I’ve mentioned in the past that the knee bar is my weakest leg lock. Knowing this I have made a point the past few weeks of looking for knee bars while I roll. One of the problems that I have been having is my opponent triangling his legs. While I have developed a few counters to the leg triangle thanks to Vladislav Koulikov’s Sambo Jiu-jitsu Fusion Vol 3 DVD, what I really want to do is avoid the leg triangle at all costs. In today’s video Keenan Cornelius breaks down how he blocks his opponent from triangling his legs before he attacks the knee bar.
Keenan’s position looks like it’s effective because you end up controlling both legs during the submission.
This level of control also allows you more time to set up your leg attacks which is always a good thing.
In the video Keenan shows three different set ups but I really like how he sets this up from the top half guard position. I like this set up because you don’t give up positioning. I have been noticing recently that a key to effectively finishing a knee bar is good positioning. By maintaining top position you can at any time transition to another position OR safely make modifications to your current position before committing to the finish.
The key detail I noticed about the set up is that it’s crucial that you always maintain control of the bottom leg. If your opponent can free this leg you will end up in a battle for control. Keenan uses the climb the rope method of control to make sure that he is in constant control of the bottom leg. Check out the gif below for a breakdown of this transition.
PS check out the killer toe hold at 8:20 of the video. If you have the flexibility to pull it off it looks like a game changer!