The Mount Vs. Side Mount – Which Is Better?

Photo by: Blanca Marisa Garcia

An extremely common conversation I have when speaking with BJJ students is that after we do a class on the mount position they sheepishly express, “I don’t really like the mount. I prefer side mount.”

When I ask them to elaborate, they explain “I can get to the mount, but my opponent just bridges me off or does the knee to elbow escape and I lose it. I feel from side mount that I have better control and can stay on top better.”

Truth is, this was exactly my own experience for most of my earlier training in jiu-jitsu. Even though the jiu-jitsu positional orthodoxy says that mount was more dominant, it sure wasn’t that way for me! It was easier and more secure to forget the mount and stay only in side mount.

Until… I started studying under a black belt who had a deadly mount game and proved to me (by arm locking me far too many times) that the mount could be a “check mate” position.

It was only after I made a concentrated effort to improve my mount that I finally understood how powerful the position really was. Granted it is more difficult to maintain without the threat of punches, but a master of the mount like Roger Gracie controls and submits world level black belts.

Recent UFC fights have shown just how dominant a mount can be: see Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor and Luke Rockhold vs. Chris Weidman.

Roger Gracie on Gracie Mag gave some simple but essential advice on how to be more effective from the mount:

“Once I get to the mount, my first goal is to stay there and then attack. After I get the first hand in the opponent’s collar, that’s when I get the most vulnerable for the bump. So, what I do? I use my other arm to defend the bump and then I use the top of my head. That’s when I put the second hand in. If the opponent is defending well the collar, I go around his head and put only my thumb inside his collar before I go for the choke.”

The best advice to make your mount stronger is to follow Roger’s philosophy:

“Once I get to the mount, my first goal is to stay there and then attack.”

CONTROL first and be more patient in attacking the submission.

Sounds simple….but it works!

Read also on Jiu-jitsu Times – Rob Biernacki Advice On Your “A Game”


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