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Eli Knight

Eli Knight


A black belt under the great Royce Gracie, Eli Knight is best known for his contributions to self defense and adapting jiu-jitsu to suit the needs of the real life altercation. His social media presence is quite large, making him one of the most visible advocates for the art and he's been producing helpful content for years, sharing his approach to jiu-jitsu with the masses.Knight has a way of molding jiu-jitsu to fit any setting with a simple and easily digestible curriculum that all practitioners can subscribe to. He is incredibly well spoken and his instruction is clear, concise, and direct, creating a very enjoyable learning experience for the student. Knight is the supervising instructor at Three Rivers Martial Arts Academy in Paducah, KY, where he’s been training and teaching for more than 2 decades.


There may not be a more dominant position in all of BJJ than the knee on belly. Whether we’re speaking in terms of self defense or sport, the position offers much in the way of control and options to finish the fight. Here, Knight demonstrates some chokes form the position with the use of street clothes in a self defense style application. 

There some interesting observations to take note of here. As Knight Suggests, the knee on belly is a great place to position yourself in a real altercation, as it provides you a broader view of the setting to assess danger. Strikes can also be used here to gain compliance and cooperation and they can have quite an effect with the distance that's been allotted by using the position. Knight applies a traditional style cross choke to the jacket, using his knees to mitigate the use of the hands and dropping down in close to his partner for the finish. Knight also employs a baseball bat style choke as well as another option. These basic themes are a great option when there is clothing present and Knight even uses the material to circle around to the backside of his partner, lifting him for a slick back take!

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In another piece of instruction, Knight works the cross choke from the feet. This is another great option when the jacket, hood, or any other item of clothing is present. Have a look at this!

Striking his way in tight, Knight then looks to secure a palm up style grip in the collar of his partner’s coat. If the hood is available this is also an option. Knight knows that as soon as he stops striking and commits his hands to the choke, the assailant will begin to start throwing his own strikes. To counter this variable, Knight uses his first grip to off balance his partner. This allows him to enter the second hand into the exchange and lock up the choke. Once secured, Knight can choose to finish from the feet or even the ground but with both hands in the collar, Knight can manipulate and move his partner around to implement strikes, takedowns, all the while continuing to squeeze with the cross choke. Knight even works his way into a loop choke as another option to transition, then bringin the exchange to the floor with an under hook or a sprawl. 

The turtle position is a definite candidate when we're talking about a street style scenario. Many times the legs are a target of interest and with a good sprawl, you're going to find yourself on top of a turtling attacker. The options are many here and Knight discusses a few of them in this next bit of instruction. 

Another loop choke style variation is being applied here and Knight is even using the gator roll to roll his partner through and finish the choke from the top, once again employing the jacket or the hood. Positioned more to the side, Knight then threads his hand under the neck, placing his thumb inside the collar for a clock choke variation. The fun doesn't stop there. Knight also threads his own jacket underneath his partner to secure a Peruvian necktie variation that appears to be incredibly strong. Knight finishes with an very slick reversal, causing his partner to travel to his back where he can apply a paper cutter choke variation to finish the fight. 

You can clearly see the utility of the clothing in all of these demonstrations as Knight easily helps us adapt some of the most common chokes in the game to a street style altercation. This is very valuable information that should be on everyone's radar. You never know when these types of unfavorable circumstances will show themselves! 


Knight has been training in multiple martial arts for more than 2 decades. He is one of a small number of  BJJ black belts under the legendary Royce Gracie and has created an enormous presence in the BJJ community through his social media work. He continues to branch out, producing practical content for BJJ, self defense, and weapons training while continuing his role at Three Rivers Martial Arts Academy as the supervising instructor in Paducah, KY. 

Jiu-Jitsu Based Self Defense Solutions by Eli Knight

 Check out more Life-saving fight tips from Eli Knight! Click Learn More!  


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