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Submissions From Side Control, Knee on Belly, Scarf Hold (Kesa Gatame), and North-South Positions

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

Kimura: Control the opponent's arm, isolate the shoulder joint, and apply pressure to secure a Kimura lock. The opponent can be locked down by stepping the leg nearest the opponents head, over his head, or by transferring to a seated position on the opponent's head.

Kimura stepping over the head

Kimura seated on the head

Americana (Keylock): Pin the opponent's arm to the mat and apply pressure on the elbow joint to execute the Americana.

Straight Armlock: Similar to an armbar, you isolate the opponents arm and apply pressure at the elbow joint. This technique is done across the opponents body and using arms to apply pressure at the fulcrum of the elbow.

Triple Threat: Americana, Straight Armlock, and Kimura

Armbar: Transition to an armbar by isolating and controlling the opponent's arm.

Bicep Slicer: Trap the opponent's arm and apply pressure to the bicep, inducing pain and potential submission. Typically done after a failed or struggling armbar. Or can be done from bottom side control.

After a failed armbar

From bottom side control

Arm Triangle Choke: Move to a diagonal position, trapping the opponent's arm and head to create a choke.

Option 1: Windshield wiper movement to transfer to choke (more control, more preferred*)

Option 2: Jumping over to transfer to the choke (less control, but can be effective if done right)

Ezekiel Choke (Gi Only): Use the inside of your arm to apply pressure to the opponent's trachea while maintaining side control.

Paper Cutter Choke : Control the opponent's gi collar and apply a choking mechanism by driving the wrist into their neck. There is also a version to apply this choke using control of the hands on the opponent's shoulders rather than lapel and collar grips.

Gi Version:

No Gi Version:

Step Over Choke (Gi Only): (A personal favorite of mine) This choke is a sneaky choke that is done through a grip on the near side collar, followed by a step over the head to apply a choking mechanism to the opponent.

Monoplata: Isolate the opponent's arm and apply pressure to the shoulder joint in a manner similar to the Kimura.

(Sam Snow is a friend of mine and a great instructor, subscribe to the channel below if you can!)

Brabo Choke (D'Arce Choke using Gi Grips): From side control, use Gi grips to trap the opponent's head and arm, creating a choke.

D'Arce Choke: From side control, use the arms to encircle the opponent's head and arm, creating a choke.

Shoulder Lock: Control the opponent's arm and shoulder, applying pressure for a shoulder lock.

Wrist Locks: Various wrist locks can be applied by manipulating the opponent's wrist joint.

Hyperextension wrist lock from side control

Scarf Hold (Kesa Gatame)

Leg Americana: Control the opponent's arm and use your leg to apply pressure on the elbow joint, similar to an Americana.

Kesa Gatame Armlock: Secure an arm while maintaining scarf hold, and apply an armlock.

Kesa Gatame Kimura: Secure your opponents underhook in a scarf hold position, and apply a kimura pressure to the shoulder.

Knee Bar: Isolate the leg and apply a hyperextension pressure to the knee joint using your hips.

Heel Hook (practice with great caution): A techniue where you isolate the opponents heel to apply a torque pressure at the knee joint. (Note: This submission is very dangerous for the opponent and banned from use for lower belts in most tournaments. Practice with caution and ensure your partner and coach are okay with you practicing this.)

Leg Americana maintaining far side underhook

Kesa Gatame System: position, americana, head and arm choke, and kimura

Kesa Gatame System 2: position, americana, armlock, knee bar, heel hook

Knee on belly: A great option to create discomfort in your opponent and open unique opportunities for attacs

Knee on belly attacks: Collar chokes, baseball bat choke, armbars, paper cutter choke,

North South

North-South Choke: Transition to a north-south position, control the opponent's head, and apply pressure for a choke.

Kimura: Transition to a Kimura grip while in the north-south position, isolating one of the opponent's arms and applying pressure on the shoulder joint.

Leg Scissor Choke: A technique where the practitioner controls the opponent through a kimura grip on the arm and uses the legs to produce a scissor pressure choke across the opponents neck.

Armbar: A technique that isolates the opponents arm and applies pressure at the elbow joint.

Triangle Choke: A technique that isolates the opponent's head and arm with leg pressure from the practitioner to apply a choke.

Executioner Neck Crank: A technique that applies an over-hook control over the opponents neck, followed by a hyperextension and traction pressure.

This video shows a variety of submissions and shows the fluid nature of the north south position that includes mount, technical mount, and side control in applying submissions: Includes the kimura, leg scissor choke, armbar, triangle, north south choke variations, executioner neck crank (or back take transition)

North South Choke and Arm Bars


In conclusion, submissions from side control in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu illustrate the art's emphasis on control and technique. Side control provides the dominant practitioner with the ability to restrict their opponent's movement, setting the stage for a variety of effective submissions. Side control can also set the stage for a variety of transitions to include mount, technical mount, back control, knee on belly, scarf hold, north-south, and more. This position can be a very dynamic position so it is important to keep that in mind when practicing the fluid art of jiu-jitsu.

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