In the BJJ position hierarchy, being on top of mount is considered one of the most dominant and best options for attacking. But even better is the variation called an S-mount.
This puts heavier pressure on the person on the bottom and opens up the opportunities for several high percentage submissions.
Once the S-mount is established tight, the person on bottom has very few options and is often left at your mercy. This is why it’s well worth learning how to crush the spirit and midsection of your opponents and stylishly finish from the mighty S-mount.
Mount is one of the most dominant positions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu because it leaves no offensive options for the person on the bottom and plenty of control and possible attacks for the one on top. This is why the mount is among the highest-scoring positions in competition jiu-jitsu.
You must sit on the opponent’s belly or chest to be in mount. The most important part is to have your hips over his, so he can’t use his legs to control your posture.
Mount may be a dominant position and be very uncomfortable for the mounted person. Still, other variations are even more devastating, and one of my personal favorites is the S-mount.
In addition to crushing the opponent’s will to live, S-mount allows for several high-percentage finishes, but before we get there, let’s first look at how to establish S-mount and create crushing pressure.
The name of the position comes from the positions of the legs of the top person, which form the letter S.
To establish an S-mount, you need to have one knee next to the opponent’s head, behind his shoulder, and the foot of your other leg underneath his other shoulder.
Establishing The S-Mount
To be able to get there, though, you need to first expose the elbow on the side where your knee will go. Only by doing this can you bring your knee behind their shoulder.
The other leg then slides, with the foot landing underneath his other shoulder. To make the slide easier, move your weight onto the leg that is already in position.
This can easily be done against inexperienced opponents who turn halfway sideways while trying to escape the regular full mount. In this case, he is already in position for the S-mount, you just need to establish it.
But often, this won’t happen, so you will have to force it. This can be done in multiple ways, like controlling the head, attacking the arm with a submission, or even from a sweep.
Once your legs are in position, it’s time to put nasty pressure on the sweet spot and make life hell for the person beneath you. One of my coaches calls this “taking his soul bit by bit.”
Using your thigh on his solar plexus is the best position to put pressure on. Ideally, his head should rest on your thing and knee, like on a pillow.
The most common attack from S-mount is the near-side armbar. From the mount, you need to control the arm on the near side either by grabbing it with two hands and controlling the thumb or using an elbow-to-elbow grip.
Once you control his arm, lean towards the leg sitting on his chest, ensuring you don’t leave him any space to move.
The lean will free the weight off your other leg, which you then move across the opponent’s face, leaving you in the standard armbar position, from where you can finish.
Finishing the armbar if he defends is another topic, but getting into the finishing position from S-mount is the most natural attack.
The other popular attack from the S-mount is the mounted triangle. This can be finished if the opponent defends the armbar attempt by under-hooking your leg, which will place it over his shoulder and near the neck.
You must control his head the whole time, so he can’t make a powerful bridge. The knee and foot of the leg across his neck should touch.
Then you lean towards the hooking leg to free the other one and do the figure four with the ankle behind your knee.
At this point, it’s game over for your opponent because you can finish the triangle just by pulling his head, or you can make him tap by bringing his arm up for a nasty armbar with little effort.
The Omoplata is also possible from the mighty S-mount. The most common way to hit this is on opponents expecting the armbar finish and trying to defend. To finish the Omoplata, you must first trap his far side arm underneath your armpit.
Then, when you start attacking the near arm for an armbar, and he turns towards you, you sit back, holding your shin, and transition to the Omoplata finish.
Far Side Armbar
The far-side armbar is a bit trickier to execute but is another excellent option when the opponent defends the standard armbar with the RNC grip. When this happens, attack the opposite arm, switch your leg position, and swivel to the other side for the armbar finish.
Escaping From S-Mount
The S-mount is a terrible position to be in, and the best defense, as always, is prevention. To prevent the opponent from climbing up in a position to establish S-mount, you should use strong frames and even slide on your shoulders to keep him in low mount.
But you already know that and want to know what to do once the opponent puts crushing pressure on your body and is taking his time to set up an attack.
The best course of action is to find a way to reestablish frames by turning toward the opponent and realigning with him.
If you manage this, you have almost returned to regular mount and can use the arms to frame and further improve the position.
The last resort option is when the S-mount is too tight and you can’t move in any direction. If this happens, you need to wait for the attack, try to defend, and end up in a better position. Here is a good example of this in competition:
Like every other move in jiu-jitsu, the S-mount can and should be drilled. The usual drills include establishing the S-mount and continuing to the armbar finish, but you can also add the triangle choke variation.
I suggest starting with the full sequence of movements, but once you get it down, you can continue doing only the hardest part of the movement, which will allow you to do a lot more reps like shown in this video:
I am not going to hide it; crushing someone from S-mount feels good. The position gives you almost complete control and more than enough time to carefully set up an armbar, mounted triangle, or Omoplata.
Escaping the S-mount is difficult, so you better avoid getting mounted like this in the first place by using strong frames and not allowing the opponent to establish it. The S-mount is an important position, so be sure to drill it extensively on offense and defense.