11 BJJ Submissions From Side Control That You Must Know

If you want to be good at BJJ you need to have a handful of submissions from side control mastered. When you are just getting started in BJJ focus on getting good at 2-3 side control submissions. 

When I first started BJJ I would always find myself in side control. That is if I was not getting smashed by a higher belt.

That said, once I got into side control I would not know what to do. Knowing a few submissions sure would have come in handy back then. 

Most Effective BJJ Side Control Submissions

Of course, going for a submission from side control is not the only option. You can also try to get to mount or take your opponent’s back.

However, there are some amazing submissions from side control that you need in your arsenal. So why not start with the submissions that have been proven to be the most effective and easiest to master? 

These 11 are some very basic and high-percentage submissions you must know. 

#1 Americana

The Americana or keylock is very likely going to be the first or at least one of the first submissions you are going to learn in BJJ.

The Americana is probably the most common submission from side control. That said, most higher belts will likely see this one coming. However, it is still a must-know submission from side control.

If you come from a judo background you might know this submission as Ude Garami. It is also known as a figure four armlock in catch wrestling.

Honestly, I could not figure out the exact origin of the Americana lock but it either came from judo or catch wrestling before it was known as the Americana in BJJ.

Either way, it is a submission that is widely used and is a must-know for any serious grappler. Check out this great video from Howcast to learn how to properly execute the Americana from side control.

#2 Kimura 

The kimura is another common side control submission that you will probably learn early on in jiu-jitsu. Also, known as the double wrist lock in catch wrestling this submission is very common and effective from side control.

Another great thing about mastering the Kimura is that you will use this submission and the kimura grip very often. The Kimura is a submission that you can use from just about any position. The Kimura grip is also extremely powerful and great for controlling your opponents. 

Though this lock has been around for a long time in judo and catch wrestling, it has since been named the kimura in most BJJ circles.

In fact, it was named after the judoka Masahiko Kimura after he defeated Helio Gracie with this shoulder lock in their famous grappling battle. Of course, at the time of their match, this lock was known as gyaku ude-garami from judo.

The kimura is an amazing submission because you can use it from so many positions. That said since this article is about submissions from side control let’s check out this video from Bernardo Faria BJJ.

In this video, John Danaher and Bernardo show you how to do the perfect kimura from side control.

#3 Armbar 

The armbar is one of the most well know submissions in the world. It is also one of the oldest submissions in the world. It dates back to at least the ancient Greeks, however, it is probably even older than that.

The armbar is yet another easy and highly effective submission from side control. It is a submission that you will use from white to black belt. So it is important to master the details from the start. 

The armbar is also known as juji gatame or the cross armlock in judo. It is one of the most used submissions in grappling tournaments and MMA. There are some very good reasons for this.

First of all this submission is very effective and can be executed from so many positions. So once you have the steps mastered you can utilize this submission from almost anywhere. 

Though it is often executed from the mount and closed guard, the armbar is also a great submission from side control. Check out this video of Damian Maia and Bernardo Faria teaching the armbar from side control.

# 4 Wrist Lock

Wrist locks are certainly not one of the most commonly used submissions in grappling. Though they are more common in Japanese Ju Jutsu, it is not something you will see often in BJJ.

That said, it can be very effective and even unexpected. It would also seem wrist locks are starting to be used more these days than they used to be. So learning wrist locks and wrist lock defense is still very important. 

That said, the wrist is a smaller joint than the elbow or knees. So be sure you know how and when to execute a wrist lock before you try it in class. The wrist lock can be very dangerous if you do not know what you are doing.

You might even get some criticism if you use them on people when rolling. Many people will get mad and consider them to be a dirty move. 

So you might be careful who you wrist lock if you choose to use them. Either way, you should at least know how to do them. Watch this video of Keenan Cornelius showing a wrist lock from side control.

#5 Paper Cutter Choke

Finally, we are getting to some chokes. One of my favorite chokes from side control is the paper cutter choke. This choke is also known as the bread cutter choke.

Since it is a lapel choke it is the first submission on this list that only works in the gi. But if executed correctly it can be one of the most effective side control submissions to add to your arsenal. 

That said, there are some modifications you can do to make it work in no-gi as well. However, for now, let’s first learn how to do the paper cutter choke in the gi.

Here is an awesome tutorial showing how to execute the paper cutter choke from side control.

#6 Darce Choke

The D’arce choke is my favorite choke from side control. This is probably because I am tall and have pretty long arms which makes it a great submission for my body type.

The Darce choke is also known as the Brabo choke but became famous from a grappler names Joe D’arce. If you have the body type this might end up being your most effective submission.

I often hit the D’arce from side control and top half guard. This is one of the reasons I love it so much is that even if your opponent moves from bottom-side control to bottom-half guard, it is still a great half-guard submission.

Another thing I love about the Darce choke is that it can be used in both gi and no-gi BJJ.  Here is a good example from Trainfightwin on how to execute a Darce choke from side control.

#7 Arm Triangle

Another great submission from side control is the arm triangle or the Kata Gatame in judo. Also known as the head and arm choke this stranglehold can be very effective. Technically the Darce choke is also a type of arm triangle. 

However, we will be referring to the arm triangle choke or head and arm choke where your opponent is on their back with their shoulders on the ground.

This is also another submission from side control that is great for gi and no-gi BJJ. Though many people struggle at first with the mechanics of the arm triangle, once mastered it is a very high percentage submission. 

Here is a quick video on how to execute the arm triangle from side control.

#8 Triangle Choke 

The triangle choke is probably not the most well know submission from side control. Typically the triangle is a submission you would usually think of executing from the closed guard.

That said, transitioning from side control to the triangle choke is great and often unexpected. The triangle choke, also known as sankaku-jime is a very popular technique originally found in judo.

The triangle choke is one of the most common submissions used in sport jiu-jitsu as well as MMA. This is especially a very effective submission for people with longer legs.

This is also likely one of the first submissions you will learn in BJJ. However, if you are new to BJJ you probably have not learned the triangle from side control.

Here is a great video where Andre Galvao demonstrates how to execute the triangle from side control.

#9 Baseball Bat Choke

The baseball bat choke is a highly effective choke in BJJ. You can hit the baseball bat choke from a number of positions.

One of the most common and effective is from side control. Typically this submission is one where the use of a gi is required. However, there is a no-gi version of the baseball bat choke as well.

It gets its name from the grip that is used in this choke. This is because the grip looks the same as someone gripping a baseball bat.

Though many people will see the baseball bat choke coming, there are some sneaky ways to get away with this choke. Here is a great example from Chewjitsu!

#10 North-South Choke

The north-south choke is an amazing submission from side control. By appearances, this choke is very simple and easy to understand. That being said, there are many small details you will need to master to properly execute this technique.

In fact, Marcelo Garcia even has a whole program dedicated to the north-south choke. It is called: The Complete North-South Choke By Marcelo Garcia.

His name is typically the first name that comes to mind when you think of the north-south choke. Well, that and the Marcelotine

With that in mind let us look at how to properly execute the north-south choke from side control. Here is Marcelo Garcia himself teaching the north-south choke from side control.

If you want to learn this choke in more detail I suggest checking out his program.

#11 Ezekiel choke

The Ezekiel choke or the sleeve choke is an amazing choke to execute from side control. With the Ezekiel choke, you will use your own gi as leverage to choke out your opponent. This choke is highly effective and can be executed at very little risk.

Though it is the last submission on this list it is certainly not the least effective. It is the perfect BJJ submission from side control. Check out this video from Mohler MMA to learn how to do the Ezekiel choke from side control.

Now Pick A Few Side Control Submissions To Add To Your Game!

There you have it my top 11 BJJ submissions from side control. Side control can be an excellent place to submit your opponent.

This is especially true if you know a good handful of submissions. If you are new to BJJ, simply memorize a few of these submissions at first.

To make sure you are executing these submissions correctly ask your teacher for some guidance. You might even get a private lesson to ensure you have a few submissions down.

If you want to take things a bit further you might even consider purchasing a side control instructional like Bernardo Faria’s Side Control Setups & Submissions. This instructional will help you bring your side control game to a new level. 

Either way learning submissions from side control is crucial for expanding your grappling skills. That said, I hope you learned a few new submissions to add to your side control game!

Joshua Paul

Joshua Paul is a BJJ purple belt who lives in Austin, Texas. Joshua loves all forms of grappling and when he is off the mats he is likely spending time with his wife and son.

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