Today’s Technique: Toe Hold from Side Mount


This is more to remind me of how to do this technique, but if you can pick it up from the description or have pointers, mad props. While I’m out of practice I’m going to try to make a point to go over how to do at least one technique each day.

  1. You’re on top in side control. For simplicity sake you’re on their right side (your right arm is closes to their feet, your left arm is up by their head). Your left arm is on the far side (think kimura set-ups). Your right arm can either be on the far side (judo style pin) or blocking the hip (in a semi-North-South style side control).
  2. Put your right hand between their legs and grab their left foot at the toe. You don’t need to worry about the inverted triangle from here because you’re holding their foot. Having said that, their defense at this point is simply to straighten their left leg so be quick with step 3. If they do straighten their leg, bail and switch to mount. Most of the time that I’m setting up leg locks I’m looking for them to do the easy defense because it opens a direct path to a better position.
  3. Lace your left hand under their leg and figure-four so that you have the basic toe hold position. From here you’re pretty much golden. There still are escapes, but in a worst-case scenario you still shouldn’t be in a terrible position.
  4. Rise up and use the figure-four lock to turn them towards you. This is made that much easier if they’re trying to shrimp to get out of side control. The goal is to use the ankle to lock the knee and hip. Some play is warranted here to find the best position for you personally to finish this.
  5. Remember – your hands are just locked, it’s your body that applies to force. Even if you’re using your hips to pin their hips or keep your base, you can twist your shoulders to get most of your weight fighting their ankle. That’s not a fight their ankle is going to win.
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