Monday, 9 March 2009

Mount or Side Mount for MMA

In an MMA fight, probably the most useful positions for ground fighting are the side mount (yoko shiho gatame) and the mount (tate shiho gatame). When two people are grappling nearly always it is for one of these two positions that scrambling can be sometimes be so intense. The mount is considered to be the most dominant position. Whenever a person achieves it you always hear the “Ohs” and “Ahs” from anyone watching and rightly so. It is a very strong position to achieve and can lead to greater techniques which can end a fight. Is it a better position to be in than the side mount however?

The side mount first of all keeps your body pressed onto your opponent’s chest. This makes it harder for him/her to move or to strike with power. This position also gives you the opportunity to deliver knee strikes to your opponent’s body with a lot of power, which can be very painful. GSP is well known for delivering these kinds of knee strikes. Arm locks and leg locks can be applied from the side mount and it is a great position to easily flow with your opponents movements and move into another position if necessary. Also as you are low, pressed onto your opponents body, it makes it hard for you to be turned over onto your back.

The mount puts you right on top of your opponent, which makes it very hard for them to move. With regards to striking, you can keep your head up and strike down with great power with fists of elbows. You can easily reach your opponents face to strike, but because you are high up, he/she can not strike you back. Their only hope in defending is to sit up, and hug there body tight against yours (body lock), cutting off any gaps in order to land effective strikes. This is hard to do though as you can push them back down or strike them as they try and body lock you. Strikes are the most dangerous from the mount and most times in order to stop being hit, your opponent will turn his back to you which puts them in line for a choke hold to end the fight. No leg techniques can be performed as you are bracing your weight on you knees. The problem with the mount however, is that if your weight is not directly on top of your opponents chest but on his/her bottom torso area, your opponent can arch his/her hips up in order to roll you on you back and for you to stop this from happening you must brace yourself with your hands on the floor. This can stop you from striking. Submissions that can be obtained from the mount are mainly arm locks, but again once you trap an arm in order to apply the lock, you are not able to brace yourself and your opponent can roll you over escaping the mount.

Both positions have disadvantages as well as advantages. The mount keeps you safe and out of danger of any fight stopping strikes from your opponent whilst giving you the ability to land some of your own. Sometimes though, you can be easily turned onto your back when mounting your opponent especially when going for submissions. The side mount allows devastating knee strikes which can do some real damage and can’t even be seen by your opponent, but he/she can move better in this position than when mounted and can even land some knee strikes of there own.

As regards to which position is better, there is no answer. Some will prefer the mount where some prefer the side mount. Practising both positions so as your proficient striking and applying submissions from both is best. If you favour one over the other that’s fine and natural, but don’t neglect practising one position as it will keep you limited as a fighter.


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