While starting from knees may be an artificial situation, value can still be found in learning takedowns and other moves from kneeling. I just so happen to have two such moves.
This tutorial was put together by John Simon, a Machado black belt under John Will and instructor at Dominance Mixed Martial Arts in Melbourne, Australia. He’s been generous enough to let me share this (and several others) on my journal.
Since you’re not likely to get in a real fight where both of you start on your knees, you may question if these are really worth learning. John explains it this way:
These techniques are valuable because:
- They allow people to work their on-top game and not just “pull guard” because they don’t know anything else.
- This position occurs when you escape from side control to your knees, or bail out from your guard to your knees etc.
Let’s see some midget judo
Firstly, you need to have good base and posture. So keep both of your knees on the floor, and your butt on your heels. Keep your arms in close to your body (think Tyrannasaurus Rex). A lot of people reach out like zombies and try to throw their opponent which opens them up to double and single leg attacks from the knees, duck-unders and snap-downs. It also means that if you do this against someone stronger then you’ll lose. Now get in close so your forehead is close to theirs.
Use your right hand to quickly push their head to the side.
Drive your head into the left side of their neck.
Re-align your body so your spine is straight (so you’re now off on maybe a 15 degree angle). Their spine should be bent and yours straight. Your right hand grabs their pants at the knee, your left hand grabs their right elbow.
Drive into them putting them on their back.
Keep your head in contact with them and you should end up past their guard.
This time when I try to grab my opponent’s left knee he pulls it back.
I reach through with my right hand and put it on the outside of my opponent’s right knee.
Continue driving with my head and put him on his back.
I’ll be honest people competing from the knees is one of my own personal bug bears. I really really hate it when people fight for and get a “takedown” from the knees and then stall in side control. It basically puts me in a situation of having to battle from the knees, wasting training time, or start every round under side control with someone trying to squeeze the life out of my head…
In the first series where you pull their left leg to their left and up aren’t you going to most of the time end up in their guard? Why not grab their right knee and pull it to their left?
I don’t mind if I end up in the guard as long as I get on top. To block them putting me in guard, I use my grips to spin them around, and then block their right hip with my right hand.
Use the above techniques to get on top of your opponent. If you don’t want to get put in side control, then make sure you get your grips from your knees first, and then pull guard.