Arriving at the Side Switch: Side Mount Escapes and the Benefits of a Good Side Switch

TL Naples BJJ and BJJ Engineer: Arriving at the Side Switch

The sequence of moves I am going to illustrate below are my attempts to give a beginner or intermediate practitioner of the arts some understanding of the game that is going on from side mount, which will help illustrate why the side switch its one of my favorite techniques, and in my opinion a very important movement.

Before we proceeding to the the techniques let me explain when I realized the importance of this movement. I watched the very anticipated fight between Andre Galvao vs Antonio “Nino” Schembri in the 2006 Mundials shown below ( for a better version buy the 2006 Mundials from

I was really impressed with the way Galvao moved around BJJ Legend Nino. The side switch occurs at 42 seconds into the video. As Andre transitions from mount to knee on belly threatening with a choke, Nino tries to come up with a single leg, and Galvao responds with a beautiful side switch which is the beginning of the end for Nino.

Basic: Escape from Side Control – Bridge and Shrimp

Lets first examine basic escapes from the bottom of side. The shrimp and the bridge are one of the first movement one should master in BJJ. Here they re combined to escape from side control. The shrimping motion alone will be difficult to execute when the opponent is applying good pressure from the to. The bridge uses your hips which are a lot stronger than your arms to create the space needed for the shrimping motion(

Basic: Escape From Side Mount to Halfguard

One common counter to a bridge and shrimp is the opponent will start eventually following your hips with his knees. A good strategy is to be ready to bring the opponent into half guard of the shrimp with a series of attacks in mind.

Basic: Escape From Side Control – Turning to the Knees

Ok no we are getting closer to one of teh most common uses of the side switch. When the opponent starts turning to his knees and takes a hold of the near leg and threatens to finish with asingle from the knees. One counter to this position is the actual side switch.

Basic: Side Switch

With out any further delay … the side switch.

Basic: Side Switch Drill

A simple way to drill and improve you side switching ability.

If you enjoy this series please make sure to leave your comments and opinions by leaving us a comment. Thanks!

One Response to “Arriving at the Side Switch: Side Mount Escapes and the Benefits of a Good Side Switch”

  1. BartB says:

    That is a ton of cool information. One other thing I noticed that Galvao did is that he moved from mount to knee-on-belly almost immediately, and that set up his side switch on Nino.