Cross Side (Side Control) Bottom Frames

I shot these videos a while ago and never had the chance to write up a post so here it is… Cross side bottom is a game I’ve been really working lately. I don’t end up there a lot in sparring anymore but I’m interested in it a lot as a coach. White belts need to know this game well. I also think that being good from underneath cross side position is the gateway to having a good guard. It allows much more opportunity for recapturing guard which in turn allows you to play a more forgiving guard game. This is key for guard development.

In this first video I’ll do an overview of framing with the far arm in the 3 ranges. This is the go to arm for frames and does the bulk of the escape work in bottom. Just using this arm well when your guard is getting passed will make a huge difference.

Long Range

This video will go over using the long range frame from a distance when they first start the pass. This is the early defense. You’ll  see some options for grips and placements and why you’d use one over the other.  This is mostly a structural discovery lesson for the long frame and how it works.

Medium Range

In this video we’ll look at short frames from later in the pass. This may be more typical for white belts as the timing of getting in there early may not be there yet. The structure is the same but we are building it differently. Space management is key here. If you can hold space and keep the top guy from taking too much you have good opportunity for escape.

Close Range

Not much to say here. You’ll see that close range is not much different than middle range. You have less room to work but the frames are the same. This is no surprise because you only have 2 lengths of frame to work with and the long one surely won’t work here.

Defending Shoulder of Justice (tight crossface)

If you’ve ever rolled with someone who has a tight crossface when grappling it can be a nightmare. You’ve made quite a few mistakes to allow them to get this deep already so anything you can do to fix the situation will be good. I’ll give you a few solutions here to make some much needed space. Jiu Jitsu is all about space management and when you find yourself here you have completely lost the space management game. Let’s try to fix it.


I’ve been working on a different paradigm for initial posture from cross sides bottom. I’ll shoot some video on it soon. It’s proving to be very effective. It’s all about posture, spine alignment, hip placement and space management. The evolution continues. Look for it soon..

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