Gordon Ryan Shares a Simple Secret to Attacking from Mount

Top pound-for-pound no-gi grappler Gordon Ryan has put out some of the most sought after instructionals in jiu-jitsu. His most recent instructional deals with attack from mount, a position that Ryan has used to great success in competition, particularly recently. As a part of the release of that instruction, Ryan sat down with BJJ Fanatics head Bernardo Faria to describe his approach to attacking from mount.

Ryan’s approach to mount is based on the submission-only ruleset in which he regularly competes. In that ruleset, the bottom grappler has little incentive to expose himself by trying to escape mount, and will simply stay defensive. In response, Ryan has developed system of attacks that isolate a defensive grappler’s limbs, forcing him into submission dilemmas.

“Instead of spending the energy and overextending and getting their back taken or getting submitted, they’re just gonna shell up, they’re gonna bring their elbows in,” Ryan explained. “Now their goal is not to escape but just not to get submitted. So rather than using an opportunistic approach to attack our opponent, we’re going to use a very deliberate and systematic approach.”

Ryan also shared one key detail to attacking from mount: use cross grips to isolate the arms. According to Ryan, this small grip change makes a huge difference, as it forces the bottom grappler to defend with the weak muscles of the rotator cuff rather than the chest and back. Moreover, these cross grips force the bottom grappler into specific submission dilemmas.

“The beauty of this is that I can go in either direction… If I go to one side and Bernardo tries to bridge to bring his hand back, he over-commits and now I can pin his hand to the floor,” he said.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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