Side Control Series with Rigan Machado

Rigan MachadoRigan Machado is an expert in all things BJJ and especially side control.  He knows how to use his weight…. all 260 lbs and likes to illustrate this by saying, “Come here…. so you can feel.”  Then he shows you what all 260 lbs feels like and it gets hard to move and even harder to breathe.  When you try to hip escape or turn onto your side, techniques that occasionally work on people that aren’t 8th degree black belt masters, you go nowhere and lose even more air until you just want to tap out… and that’s before he’s even tried a submission.

Side control was the focus of this class, and the first position he showed was how to apply your ‘dead man’s weight’ onto your partner.  Just lay across him, chest to chest, with your feet sprawled and hips down.  The trick he showed was to be in a position where both your elbows can touch the ground… this allows for optimal application of your full body weight on your partner.

Assuming I’m on top in side control, now with both elbows on the ground along with my head on my partners right side, to make things even MORE difficult for the person on the bottom, take my right hand  and reach deep under his right shoulder to grab his gi in the region of his mid right latissimus dorsi.  This position eliminates any remaining movement he has with his right harm, and with my hand being under him, makes my side control even heavier.  Then use my left hand to start pushing his right elbow (which is still trapped from my body on top) towards his head, to cause it to abduct until it is eventually free.  From here we started going over the different submissions.

Variation 1: His right arm is in an underhook position, under my left armpit

  1. Grab his right wrist with my left hand
  2. Walk my feet towards his head until I am in north south and then lower my knees so that they are next to his shoulder
  3. At same time slide my right arm under his right arm to grab my own left wrist to establish kimura
  4. Step up right leg and lift partner up onto his left side (right arm up) and finish the submission with the kimura

Variation 2: His right arm is on the left side of my head

  1. Use my left hand to grab his right elbow/tricep and pull it in towards my body, planting my left elbow on his sternum, controlling his right arm
  2. Slowly walk towards north south, all the while using my head to help control his right arm, along with my left hand, keeping his right arm fully extended
  3. Once in north south there are two possibilities:
  4. If his arm remains extended, I can use my right hand to plant either on his face (if I’m feeling mean) or on the ground next to his face (if I’m feeling nice) to help create a base to rotate around and throw my legs over him to finish with an armbar.
  5. If he bends his elbow to try to protect against the armbar, then I use my right arm to quickly switch grips with my left elbow/arm, so that now my right antecubital fossa is hooked against his right antecubital fossa.  Then my left hand grabs his right wrist and my right hand grabs my left wrist, and finish with the kimura.

Variation 3: His right arm is on the right side of my head

  1.  My right hand lets go of the gi grip by his latissimus doris and grabs my left collar instead, controlling his right arm.
  2. Then slowly walk to north south, all the while using my head to help control his right arm and keep it extended, and my feet driving my head towards his hips to also help keep his arm extended.
  3. While transitioning to north south, my left hand his on the ground near his left hip to prevent him from using his hips to establish guard.
  4. Once in north south, there are two options:
  5. If his arm remains extended, then I can finish with armbar
  6. If he uses his right arm to reach around my back to hold onto his left hand to protect against the arm bar, I can finish with a choke.
  7. To set up the choke, use my left hand to reach under his left armpit to grab the back of his collar.
  8. Then use my right hand to establish a cross face position as I slowly walk my legs from north south back onto his left side.
  9. Once established on his left side, let go of the crossface, and slide my right hand over his neck to have an overhand grip of his right collar.
  10. Then sprawl my legs out, hips to the floor, and push my right elbow to the ground for the submission.

I’m sure I’m missing some details, but hopefully I wrote enough to spark my memory.

2 Responses to Side Control Series with Rigan Machado

  1. says:

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this article!
    It’s the little changes that make the greatest changes.

    Thanks for sharing!

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