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Dominate the Saddle Position with Lachlan Giles

Dominate the Saddle Position with Lachlan Giles


One of the most general themes across the board when dealing in leg locks is the idea of keeping our partner's knee line.

This broad concept transcends position, and style, and is firmly rooted in leg lock success. Keeping the knee line allows us to bring these submissions to life, and though we can transition to other positions or different techniques, losing the knee line often time spell disaster for the leg locker.

If you’re a fan of leg locks you’ve no doubt been taught and have tried to adhere to this concept in your study and application of leg locks, but it can be a difficult concept to manage when you’re on the other end of an experienced players leg.

Leg Locks Are A Real Threat! Learn Them Now! Click Learn More below!


Having a systemized approach to how you keep the knee line will create more successful encounters, and buy you time to apply your leg locks. Knowing full well that you have the knee line under control will relieve the stress of these positions and allow you to proceed with more confidence and control.

This idea is prevalent in a variety of leg lock scenarios, but perhaps even more so in the saddle. IN this particular entanglement keeping the knee line in order to secure a strong finish is paramount.

In this video Lachlan Giles gives us some insight into how we can do a better job of keeping the knee line in the saddle. Make some time to give this a watch and see fi you can pick up some things that might be absent in your attempts to dominate the position. Have a look.

Let’s look at some key factors...

Establishing a tight triangle:

A tight inside triangle of the legs is the first step in keeping the knee line. Without this critical component, your attempts at controlling the position will be over before they begin.

  • Start with the alignment of the shins, and lock your triangle at the calf instead of behind the knee. Giles refers to this as one of the biggest mistakes when trying to set up the position. This method of locking the triangle will allow less space for your opponent to move and create tighter constriction of the leg. With a pushing and pulling motion of his legs, Giles sucks the triangle in tight. Here you can see his partner’s efforts to move will only drag Giles with him. His body moves, but his leg remains captured within the triangle.
  • Something interesting to note here is that during the setup, Giles keeps his hips very close to his partners hips for maximum control, but as he looks for the finish, he slides his hips down closer to the knee to apply pressure to the joint.

Bending the knee:

Getting a proper bend in the knee is essential to finishing the heel hook, but it can be difficult to do while your partner is on the defensive.

    • To create a sharp bend in the knee that supports the continued capture of the knee line, Giles flares his top knee open, and extends his bottom leg out front, while tucking his partners foot deeper into the space behind him with his elbow.
    • Giles arches his back and pushes his hips into the back of his partner’s knee to add pressure to the situation. This makes moving backward very difficult, and also makes rolling out less likely.

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Keeping the bend in the knee through a defensive roll:

You will no doubt encounter the roll in your attempts to finish your opponent. This is often where things get loose and we lose the position. As your partner rolls through you’ll need to keep not only the knee line itself, but the bend you’ve created.

  • As his partner rolls through, Lachlan makes a post with his hand and sits up and back a bit. This keeps the bend in the knee as well as maintaining the knee line as both players complete the roll.
  • Be sure to keep the same configuration of the legs as you roll through. This will allow you to maintain the integrity of the position through as many rolls that become necessary to stay with your partner and catch the heel.

When you begin to lose the knee line:

Another inevitability of chasing down submissions from the saddle, is that you will lose the knee line at some point. There will be a brief window for you be able to regain the position, but you’ll need to know how and what method works best in this situation.

  • As his partner begins to free his knee line, Giles makes 2 important points of contact with the leg. His back hand is pushing down on his partner foot, and his front arm is under hooking the trapped leg. Using these two opposing pressures, Giles can keep the bend in the leg, and buy himself some time to decide his next move.
  • Giles chooses inversion here as a means to recapture the position. Giles begins to fall to his right side to invert. As he makes his way through the inversion, he releases his right leg and brings it over the top, once again regaining the knee line, and now in a 50/50 type scenario with his partners heel exposed.
  • One final detail that Giles touches on briefly. If his partner is furiously pulling backwards, Giles gets up to his feet and follows his partner back for a moment before sitting and re entering the position.

Keeping the knee line is probably the most significant factor for success in the saddle. Without it, there is simply no finish. We’d be wise to spend the bulk of our time on this concept. Experimenting with our partners, and moving through the different positions all while maintaining the knee line is an important step in understanding how to last long enough in the saddle to actually acquire a submission. If your efforts in this position are rarely rewarded, there’s a good chance that you have not focused enough on the ideas presented here today!

Learn leg locks from the legendary ADCC and EBI veteran Craig Jones Check out Craig's widely popular Down Under Leg Attacks to change your game forever.




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