Knee Ride Bottom

I shot these short videos a while back. Just getting around to writing up the post. I’ll have to make it quick. Hopefully the video explains the concepts well enough. As always I like to start any talk of escapes with posture. I’ll outline a couple of knee ride bottom postures. In thinking about the way I usually escape knee ride I realized that having a posture/pressure that works both towards and away from the knee ride is important. The primary posture/escape is always to turn towards the knee ride. There are times though when that isn’t available.  In those circumstances you need to go away to escape.

The other factor is that it’s impossible for the top guy to defend in opposite directions at the same time. If he’s defending the turn towards escape then he’s not defending the turn away. With this in mind I’ll start by describing the turn towards posture and escape sequence.

Posture 1- Towards the Top Guy

Turn in towards the bottom guy. Head sits on shoulder and closes off the cross face. Bottom elbow is unavailable. Top arm is preventing the harvest. 

The 3 Fights

When you are in knee ride bottom you have 3 main fights to worry about .

    • The top guy will try to get a crossface,
    • try to pull up on your bottom elbow to make you flat,
    • and harvest your far arm.

The posture described below will help you to survive these fights.

  1. The head position is important. Put your forehead on the mat and make the space as small as possible. Touch your ear to the mat if you have the neck flexability. If not, try to touch it to your shoulder. In any case you want to make the space so small that he can’t get his hand under for a crossface.
  2. Keep your bottom elbow on the mat and tight to your body. You don’t want the top guy to get at your bottom elbow and pull it up and away from your body. This will flatten your posture.
  3. Your top arm has to stay bent with your elbow driving towards your center line and connected to your body. The hand of this arm can be used to block out the cross face.
  4. Your top leg makes a kickstand like on a bicycle. This keeps you stable up on your side so you won’t roll back.

I’ll leave the video to describe the escape. The posture is what’s most important to me. If you can’t survive knee ride bottom then you’ll have a hard time escaping.

Posture 2- Turning away from the Top Guy

Sometimes you just can’t get an angle. You find yourself flat and can’t turn in. In these cases you can escape knee ride by turning away. Be careful though. If you do it wrong you find the other guy on your back with hooks in. The video will briefly describe how to avoid this.

This is a version of the Saulo running man escape. I like the initial posture because it prevents all the same fights you have when you turn in. You have to keep the top guy from getting under your neck. You need to keep him from harvesting the top arm. You need to keep him from capturing the bottom elbow. If you build the posture right you’ll be able to do all three.

Anyway, here’s the video of this concept.


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  2. Would opponent just ride the knee on belly to mount when you turn away and use running man?

    • Typically no. It’s a timing thing. If you do it quickly and at the right time they don’t have the opportunity to react.

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