If you have ever had the misfortune of rolling with a black belt, even a lighter guy, who knew how to apply weight and pressure when passing and top control, you will recognize how important this factor is.
What makes some grapplers feel like they weigh more than the scale says? In Brasil the side control is colloquially known as “100 quilos” describing how heavy the opponent should feel when parked on your chest.
Here are a few tips that make the best use of your bodyweight in side control position even if you are not a big person.
Your weight should be on the opponent, not on your knees.
If you are in side control and your knees are on the mat, I’ll wager that is where most of your body weight is also.
The ideal position is to drive your weight onto and into your opponent instead of resting it on the mat where it goes to waste. Josh Barnett says, “There are no free rides on the bottom”. Your opponent must be suffering by carrying your body weight at all times.
In any top position pause and ask yourself, “Is my weight on my opponent or on the mat?”
Drive off of the mat.
With the tops of your feet flat on the mat, you are unable to drive off the mat. With your toes on the mat you are able to get a powerful drive off of the mat and transfer that force into your opponent.
A flat foot is a “dead” foot and a foot with toes pushing on the mat may be described as a “live” foot.
My first judo instructor, who was not a big Japanese man, was nevertheless immovable when he got a side control on you. He used the analogy of trying to roll a big log with your chest and drive the weight all the way from your toes through your body and into the opponent.
Focus your application of weight
If you want to create more force, concentrate the area on your opponent’s chest, shoulder, or jaw into a small area.
Instead of trying to cover the opponent’s entire chest with your entire chest in side control, try driving only your shoulder into his shoulder. There are certain points of leverage that are most effective in controlling another body. Learn what they are for a specific position and then apply your bodyweight efficiently to that leverage point.
Don’t use the excuse that you are a lightweight and can’t be heavy. Sure, you may not feel like Brock Lesnar, but to be efficient in jiu-jitsu, you must maximize what resources you have.
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