Mastering the Mount Position: A Comprehensive Guide

December 14, 2023
From: Spartacus
Featured image for “Mastering the Mount Position: A Comprehensive Guide”

The mount position reigns as a cornerstone technique, essential for dominance and control in the world of combat sportsl. At its core, the mount is a powerful position where one fighter sits atop the torso of their opponent, a strategic vantage point that can swiftly lead to victory. Its significance is unparalleled across various combat disciplines, particularly in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), and Judo, where mastering the mount can be the difference between winning and losing.

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the mount is a fundamental position for applying submissions and achieving a superior score. It epitomizes control and the ability to dictate the fight’s pace. In MMA, the mount translates into a dominant posture for striking, allowing for potent ground-and-pound tactics. Judo, too, acknowledges the mount’s importance, albeit with a focus on pinning and immobilizing opponents rather than submissions.

We will delve deeply into the mount position, unravelling its complexities and nuances providing a guide that not only educates beginners about the basics but also offers insights and advanced strategies for seasoned practitioners. 

The Basics: Understanding the Mount Position



The mount position is a pinnacle of tactical advantage, epitomizing control and dominance in a physical contest. This position, a staple in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, and Judo, involves one practitioner (the top fighter) sitting atop the torso of their opponent (the bottom fighter), effectively controlling them.

  • Positioning and Mechanics: The top fighter situates themselves on the opponent’s chest, their knees typically planted on the ground, straddling the opponent’s torso. This position restricts the bottom fighter’s movement and ability to counter-attack. The top fighter’s hips are lowered towards the opponent’s abdomen, creating a low center of gravity that enhances stability and control.
  • Tactical Advantage: From this position, the top fighter can execute various offensive techniques, such as strikes in MMA or submission holds in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. The mount also provides significant psychological leverage, as the bottom fighter is physically overwhelmed and must defend against potential attacks, creating opportunities for the top fighter to exploit.
  • Transition and Adaptation: Skilled practitioners can transition into the mount from other positions, such as the guard or side control, using a combination of technique, leverage, and timing. The mount is not static; top fighters must constantly adjust to maintain control, responding to the bottom fighter’s movements with subtle shifts in weight and position.

The mount position is a culmination of skill, strategy, and physical prowess, playing a critical role in the outcome of a combat sports contest. It demands proficiency in balance, control, and tactical acumen, making it a key focus in training for any serious martial artist.

Key Components 



Mastering the mount position hinges on three fundamental pillars: balance, control, and leverage. Each element plays a crucial role in turning this dominant position into an effective tool for victory.

  • Balance: Balance is the cornerstone of the mount. It involves the top fighter maintaining a stable base while positioned over their opponent. This stability is achieved by distributing weight evenly and staying low to the opponent’s body. The goal is to make it challenging for the bottom fighter to unseat them, resisting attempts to buck or roll. A well-balanced mount is like a rooted tree, firm against the shifting winds of the opponent’s resistance.
  • Control: Control in the mount extends beyond physical restraint; it’s about dictating the flow of the bout. The top fighter uses their position to limit the movements of the bottom fighter, employing their legs and hips to clamp down around the torso. Arms and upper body strength play a key role too, used to suppress the opponent’s arms and head, preventing them from launching counterattacks or escape efforts. Control in the mount is a symphony of pressure and restraint, played out on the canvas of the opponent’s body.
  • Leverage: Leverage is what turns the mount from a position of control into one of offense. By aligning their body correctly, the top fighter can apply submissions, strikes, or transition to more dominant positions with amplified force. This involves using the hips and shoulders to generate pressure and force efficiently. In essence, leverage in the mount is about making every move count, ensuring that minimal effort yields maximum impact.

Together, these components form the backbone of an effective mount position. Balancing these elements is not just a physical challenge, but a mental one, requiring understanding, practice, and a keen sense of timing and reaction to the opponent’s movements.

Step-by-step breakdown to the Mount Position



To master the mount position, a step-by-step approach is essential. This breakdown will guide practitioners through establishing and maintaining an effective mount, focusing on key principles and techniques.

Step 1: Establishing the Mount

Begin from a controlling position such as side control or guard. Use a combination of body weight shifts and grips to smoothly transition to the mount. This involves sliding the knee across the belly of the opponent and positioning yourself atop their torso.

Step 2: Securing the Position

Place your knees on the mat, close to the opponent’s sides, and tuck your feet near their hips. This prevents them from easily bridging or rolling you off. Bring your hips down towards their abdomen to create a stable base and distribute your weight effectively.

Step 3: Achieving Balance

Keep your weight centered over the opponent, adjusting as they move. This balance is crucial to prevent being unseated. Place your hands on the mat or use your arms to frame against the opponent’s body for added stability.

Step 4: Establishing Control

Use your lower body to clamp down on the opponent’s torso. Your upper body should be used to control their arms and head, preventing them from creating space or executing escape plans. Continuously adjust your position in response to your opponent’s movements, maintaining constant pressure.

Step 5: Applying Leverage

For effective leverage, align your hips and shoulders to apply force for submissions or strikes. Ensure that your movements are economical and purposeful, using the least amount of energy for the maximum output.

Step 6: Transitioning to Offense

Look for openings for submissions or strikes. The mount offers a variety of offensive options. When an opportunity presents itself, execute your chosen technique with precision and control.

This step-by-step approach provides a structured path to mastering the mount position. It requires practice, patience, and a keen understanding of the dynamics of human movement and combat sports strategy.

Common Mistakes 



The mount position is as much about understanding what not to do as it is about perfecting the right moves. Here’s a breakdown of common mistakes often made in the mount position and strategies to avoid them:

  • Losing Balance by Sitting Too High: Elevating your center of gravity by sitting too high on the opponent’s chest, making you prone to being unseated. Keep your hips low and centered over the opponent’s abdomen. This lowers your center of gravity and increases your stability.
  • Neglecting to Control the Opponent’s Arms: Focusing solely on maintaining position without adequately controlling the opponent’s arms, allowing them to counter or escape. Use your arms to control the opponent’s arms, limiting their ability to defend or attack. This can involve pinning their arms or using grips to restrict movement.
  • Overextending for Submissions or Strikes: Leaning too far forward or reaching excessively for submissions or strikes, which can lead to loss of position. Maintain a balanced posture. When attempting submissions or strikes, do so with controlled movements, ensuring you’re not compromising your base.
  • Failing to Adjust to the Opponent’s Movements: Staying static and not adapting to the bottom fighter’s attempts to escape or shift position. Stay dynamic and responsive. Continually adjust your weight and position in response to the opponent’s movements to maintain control.
  • Ignoring the Lower Body: Not using legs effectively to maintain control, which can lead to gaps that the opponent can exploit to escape. Engage your legs by keeping them close to the opponent’s body, and use them to apply pressure to the opponent’s sides or hips.
  • Not Anticipating the Opponent’s Escapes: Being caught off guard by common escape techniques like bridging or shrimping. Familiarize yourself with common escape techniques and be ready to counter them. This can involve shifting your weight or adjusting your position preemptively.

By recognizing and avoiding these common mistakes, practitioners can significantly improve their effectiveness in the mount position. It’s a continuous learning process, where each training session provides opportunities to refine techniques and strategies.

Strategies for Maintaining Control in the Mount Position



Maintaining control in the mount position is a complex blend of technique, foresight, and adaptability. Here are key strategies that can help practitioners effectively maintain control:

  • Low Center of Gravity: Keep your hips low and close to the opponent’s body. This lowers your center of gravity, making it harder for them to unbalance you. The idea is to make yourself as heavy as possible on the opponent, increasing the difficulty for them to execute escape moves.
  • Active Hip Pressure: Apply constant pressure with your hips against the opponent. This not only aids in stabilization but also limits their ability to breathe freely and move. Controlled hip pressure can tire out the bottom fighter, reducing their chances of a successful escape.
  • Upper Body Control: Use your arms to control the opponent’s upper body. This can involve pinning their arms, controlling their head, or using your chest to apply downward pressure. Effective upper body control limits the opponent’s ability to create leverage for escapes or counterattacks.
  • Leg Positioning: Your legs should be actively engaged, not just passively placed beside the opponent. Hooking your feet under their legs or keeping your knees pinched tight against their sides can prevent them from bridging or hip escaping effectively.
  • Predict and Counter Escape Attempts: Anticipate common escape techniques like bridging, shrimping, or rolling. Be ready to shift your weight or adjust your position to counter these moves. For example, if the opponent tries to bridge, shift your weight in the opposite direction to maintain balance.
  • Stay Dynamic: The mount is not a static position. Stay dynamic and responsive to the opponent’s movements. Continuously adjust your weight, hips, and leg positioning to adapt to their defense and escape attempts.
  • Distribute Weight Wisely: Understand when to distribute your weight evenly and when to focus it on a particular area. For instance, when attacking with submissions or strikes, you might shift your weight forward for more power, but be ready to redistribute it to maintain control.
  • Utilize Psychological Pressure: The mount can be a psychologically overwhelming position for the bottom fighter. Maintain a calm and controlled demeanor, which can further demoralize the opponent and make them less likely to mount an effective defense.

By integrating these strategies into practice, practitioners can significantly enhance their ability to maintain control in the mount position. It requires not just physical skill but also a tactical mindset that anticipates and counters the opponent’s actions.

Advanced Tips: Moving Beyond the Basics

Moving beyond the basics involves honing advanced skills that elevate your control, offensive capabilities, and overall strategy. Here are some advanced tips to enhance your proficiency in the mount:

  • Fluid Transitioning: Develop the ability to transition seamlessly between different positions. This includes moving from mount to side control or transitioning to a high mount or S-mount for better attack leverage. The key is fluidity and unpredictability, making it harder for the opponent to anticipate your next move.
  • Incorporating Subtle Movements: Use subtle movements to create openings. Small shifts in weight or slight adjustments in positioning can lead to significant advantages, such as exposing an arm for an armbar or creating an angle for a choke.
  • Advanced Submission Techniques: Expand your repertoire of submission techniques from the mount. Learn and practice more complex submissions like arm triangles, mounted gogoplatas, or Ezekiel chokes. The ability to execute these techniques can catch even seasoned opponents off guard.
  • Baiting and Setting Traps: Develop strategies to bait your opponent into making mistakes. This can involve feigning an attack to open up a more vulnerable target or giving the opponent a false sense of an escape opportunity, only to counter their move with a submission.
  • Integrating Strikes Effectively (for MMA): In MMA, integrate strikes with grappling to create submission opportunities. Use controlled ground-and-pound to force the opponent to defend with their arms, leaving their neck or limbs exposed for submissions.
  • Exploiting Leverage and Angles: Understand and exploit leverage and angles more effectively. This involves knowing how to shift your weight to apply maximum pressure with minimal effort and using angles to apply submissions where the opponent has less strength to resist.
  • Psychological Warfare: Use psychological tactics to gain an advantage. Maintain a calm and controlled demeanor to frustrate the opponent. A well-maintained mount can be both a physical and mental stronghold.
  • Conditioning and Endurance Training: Focus on conditioning and endurance training. The ability to maintain the mount position and execute techniques effectively often comes down to physical conditioning, especially in longer matches.

These advanced tips require dedicated practice and a deeper understanding of the nuances of combat sports. By integrating these elements into your training, you can transform the mount from a basic position into a sophisticated tool in your combat arsenal..

Training and Practice

Improving mount skills necessitates targeted drills and exercises that enhance strength, technique, and fluidity. Listed are a selection of effective drills and exercises to bolster your mount position proficiency:

Mount Maintenance Drills

  • Partner Drill: Have a partner try various escape techniques (e.g., bridging, shrimping) while you work to maintain the mount. Focus on adjusting your weight, balance, and control in response to their movements.
  • Solo Drill: Practice transitioning into and maintaining the mount on a grappling dummy, emphasizing smooth transitions and stable positioning.

Hip Pressure Exercises

  • Grappling Dummy Drill: Mount a grappling dummy and practice shifting your hip pressure from side to side, focusing on keeping your balance while applying continuous pressure.
  • Stability Ball Drill: Balance on a stability ball in the mount position. This exercise enhances core strength and stability, crucial for maintaining effective hip pressure.

Transition Drills

  • Flow Drills: Practice transitioning between the mount, side control, and back mount fluidly. This drill improves your ability to switch positions while maintaining control.
  • Submission Transition Drill: From the mount, practice moving into various submission holds, working on seamless transitions without losing control.

Arm Control Exercises

  • Partner Arm Control Drill: With a partner, practice controlling and isolating their arms while in the mount. Focus on pinning and manipulating the arms to set up submissions.
  • Isometric Holds: Use isometric holds (holding a position under tension) to build arm strength, beneficial for maintaining control in the mount.

Balance and Core Strength Workouts

  • Planks and Bridging: Strengthen your core and lower back muscles, which are essential for maintaining balance in the mount. Include variations like side planks for lateral stability.
  • Yoga and Pilates: Incorporate yoga or Pilates into your routine to improve overall balance and core strength.

Psychological Conditioning

  • Meditation and Visualization: Engage in meditation and visualization exercises. Visualize maintaining and controlling the mount under different scenarios, enhancing mental preparedness.

Cardiovascular Endurance Training

Live Sparring

Regularly spar with different partners of varying skill levels. Live sparring is essential for applying techniques in realistic scenarios and adapting to different opponents’ strategies.

Incorporating these drills and exercises into your training regimen will lead to significant improvements in your mount skills, enhancing both the physical and strategic aspects of your combat sports practice.


Mastering the mount position in combat sports is a journey that blends physical prowess with tactical acumen. It’s a position that demands more than just physical control; it requires a deep understanding of balance, leverage, and the psychology of combat. Whether you’re a novice just starting out or a seasoned practitioner, the mount offers endless opportunities for growth and refinement.

Remember, the mount is not just about physical dominance but also about strategic thinking and adaptability. The techniques and strategies discussed – from establishing and maintaining the position to advanced transitions and submissions – form a comprehensive guide to mastering this crucial aspect of combat sports. However, the real learning happens on the mat, through relentless practice, constant adaptation, and the unwavering pursuit of improvement.

Additionally, it’s important to approach the mount with respect for your opponent and the art. It’s a position that can quickly turn the tide of a match, and with great power comes great responsibility. Use the mount wisely and ethically, whether in training or competition.


What is the Mount Position in Martial Arts and Combat Sports?

The mount position is a dominant ground control posture where one fighter (the top fighter) sits atop the torso of their opponent (the bottom fighter). This position is integral to combat sports and martial arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, and Judo. It allows the top fighter to exert control and apply various offensive strategies, from submissions to strikes, depending on the sport.

Why is the Mount Position Considered Crucial in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, and Judo?

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the mount is crucial for applying submissions and securing point advantages, symbolizing a significant control level. In MMA, it provides a dominant position for ground-and-pound tactics, allowing for effective striking. In Judo, the mount focuses on pinning and immobilizing the opponent. In all these disciplines, the mount offers tactical superiority and a platform for various offensive maneuvers.

How Does One Effectively Achieve Balance in the Mount Position?

Achieving balance in the mount involves maintaining a low center of gravity by keeping the hips close to the opponent’s body. The top fighter should distribute their weight evenly, using their legs and arms for stabilization and adjusting their position in response to the opponent’s movements. This balance prevents being unseated and allows for effective control.

What Techniques are Essential for Maintaining Control in the Mount?

Essential techniques include using the lower body to clamp down on the opponent’s torso, using arms to control their upper body, and adjusting positions dynamically to respond to their movements. Consistent pressure and strategic weight distribution are key to maintaining control.

How Can Leverage be Maximized in the Mount Position?

Maximizing leverage involves aligning the body to apply force efficiently. The top fighter should use their hips and shoulders to generate pressure for submissions or strikes. Proper leverage allows the execution of techniques with minimal effort but maximum effectiveness.

What are Common Mistakes Practitioners Make in the Mount Position?

Common mistakes include sitting too high on the opponent’s chest, losing balance, neglecting to control the opponent’s arms, overextending for submissions or strikes, failing to adjust to the opponent’s movements, and not using the lower body effectively.

How Can a Fighter Transition into the Mount Position from Other Holds?

Transitioning into the mount typically involves moving from positions like side control or guard. The fighter must use a combination of body weight shifts and grips, sliding their knee across the opponent’s belly to establish the mount. Timing, technique, and an understanding of leverage are critical for smooth transitions.

What Advanced Techniques Can be Applied from the Mount Position?

Advanced techniques include sophisticated submission holds (e.g., arm triangles, mounted gogoplatas), setting traps and baiting opponents into making mistakes, and integrating strikes with grappling in MMA. These techniques require a higher skill level and a deeper understanding of the mount dynamics.

What Drills and Exercises are Effective for Improving Mount Skills?

Effective drills include mount maintenance drills with a partner, hip pressure exercises, transition drills between positions, arm control exercises, balance and core strength workouts, psychological conditioning exercises like meditation and visualization, cardiovascular endurance training, and regular live sparring.

How Does Mastering the Mount Position Contribute to Overall Combat Sports Strategy?

Mastering the mount position contributes significantly to combat sports strategy by providing a platform for controlling the opponent, executing various offensive maneuvers, and gaining psychological leverage. It enhances a fighter’s ability to dictate the pace of the match, exploit weaknesses, and adapt to different scenarios, making it a pivotal element in the toolkit of a well-rounded combat sports practitioner.

Related Posts
UK’s Elite: The Top 10 MMA Gyms You Need to Know About

Welcome to our guide on the top MMA gyms in the UK! If you’re looking to get fit, learn self-defense, or train like a pro, you’re in the right place. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has exploded in popularity in the Read more

Toronto’s Pugilistic Pulse: Echoes from the City’s Boxing Halls

Toronto, Canada's bustling metropolis, isn't just a global hub for commerce, arts, and culture; it's also a city with a fervent passion for boxing. The history of Toronto's boxing scene reverberates through the narrow alleys of old neighborhoods and the Read more

Are There Belts in MMA?

Most martial arts use a belt grading system to determine the level of each student. By setting criteria on what skills an individual must acquire to reach a certain belt level, they can better track their progress and stay motivated. Read more

London’s Boxing Jewels: The Gyms Behind UK’s Boxing Renaissance

London, the vibrant heart of the United Kingdom, has been historically associated with the sweet science of boxing for well over a century. The city's bustling streets and diverse culture have seen the rise and transformation of boxing from smoky Read more

app banner cta
website banner cta