Escape The Knee Bar Like The Incomparable Tom DeBlass!
Knee Bar Escape by Tom DeBlass
Who is Tom DeBlass? Tom DeBlass is many things. He is one of the most sought after instructors in the grappling world right now. He is a world class grappler and former mixed martial artist. He is an exceptional instructor. He has a huge social media following from his technique breakdowns and advice on relationships, transformation, adversity and training. Tom DeBlass is many things and world class in all of them.
Tom has many accomplishments in grappling and mixed martial arts. He has fought in both the UFC and Bellator. He is a 3x ADCC veteran, Fight To Win Pro Main Event Winner, 2016 ADCC North American Champion,2016 ADCC American Nationals Absolute Champion, ADCC NY Super Fight Champion,2015 Black Belt World No Gi Masters and Absolute Champion, 2014 ADCC North American Champion, 2013 Black Belt No Gi Pan American Champion, 2013 Black Belt No Gi Worlds Bronze Medal, 2009 ADCC North American Champion, 2009 Black Belt No Gi Worlds Bronze Medal, 2007 Brown Belt No Gi Worlds Champion, 2007 Brown Belt Pan American Champion, 2007 Brown Belt American Nationals Champion, 6X Grappler’s Quest Expert Champion and member of the New Jersey Martial Artist Hall of Fame.
DeBlass’ education and teaching ability is also exceptional. Tom earned his black belt from legendary ADCC and MMA veteran Ricardo Almeida in just over six years. There are many testaments to his exceptional teaching ability. His first black belt is the great Garry Tonon. Gordon Ryan is Tonon’s first black belt. Tom is a former elementary school special education teacher. This experience has honed his ability to take complex concepts and make them understandable to even the novice grapplers. Another testament to his teaching ability is his academy Ocean County Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He has over 350 students and 20 black belts. Additionally he has an empire of affiliates around the world.
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It is also worth noting the Tao of Tom’s social media presence. He has many great quotes from training to adversity, transformation and life. Here is a great quote from Tom on transformation, “The last 4 weeks I have dedicated to changing myself. Every day I have been praying, asking God to help me in the areas of life where I struggle. Regardless how successful you may think you are, there is always so much room for improvement, always. I am nowhere close to where I want to be, but every day I am getting better. It is a conscious effort that I must put in, but I feel myself becoming a better person.”
In this video Tom explores his own unique variation on escaping the knee bar. He starts off by exploring the principle that it is crucial to clear the knee line for any leg entanglement. First Tom suggests placing your own leg in the crook of your opponent’s leg. Note this detail on leg placement is in contrast to the common practice of posting against your opponent’s butt. DeBlass feels that the crook of the knee gives him a better structure to push off of in order to defend the submission. This also has the added benefit of moving your opponent’s knee line. From here Tom states several options. First you can post off your opponent’s butt to escape quicker. A second option is to grab your opponent’s ankle. By maintaining control of your opponent’s ankle it allows you the opportunity to counter attack with some leg entanglements of your own. What a sneaky way to turn your attack into a submission of your own.
This video is a fine example of Tom’s ability to breakdown technique and principles in a manner that is applicable to everyone from the white belt to black belt. Without a doubt, we can all refine our game with the information provided. Tom DeBlass is certainly many things. Beyond Jiu Jitsu technique, he sets an example on how to run an academy and our mindset for training, transformation, adversity and life in general. The Jiu Jitsu community is lucky to have people like Tom DeBlass.