4 Hacks To Massively Increase Your Side Control Pressure

Side control is one of the strongest control positions in BJJ. It allows you to hold your opponent down fairly easily and sets up numerous submissions.

But is there anything you can do to make your side control game even stronger?

Yes, according to Coach Tom from The Grappling Academy. In one of his most recent videos, he shows us four hacks — taught by seventh-degree red and black belt Rigan Machado himself — to help increase your side control pressure.

Here they are:

Open your chest.

Opening your chest focuses your weight on a smaller area of your opponent’s body, putting more pressure on him. Think of the difference between 180 pounds of pressure spread out on a 10 foot surface versus 180 pounds of pressure on a six inch surface. The latter is going to feel heavier.

Ball your hands up like a fist and put them under your opponent’s back. 

Most jiu-jitsu gyms give students the luxury of training on soft mats. This makes lying on one’s back comfortable.

However, you can negate this comfort by balling up your fist and putting it under your opponent’s back. Combined with your puffed out chest, whatever comfort your opponent feels is going to disappear immediately.

To paraphrase Coach Tom, it will make her feel like she’s being run over with a steamroller while there’s a rock under her back.


Pulling your opponent in with your arms while simultaneously putting all of your weight on a small portion of his body will make you feel twice as heavy as you normally are — maybe even more.

Get on your toes and drive through at a 45-degree angle. 

For this final hack, Coach Tom advises you to get up on your toes with your butt up in the air and drive your weight forward.

Some might worry that this will leave you open to be reguarded, but Tom insists that your opponent won’t try to reguard because she’ll be fighting off all of your weight.

Check out the video above for all of Coach Tom’s details.

Do you use any of these hacks in your side control game? What other hacks to you use?




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