Breaking Down My Jits Game: Side Control

In the past twelve months, my jits game has come on hugely. I have begun to develop a concrete game plan but it still has gaping holes in it. Over a few blog posts, I’m going to break down my strengths and weaknesses, assess what areas I need to work on, and begin to put a plan in action for addressing those areas.

My strongest position is top side control. At a guess, 90% of my submission wins happen or develop from side control. Even when rolling with people in my own weight category, I have a strong, heavy side control that’s difficult to escape from. From side control, I’ve a few go to attacks.

North South Choke

The North South Choke is my go to move. I have even tapped brown belts with it regularly. It is by far my highest percentage move, especially in competitions (people down the club expect it and resist it). However, as I encounter better opponents and become better known on the Irish competitive jits scene (there are only a few hundred people and the numbers fall off as people get better, I already know a lot of the refs and people in my division), its effectiveness will start to fall. I need to use it more as a threat and a launching off point than the final attack. If I can build attacks on top of it, I can use the threat of submission to open opponents up. I also could put some more work into the mechanics of finishing it. The Monson version has got me to about 80% with it but there are other experts on it and I need to track down their ideas too.

Knee Ride

I don’t use knee ride enough. It’s a strong position and I am decent at it. It’s also worth two points in competition. I need (pun not intended, then intended when I noticed it) to start to use it more and also to have a look at attacks directly from it. I’m not confident in my cross collar choke so should look at the potential for arm triangles and kimuras.

Arm Attacks

I have a reliable straight-arm/key-lock combination that I should break out more. The step over straight-arm in particular is worth investigating again; especially with the nastier cross face subtleties. It also has the potential to be tacked on to a NS choke threat… This is one area that has the potential to come on if I put the time into it.

Gi Attacks

This is a fresh area for me. Only in the last few months have I started to do any gi attacks from side control. The two that I’ve found most effective are the step over with the back of my opponent’s collar and the turn choke with my own lapel. I’m actively trying to incorporate more chokes like these into my game and, like the arm attacks, they have potential.

Arm Triangles

Another area that I’ve scratched the surface of but would benefit from more work. I have occasionally hit a D’arce choke off a failed NS attempt and need to reexamine it, particularly given my new game plan is to hit things off failed NS attempts! A failed arm triangle attempt also leads into arm attacks so in the interest of tying my whole side control game together, arm triangles are a high priority area.


My side control game is my best but also has the most potential. There a few areas where I’ve got 10% of the work done and I’m operating at 50% effectivness. With another 10%, I reckon I can get to the marvelous Pareto, 20% work done, 80% effectiveness. If I spend some time on arm triangles and the transitions between NS chokes, arm triangles, and arm attacks then my game will be developing to where I need it to be.

MRO Facilities – Hanger Design

MRO Facilities - Aircraft Hanger Design

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve recently started doing some work with my dad. Specifically, working on the website for his aircraft hangar design company. One of the things I have to do is obviously SEO. However, “aircraft hangar” is spelt differently to “clothes hanger”, something, google’s keyword tool says, a lot of people don’t know. Rather than try and optimise the site by including, unprofessional, typos, we decided to do one page specifically targeting “aircraft hanger design” that would be a parody rather than a real page. You can check out our aircraft hanger design page over on the site.

52 Weeks, 52 Books

For 2014, I’m planning to read at least 52 books. For those who know me, you’ll realise that that in and of itself isn’t much of a challenge. In fact, as I write this towards the end of November, I’m probably on track to hit more than 50 books this year. The difference is that next year I am going to be making a concerted effort to improve the variety of what I read. In general, my non-fiction reading tends to be of a much higher quality than my fiction reading so getting my fiction reading away from exclusively swords and sorcery is the main aim. Although my non-fiction reading is mostly good, I do have an unfortunate penchant for business books. So they’re also going to be confined to the “occasional treat” pile with fantasy novels.

Ideally, I’m looking to have a fairly even divide between good fiction, literary fiction, good non-fiction and my usual crap. The difference between good fiction. literary fiction and my usual crap fiction is probably going to be a line only I can defend but we’ll see how things pan out as the list develops. I’m working on it now so if you’ve any suggestions please add them. As things stand, there will be ten books from Esquire’s 30 Books to Read Before You’re 30, ten suggested by my friend Derek who has far better literary taste than me, the twelve monthly books from the Tim Ferriss Book Club, and twelve books that will be undecided from the start so that I can take into account books I decide to read. This leaves eight books that will likely come from my “To Read” shelf on Goodreads or suggestions from anyone else. So if you’ve got suggestions, send them in!

We Are Photography – Wrap Up

So in just a few hours I will be handing the @WeRPhotography twitter account off to another photographer. I’ve had a fun week in control! This post is just a quick wrap up, linking to any posts during the week that people may have missed.

Intro Post
Monday – Shah Smooth
Tuesday – Keith
Tuesday – Gear
Wednesday – Poolbeg
Thursday – Will Willson
Friday – Guy Arbell
Saturday – Jeanie Johnston
Saturday – My Influences

Thanks to everyone who visited my site and interacted with me on twitter throughout the last week. Follow @HarryGuinness or sign up to the newsletter below to keep in touch.

We Are Photography – My Influences

Seeing as this week I’m tweeting from the @WeRPhotography twitter account, I thought it would be worth mentioning some of my influences. I’ve included the tweets below using Storify.

UPDATE: Because Storify updates dynamically, the name and picture in the tweets below. At the time it said Photographer/Harry and had a picture of me.