Twister side control is the perfect positional variation to attack from a tight pin. Not many traditional side control variations can offer opportunities like the Twister side control. Mount, back and truck transitions, as well as numerous submissions all while staying perfectly safe. It is what Jiu-Jitsu is all about!
In BJJ, the side control position is a very limiting one. Due to the nature of alignment, you could either focus on completely controlling someone or attacking them. Doing both is not a viable course of action in most cases. Thea reason for this is that side control as an attacking position is very dynamic in nature. You need to be constantly shifting your weight, transitioning between variations and switching weight distribution. Pins (usually for points) from side control, on the other hand, are static in essence. This means the opponent can’t move, but neither can you without giving up total control. It’s a positional catch 22 but we have the perfect solution – twister side control.
Twister side control, as a concept, is another one of the 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu positions that really work. It is nothing new, nor groundbreaking but it is insanely effective. It does what regular side control can’t – offer control and attacks at the same time. Despite appearing to be an unstable position at first, once you give it a try you’ll never look back. Twister side control is not an easy position to master, though. You’ll need a lot of work to fine tune the tiny details that make it such a dominant position.
What Is Twister Side Control?
Twister side control is, in essence, a reverse Kesa Gatame variation. It is a great way of isolating your opponent’s head and shoulders from the rest of their body. Furthermore, it offers a way to control the hips via the legs, making it very effective as a pin. The body positioning opens up transitions to the mount without any added effort. Back and truck position transitions require a bit more work but are there for the taking. As are a number of sneaky submissions.
For twister side control, you need to remember one cardinal rule. The butt must never touch the floor! Breaking this rule is going to nullify the effectiveness of the position. The goal is to have your ribs high up the opponent’s chest while facing toward their legs. The key to control is keeping their arms above their shoulders (like in mount). To do this, you need on elbow pushing on the far side triceps while your butt pushes off on the opposite side arm.
Remember to stay on your toes at all times. The only instances when the knees touch the ground are during attacks. A key hint is keeping your free arm extended and pushing on their far side knee. This is going to keep the legs down while disrupting any base the opponent might look for. From there, just sit back (butt is still up) and chill. Once you get points, or you’ve tortured your opponent enough, you can look to attack or transition.
What Can You Do From Twister Side Control?
As already stated, twister side control offers plenty of attacking options. Initially, there are direct submissions ranging from armlocks to chokes. Moreover, there are attacks that include transition into other more dominant positions. Finally, there are transitional options to positions that offer both better control and more competition points. To that extent, we’ll cover two main categories of twister side control attacks: submissions and transitions.
Armlocks From Twister Side Control
The twister side control offers up one of the most unbelievable arm locks in the game. Eddie Bravo calls it the Baby Arm Submission. When you’re in perfect Twister side, the opponent often times tries to push on your back. Good positioning makes this futile so one of their arms often ends up between your legs. That right there is a gift for you. Control the wrist with your free arm and use your bottom leg as a wedge. Simply pull up on their wrist and sneak your calf under the opponent’s forearm. From there triangle your legs and simply push down extending the arm.
On the far side, you have the opportunity for a less flashy but just as effective submission. If your opponent threads their far arm through, simply pin it to the ground and go for a kimura. You’ll most likely need to switch your hips or go in North-South to finish, but you’ll get the tap.
D’arce choke / Arm Triangle
From twister side control, your opponent has two main avenues of movement. They can try to turn towards you, or away from you. In both cases, they’ll end up in a worse spot. When an opponent sneaks their far arm under your armpit and attempts to turn in, it’s D’arce o’clock. Simply let the opponent turn while keeping your butt up and slide your arm inside for the D’arce. If you like, you can go for a Japanese necktie as well.
From the same situation, but with the opponent’s arm looking to frame on your head you have a different choke. Their arm on your head means an opening for an arm triangle. use the opponent’s turning motion to set the choke up. Finishing is going to require you to hop to the opposite side.
If an opponent is foolish enough to turn away from you have several great options. If you have their arms pinned in place, turning this way won’t do them much good. It is, however, going to expose their near side leg for an attack. Make sure you control the near side leg with your arm and swing your bottom leg in between the opponent’s legs. Finishing the kneebar from there is a textbook.
Rolling To Truck
When looking to transition to more dominant attacking positions, you are going to use the opponent’s movement against them once again. Namely, for an opponent to turn into you, they’ll have to switch their hips. This places their top leg in perfect position for a Truck entry. Use your bottom leg to hook their top leg and you’re halfway there. Once you triangle your legs, go for grips on the bottom leg and roll over on your free shoulder. You’re in the Truck with a calf slicer all ready to go!
You can get into the Truck without rolling as well. Once the opponent turns int and you trap the leg, simply stay there. The opponent is going to struggle to get to their knees. Allow them to get there, and you’ll be in an arm drag-like position. Instead of thinking back control, go for a grip around the opponent’s crotch. Once you have it lie back and you’re in the truck, this time ready fora banana split submission. A few steps away you could also hit a twister for bonus performance points.
Back And Mount Transitions
If you’re looking to play a more traditional game, or simply like attacking from the back or mount, both are very easily attainable from Twister side control. The mount is as easy as swinging a leg over. From perfect Twister side control, use your arm on the knee to open up space for your leg. Use your top leg to tip-toe over and switch into mount. Look to keep their arms above shoulder level so you can go for armbars straight away.
You could also take the back from different directions. If an opponent turns away to their knees, you could go for a regular turtle back take. If they try to turn towards you, go for the twister hook like in the Truck transition. Once again you can allow the opponent to get to the knees and pull them for a back take. Or, you could go for the attractive and roll, just like for a Truck transition. This time, however, extend both your legs after rolling and you’ll end up straight on the back. In most cases, you’ll also have a window to slap on a rear naked choke.
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