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Dean Lister & His Top Half Kneebar
Dean Lister. He is one of the first black belts to show the importance of leg locks in Jiu Jitsu. He was innovative with his set up’s and in his technical finishing of leg submissions. Dean is a submission artist that can hit a leg lock from almost anywhere. If you give him an inch, he will take advantage and you will be tapping from a leg lock. One of his set up’s for a kneebar is from half guard top. Using leg locks in half top, instead of passing can throw off an opponent quite a bit. Here’s Dean’s tips for the perfect set up and finish.
Give pressure from top
When you are in someone’s half guard, in the top position. You need to be able to give some sort of pressure. Without any pressure, then you become far too easy to sweep. Don’t give up the sweep easy like that. Use your arms to put some pressure on your opponent’s far shoulder. This way, the leg lock does not seem obvious. Your opponent will be worried about a pass instead.
Smooth step over and hiding the foot
To get in the perfect position to finish the kneebar, you will have to get a smooth step over. If you get up on your knee (the leg in locked in the half guard), you will be able to pivot and move smooth. So spin on your knee. If you do not, your step over will be too short and you are in danger of getting put in a toe hold or possibly a back take. Once you spin over, you need to hide your foot under the opponent’s far leg/butt.
Rear naked choke from on the foot
After you get in the position for the kneebar, there is a crucial step to actually finish the kneebar. That step is the grip that you need to use, to have the most technically correct, powerful kneebar that you can. Make sure the top of the opponent’s foot rests on your shoulder. Then, use a rear naked choke grip on the ankle/foot. It is the best grip you can do to finish the leg lock. It will get you the tap.
Dean Lister is a true leg lock master. He is a teacher and competitor that shows the usefulness and power of leg submissions. By being proficient in these techniques, you are giving yourself an edge. Not everyone understands the importance of these attacks, therefore they do not actively train them in offense or defense. Check out his DVD set, Leg Attacks & Grappling Hacks!