Top 7 BJJ Attacks From The Side Control Position

In the exciting world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the side control position serves as a cornerstone for domination and submission. From this pin, practitioners have excellent attacking options at their disposal, enabling them to control opponents effectively while setting up submissions and positional advancements. Let’s dive into the top seven BJJ attacks from side control, exploring techniques that can elevate your game immensely.


Why Side Control?

Side control is one of the key positions in BJJ. It is a position where you are positioned chest to chest with your opponent, but your legs are far from each other. This innate configuration gives the top player the stability to pin down even the biggest opponents. This is a safe and oftentimes the default pin of heavier grapplers, mainly due to its ease of maintenance. With this, let’s now discuss the 7 top submissions you can do from the side control position.


1) Americana Or Keylock

One of the fundamental submissions from side control is the americana, also known as the keylock or V armlock. This technique targets the opponent’s shoulder joint, exerting pressure in a manner that can cause discomfort or lead to a submission. Executing the americana involves controlling the opponent’s wrist with one hand while securing their elbow with the other. By applying downward pressure, the practitioner aims to immobilize the opponent’s arm and secure the submission, adding a potent weapon to their arsenal.

The americana is effective in competition and self-defense situations, where controlling an opponent’s mobility can be crucial. With precise execution and leverage, even larger opponents can be stopped using the americana, showcasing its versatility across different scenarios on the mats.


2) Kimura

The kimura submission is a versatile attack that can be initiated effectively from side control. Named after the legendary Japanese martial artist Masahiko Kimura, who famously used it to defeat Helio Gracie, the kimura involves isolating the opponent’s arm and leveraging torque to exert pressure on the shoulder joint while controlling the elbow. This technique encompasses both offensive and defensive aspects, as practitioners can use it to transition from being controlled to assuming a dominant position.

To execute the kimura effectively, you must understand the principles of leverage and body mechanics, utilizing proper grip strength and positioning to secure the submission. Advanced variations of the kimura include setups from various positions such as half-guard, north-south, and even the back, showcasing its adaptability across different scenarios in BJJ competition. Mastery of the kimura requires dedication to drilling and refinement of technique, but its effectiveness makes it a staple in every grappler’s repertoire.


3) Armbar

Transitioning seamlessly from side control, practitioners can set up the armbar submission, targeting the opponent’s extended arm. By isolating the arm and controlling the wrist, you can go into position to hyperextend the elbow joint. This involves stepping over the opponent’s head while maintaining control, ultimately applying pressure to secure the armbar submission. With proper technique and timing, the armbar becomes a formidable weapon that can catch opponents off guard and lead to swift victories.

The armbar is not only effective in BJJ competition but also in real-life self-defense situations, where controlling an opponent’s limbs can be crucial for neutralizing threats. Mastery of the armbar requires a keen understanding of body mechanics and leverage, as well as the ability to anticipate and counter their opponent’s reactions. Whether executed from side control or other positions, the armbar remains a potent submission that demands respect from opponents of all skill levels.


4) North South Choke

The north-south choke presents a powerful threat from side control or transitions from other positions. This submission targets the opponent’s neck, applying pressure to the carotid arteries to force a submission. To execute the north-south choke effectively, you must establish proper positioning and leverage, ensuring a tight grip and maximizing pressure on the opponent’s neck. The key to a tight north-south choke is the placement of your looping arm against the opponent’s neck – ensure that you keep everything tight and do not leave any space as much as possible. Mastery of this technique adds a lethal dimension to one’s grappling repertoire, capable of ending matches in an instant.

Originating from judo and adapted for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the north-south choke exemplifies the effectiveness of leverage and technique over brute force. By controlling the opponent’s head and applying pressure strategically, you can render your opponents unconscious or force them to submit, showcasing the potency of technical submissions in BJJ competition. While mastering the north-south choke requires dedication and practice, its effectiveness makes it a valuable addition to any practitioner’s arsenal.


5) Knee On Belly

While not a submission per se, the knee-on-belly position serves as a valuable control technique from side control. By placing the knee on the opponent’s abdomen or chest, practitioners can exert pressure and disrupt the opponent’s breathing while maintaining mobility and options for further attacks. The knee-on-belly position also serves as a strategic setup for submissions such as arm triangles or transitions to more dominant positions, highlighting its versatility and effectiveness in BJJ strategy. You can also use the knee-on-belly to submit opponents, especially when you pull against their body as you push your knee on their body.


6) Paper Cutter Choke

After transitioning from the north-south position to side control, you can employ the paper cutter choke to apply pressure to the opponent’s neck. This submission targets the trachea, cutting off airflow and inducing discomfort or submission. Proper hand placement and leverage are necessary for executing the paper cutter choke effectively, as you aim to maximize pressure while maintaining control over the opponent. With precision and timing, this technique can become a formidable weapon.


7) Step Over Armbar

Another variation of the armbar from side control is the step-over armbar, a move that involves isolating the opponent’s arm and stepping over their head to secure the submission. You can hyperextend the arm and force a submission by leveraging the hips and applying pressure to the elbow joint. The step-over armbar adds a dynamic element to one’s grappling game, catching opponents off guard and providing opportunities for swift victories. Proficiency in this technique requires precision and timing as you need to be quick in stepping over the opponent’s body for the submission.



Mastering these attacks from side control requires dedication, technique, and a deep understanding of grappling fundamentals. By incorporating these techniques into your training regimen, you can significantly advance your skills and become a force on the mats.

Whether it’s securing submissions or transitioning to more dominant positions, these attacks offer practitioners a pathway to success in the dynamic world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. With continued practice and refinement, we guarantee that you can build a crushing side control game!


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