Taking the out of your opponents side pins – getting under hooks: It’s never any fun getting pinned by a good top player. Not only is it hard to move – sometimes it’s hard even to breath – and a skilled opponent is constantly threatening to convert the pin into a submission hold. You can take way much of the power of your opponents side pins by consistently pommelling your arms under and his into under hooks. This greatly undermines his to your torso and allows you turn onto your side rather than flat on your back. This immediately takes off the diaphragm and helps you more easily. It also allows much easier movement towards guard position and/or getting up to your knees to escape the pin. In addition it greatly reduces the immediate of most of the standard submissions from this position. It doesn’t take much to get that under hook in, but the rewards are great. Next time you’re suffering under a smothering side pin, rather than just try to bulldoze your way out, work to get both your arms under his first. Then get on to your side and you’ll find that everything from breathing to movement to become significantly easier and less risky.