On side vs. side control, which frame?

Let's say that you're under side control and on your side or almost on your side.

Which frame(s) do you like to use, i.e. where do you like to place your arms in order to shrimp and pull guard?

If you're on your side, it's a bit hard to use the arm position where you have one forearm underneath the throat, because then your arm would be in an awkward position.

1) Forearm in the Throat: good for when his head is over your top shoulder or ribs

2) Hand on the Ear: good for when his head is closer to your head, or your arm is stuck dangling outside

3) Bicep in the Armpit (underhook): good for when his weight is closer to your legs. I actually prefer to use...

4) Elbow in the Armpit: a little safer than 3 (brabo, anyone?) and easier to achieve. Use when his weight is closer to your head, or not as far across centerline.

I use 1, 2, and 4 most of the time. If he turns his body and leans one way or the other, I incorporate a few others.

The problem with 1, 2 and 4 is that it's hard to use them when you're on your side, no?

Why would they be hard to use on your side?

jonpall - The problem with 1, 2 and 4 is that it's hard to use them when you're on your side, no?

It's only hard if you try to push straight up, which many people do. Push on an angle, as if you are pushing your opponent over your inside shoulder.

I always use the seat belt posture (underhook). All my fight when being dominated in side c (no posture) is to get the seat belt. Because of my back problems (and trying to avoid the bridge) I became very good at being in the posture before the opponent gets the control (ex: I rather let him pass than fight that last second and get him in my posture). I teach the same posture like 75% the time I teach side c escapes. You can even regain guard from that posture. If I remember correctly SBGi uses the same concept when escaping side c.

I am still using boxing hands posture mostly. I will take the underhook if it becomes available.


Which frame(s) do you prefer?

I prefer the frames which I can get.

The Gimp, I do the same as you. But I was experimenting with lots of different stuff so I got a bit confused. I worked on it today and will do more tomorrow so I think my mind is a bit clearer on this now.

twinkletoes, it may just be a preference but I often feel that the forearm in the throat posture moves your arm outwards a bit too much, so that it can be "killed" out of posture or attacked. I still use it, though.

I think I did a thread a while ago about 3 different types of "boxing hands posture", although maybe only one of them should be called that name. I'll try to find that old thread and see if there is some good stuff in it that I've forgotten.

Well I can't find that thread. If anyone can find it, can you please tell me how you did it? And ttt it.

I usually try to start early with the framing - so after the guard pass, but before the upperbody staple and settling in of the hips.

I try to prevent the crossface with bicep control with my near hand (like you do with the paw in 1/2 guard) and my far wrist and forearm will go under their near armpit. (i think Joe Moriera refers to this as an X-block?)

its pretty frustrating for the top player, we're basically swimming at that point. if top person tries to go around to pin my far shoulder because the crossface is denied then i switch to both forearms underneath the armpit (boxing/bench press posture) there's the armpit stiff-arm escape that can happen in this transition, along with threatening a kimura on the crossface arm as he swims for position (like half guard bottom)

from there my third option is to go to either underhook after the bench press posture. but i'm usually try to pull guard throughout the entire process, shimping away and towards the top person depending on which frames i'm using

hope that makes sense.


I agree that when the arm is moved outwards (away from your own centerline), it is not in a good position.

"Forearm in the neck" doesn't require your upper arm to be perpendicular to the floor. It should be perpendicular to your upper body. If you are flat on your back, your arm is pushing towards the ceiling. If you are on your right side, your arm should be pushing his throat to your right. This is what Tucker713 was referring to earlier.

If his neck isn't in a position, relative to your body, that allows you to push it to your right in this way, then another posture is more appropriate. If his head is too far to your left side, then elbow-in-the-armpit is often a strong option.


Thanks guys. This is pretty clear.

But doesn't anyone put both elbows on the hips in order to shrimp and pull guard?

I find it fairly easy to get totally on my side but I often get stuck on my side and don't know where the best places are to put my arms on.

Christian, that "x-block" stuff sounds similar to what Michael Jen calls "pin prevention system", although he puts his near elbow or hand on the hip instead of the bicep.

I used it myself a while ago with good success but then threw it out when I was experimenting with other stuff. I might get back to that one... Twinkletoes is obviously recommending that as well.

With that type of posture, I also often got stuck on my side or in turtle when my opponent switched to modified scarf hold and I put my far elbow in his rib cage and my near elbow down to the mat (like Jen teaches).

For what it's worth, seems like all the big name teachers these days (eg Saulo, Demian Maia) emphasize that at least one hand needs to be busy preventing the crossface, at least at first.

Yes, I think so, gimpy.

In fact, I was experimenting with using the boxing posture against the crossface yesterday. I bridged and pushed with both elbows on my opponent's chest and he had a crossface and underhook type of side control. He held as hard as he could and I found it very difficult to create space this way. He's stronger than me, but not by a huge amount.

I had more luck using one forearm in the throat and the other elbow under the chest. Then I could rotate either my left or right arm under his chest and work from there.

So if you focus on not giving your opponent the crossface, escaping should be easier. At the very least it's easier to get onto your side or knees.

But maybe someone could give pointers on how to escape when you're totally on your side? F.ex. do you focus on shrimping or do you focus on getting to your knees from there? Etc...

when you are totally on your side, how is it not very easy to get on your knees and either go to takedowns, or make space and pull guard from knees? even in an almost worse case scenario, if you somehow are on your side with him having an underhook and cross face, you should be able to push on the side of his head with your far hand and still get to your knees OR get a knee on his hip and push away which would break his upper body control. also, if he really drive you to your back, you can try the old bridge and roll him over, or at least use that to make space once again.

demandango, yes, it's very, very easy to pop onto your knees from where you're totally on your side (when your lying on your elbow), well, in most cases, but that's where I tend to get stuck. Maybe I should drop onto my side immedially again and try to pull guard? I must admit that I rarely ever do that and instead try to work to take the guy down somehow, which can be difficult from that position ("side ride", some guys call it).

can you describe the position you are getting stuck in, in more detail (side ride?)?

just like from standing, you can shoot the legs, clinch upper body, or snap down to headlock and go behind.

but yes, once you get to knees, it is very easy to just post on what was your near hand and insert your leg and go to a variety of guard positions.

"side ride" is where I'm in the turtle position but he's at my side. If he's good, he has managed to slide his near knee between my near elbow and knee, sliding it under my stomach.

This usually happens because I'm on my side underneath side control, he's in the modified scarf hold position, but I don't let him pull up on my near arm. I keep my near elbow down on the mat and then I just do a huge bridge to pop up to my knees. And then I often get stuck against guys around purple belt level :(