Getting the Kneebar From Butterfly, With Tom DeBlass
The old saying in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is “position before submission,” but sometimes it’s hard to get to that submission. Heck, sometimes, it’s hard to even see the submission from the position.
If this is your struggle, too, Tom DeBlass is here to help. In the video below, DeBlass shows us how to transition from the Butterfly guard to a Kneebar submission.
DeBlass begins in the Butterfly guard. Both feet are positioned between his training partner’s knees. His left foot is planted flat on the mat with his bent knee in the air. His right leg is bent at the knee but is lying on the mat.
DeBlass chooses to go for a “two on one” grip. He grabs his partner’s left wrist with his own left hand and secures his partner’s left arm by cupping his lower triceps between the thumb and index finger of DeBlass’s right hand.
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With his teammate’s arm secured, DeBlass leans back, pulling his teammate by the arm and then elevating him with his hooked feet.
As his partner’s momentum and weight force him to plant both hands on the mat above DeBlass’s head, he releases his partner’s arm and transitions to an ashi garami. DeBlass swivels his trunk to his right and extends his foot upward so that he can bring it across his partner’s left leg.
From here, DeBlass keeps his opponent’s leg off the mat. He does this by slipping his right hand under the leg. It is essential that DeBlass quickly underhook the leg with his right hand to keep it off the mat. If his opponent’s leg was on the mat, he would be able to twist and face DeBlass, ruining his chances of the kneebar.
After he underhooks his teammate’s leg with his right arm, DeBlass then passes his opponent’s trapped leg to his left arm. Next, DeBlass wraps his left arm over his opponent’s calf while he brings his left leg over his right foot to lock a figure four with his legs.
As his training partner tries to roll out, DeBlass moves onto his left side and, from that position, he extends and gets the submission.
Demonstrating his technique a second time, DeBlass offers an option to prevent his partner from rolling. This time, DeBlass drops his right leg to the side of his partner and uses his left leg—which he grips with his right hand—to keep his teammate’s trapped leg in place.
Now, when his teammate tries to roll, the torque on his knee only gets worse.
In the event that you don’t have the necessary torque to get the tap, DeBlass suggests transferring your opponent’s leg back from behind the left arm to the right arm.
Another option from this position is a toe hold, which DeBlass secures by trapping the ankle in the crook of his left elbow. He then establishes a figure four grip by grabbing his right wrist as he covers his opponent’s toes with his right hand.
DeBlass then pushes the toes toward the heel to get the submission. If you’re feeling extra vindictive, DeBlass suggests using both the toe hold and knee bars at the same time.
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