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Rethinking Side Control: Insights from Craig Jones's B Team BJJ Strategy

In a recent exploration of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) techniques, Craig Jones, a renowned figure within the BJJ community, casts a critical eye on the conventional employment of side control in grappling. He posits that this traditional position, often lauded for its stability and potential for submissions, may in fact be a double-edged sword. According to Jones, the reliance on arms for maintaining control in side control compromises a practitioner's ability to efficiently execute submissions.

Jones provocatively questions the grappling acumen of certain black belts, advocating for a strategic overhaul in grappling approaches. He juxtaposes the age-old valorization of positional dominance with the practical effectiveness of guard pulling, a tactic that has proven its worth in both BJJ circles and the mixed martial arts (MMA) arena. Preferring the nuanced control of legs over arms, Jones makes a case for transitions from half guard to mount as smarter, more effective maneuvers that enhance both control and the likelihood of successful submissions.

His critique doesn't stop with personal practice; Jones extends his observations to the broader practices within the BJJ sphere, encouraging a shift towards more dynamic, impactful grappling methods. Through his educational videos, Jones not only shares his expertise but also provides actionable advice designed to elevate the grappling game of his audience. He delves into the "double trouble" principle, emphasizing the tactical advantage of controlling an opponent's secondary arm, thereby drastically reducing their defensive capabilities.

Jones's approach to BJJ is both revolutionary and pragmatic, challenging established norms and suggesting a shift in the paradigm of grappling techniques. His focus on leg control and strategic positioning invites a reevaluation of what constitutes effective grappling. As a result, Jones's insights and methodologies have the potential to shape the future of BJJ, steering practitioners towards a more evolved, efficient, and successful grappling strategy that moves beyond the traditional confines of side control.