One significant aspect of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the focus on positional dominance over an opponent. Grappling is an art that uses technique and leverage to defeat an opponent; this includes positions where you can leverage gravity to help pin an opponent to the mat.
There are many pins in BJJ and grappling in general. Perhaps one of the most used is the mount position. Today we’ll talk about a mount variant known as the S-mount. It is a suffocating pin that will surely make your training partners avoid you.
What Is A Mount?
A mount is a position where you practically sit on your opponent, with your head directly above theirs. It is one of the most favorable positions in BJJ and mixed martial arts because it not only pins an opponent down, but you can also safely strike the opponent while in this configuration.
If you watch high-level athletes, like Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, for example, you’ll notice that he typically likes to dominate his opponents positionally before he attacks with submissions. This is because positional dominance opens up many submission opportunities. As the famous saying goes: “position before submission.”
There are different variants of the mount, like we mentioned. One of the toughest to escape from is the S-mount. The S-mount is characterized by the “S” formation that you form using your legs as you sit on your opponent’s diaphragm. It is a powerful pin and is the precursor to many submissions, including armbars and chokes. You can also transition to the crucifix or back position from there.
As far as pressure is concerned, it is one of the nastiest pins available in all of grappling. You can place most of your weight on your opponent’s chest, thereby making breathing super hard, especially if you do it with proper technique. The S-mount is so dominating that you can sometimes get the tap just by staying on top.
In this video, Chewy demonstrates his approach to the S-mount. He starts by explaining a basic entry where you isolate an arm for an attack, which then creates an opening where you can slide your knee in. He likes to cup the head when he’s on the mount as this lessens the power of the bridging escape.
Use your other hand to slowly move the arm away from the body. You can threaten americanas when the arm is isolated. Note that these steps are merely to set up the S-mount. The goal is to extend the arm to create space for your knee. Once you see space near your opponent’s arm, slide your knee to get inside position (don’t forget to use active toes), follow through with the other leg and create the “S” configuration.
Focus on placing your weight on your opponent’s solar plexus for maximum pressure. Chewy is a big proponent of this and says that this is the sweet spot for mounted attacks.
Once you get to the S-mount, always be mindful of your next plan of attack. A common submission from the S-mount is the armbar. Please take your time and don’t rush the submission! Beginners typically get excited once they get an opportunity to perform submissions in sparring and competition. Never rush your execution as one mistake may open escape opportunities from the bottom player.
Submission Options From The S-Mount
The S-mount is a prime position for submissions. The asymmetrical nature of the pin provides many options for submission, the most common of which is the armbar.
This video by FightTIPS demonstrates some high percentage attacks you can do from the S-mount. The first technique shown by his guest, BJJ World Champion Bismarck Gomes from the EVOLVE Fight Team, is the armbar. From the S-mount, isolate the arm using your left hand. Shift your weight slightly to the right as you use your right arm to post on the mat.
Next is to use your left knee to block your opponent’s head. This acts as a barrier and makes it easier for you to separate the arm from the body as you complete the submission.
The second submission is the omoplata from the S-mount. It is similar to the armbar in the entry; the only difference is you place your opponent’s arm near your hip as you swing your left leg to the other side. This is a superb option against opponents who are expecting the armbar finish.
The third submission is a modified armbar. If your opponent blocks his arm using the RNC grip, you can use this option. From the S-mount, switch your leg position to the other side to expose the opposite arm. Once you do this, you can proceed to the next steps that we did in the first submission.
The last submission is the triangle choke. This is a good option if your opponent underhooks your leg in an attempt to escape. Switch your legs to hook the neck and lock the triangle leg position from mount. You can finish the choke on top or by dropping to guard. It is important to keep everything tight as you switch your leg position. This is when bottom players usually explode to escape the submission attempt.
A Tight S-Mount Is A Good S-Mount
Always keep your position as tight as can be when performing the S-mount. The S-mount is a great pin, but it is generally easier to escape from the S-mount compared to the regular mount. With this, always be in the habit of checking your body placement as you transition to the position. Drill your entries consistently, and always practice the S-mount on your left and right side.
The S-mount is always a cool addition to anyone’s game. The technique is highly applicable in both gi and no-gi, you can also use this in MMA and self-defense situations. This is one of those techniques where you’ll see an almost instant improvement to your game. Try it out, and let us know how it goes!
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