“Invisible Jiu-Jitsu” Weight Distribution with Henry Akins

Side Control
Now that you’ve passed the guard, you’ve gotten into the side control position. Henry says this is the position in which this concept can have the greatest effect. Henry has seen many black belts tap simply from the pressure being placed on them from this concept being utilized correctly. No submission; it’s just so uncomfortable, they can’t breathe and they end up tapping.

Rules of Side Control


Whenever you’re in side control with your opponent you are NEVER on your knees, and you’re never sitting on your butt. Whenever you do either of these things that means your weight is no longer engaging your opponent. Your weight is being wasted, so keep the knees up, and stay on your toes.



Keeping The Position

1. If your opponent wants to turn into you, bring your hips up and force the pressure down and forward to flatten him out.


2. If he tries to push your hip away, just drop the other hip. So, here Sean is pushing against Henry’s left hip. Henry drops his right hip and eliminates the angle and leverage. If Henry didn’t do this and tried to resist instead, he might leave himself open to getting swept.


3. Although not a rule, Henry likes to keep his right arm near his opponent’s hip as a simple way of protecting against the guard recovery, his left arm is over his opponent’s shoulder, but he’s careful not to rest it on the mat. This would reduce the amount of weight being placed on his opponent.


4. When it’s time to attack the far arm, Henry will bring both arms over and maintain the chest-to-chest weight the entire time. Bringing the right arm over does pose a problem in protecting against the guard recovery.


5. When your have both of your arms to your opponent’s side you must be cautious of his guard recovery. He could sneak a knee in there to begin to recover. Any time you feel him start to bring his leg up you have two options. You can either bring your left leg underneath your body, pivoting to your right. Or, you can do a “sit out” to your left bringing your right leg across, near your opponent’s head. With either example, remember to keep your butt and knees off the mat and remain on your toes so he’s dealing with your weight.

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6. Once you get a good grasp of the concept of using your hips to block that guard recovery you’ll find that attacking the far arm with your weight concentrated on your opponent is really easy. You’ll feel very light and fluid. From a more conventional side control you’re not nearly as mobile as you are when you’re on your toes. It’s easier to adjust because you’re very light with your weight on your opponent.


Key Points
When your opponent is trying to escape the cross side position he usually tries to get to his side so he can either recover guard or get back to his belly then his knees. Always try to adjust your weight and put it towards whatever shoulder your opponent is trying to lift up. So the basic idea of side control is to use your weight to kill the shoulder your opponent is trying to lift off the mat to keep him flat on his back.

For more techniques from Henry Click HERE


Mike Velez is the Editor and Publisher of Jiu-Jitsu Magazine. He has been training since 2009 and is a brown belt under Rafael Oliveira of Gracie Barra in Chino, CA. You can contact Mike at mikev@jiujitsumag.com.

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