest forcing the pressure created by the motion into your opponent. Now what body parts are touching the mat?

  1. your left foot
  2. your right foot

With these changes your opponent now has to carry a great deal more weight of your weight. There are of course several variations of side mount and many different ways to make you heavier. The skydiver is but one example to illustrate the point – take weight off of the mat and put it on your opponent.