Is It Wrong To Be More Comfortable In Side Control Than In Mount?

In the positional hierarchy of jiu-jitsu, the mount is considered to be a more dominant position than side control. You don’t get awarded any points for side control (the three points are more accurately for the guard pass). Mount rewards you with the maximum four points.

The Positional Hierarchy:
Rear mount
Knee on Belly
Side control
Half Mount
Guard Top / Guard Bottom
Turtle Top / Turtle Bottom
Half Guard Bottom
Side control Bottom
Knee on Belly Bottom
Mount Bottom
Rear mount Bottom

One Jiu-Jitsu Times reader asked, “I know that mount is supposed to be the more dominant position, but I prefer side control. I always feel like a lose the mount position. I feel more comfortable in side control. Is that wrong?”

For a significant part of my jiu-jitsu I felt exactly the same way. It seemed that whenever I attacked from mount, my opponent would bridge and buck me off. I started to avoid the mount and stick to the safer side control. And this is a perfectly valid strategy.

Three things influenced me to revisit the mount position and see if I was missing something important.

1) MMA.

he mount is a far superior position when we add striking from the top. We see top professional fighters helpless when a skilled BJJ fighter achieves mount. The threat of punches from the mount eliminates some of the common sport BJJ escape options. Watch the old “Gracies in Action” tapes and observe how powerful a position the mount is.

2) Roger Gracie

If my memory serves me correctly, the GOAT Roger Gracie won an IBJJF World Championship by mounting and submitting all of his black belt opponents. How was this possible?

The cross choke from the mount is considered a basic technique and you probably learned it in a Fundamentals class. How is it possible that Roger was tapping out world class black belt competitors with a “basic” technique? There had to be more to the mount than I understood.

3) My Head Instructor

My head instructor was repeatedly submitting me from the mount. Nothing fancy. Cross collar choke and straight arm lock combination. If I defended one attack he switched to the other and got ahead of me. I could see it coming, but couldn’t do a thing about it!

The advice my instructor gave me was invaluable, “Make sure you control the mount and stop their best escapes before you try to attack. Don’t be in a hurry!”

I devoted attention to first, preventing the escapes and controlling the position, and found that I was not losing the mount as often. The mount has a far superior leverage over the person trapped on the bottom and your superior leverage can overcome their defense leading to submission. But you need to control mount first!

I’m no Roger Gracie, but inspired by his dominance using the mount, I was able to change my mind about side control vs mount and become better at finishing from the mount.

Do you prefer side control to mount?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here