How To Escape The Most Brutal Position in Jiu Jitsu
Arguably the most dreaded position to get trapped in is knee on belly. When a top player acquires this brutal position, they are easily capable of applying all of their weight against the bottom player, making it painful and hard to get out of. In fact, you might even be able to get a new student to tap just from the position, which I don’t recommend trying.
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Against a white belt, escaping knee on belly is no problem for a skilled grappler. When dealing with either a heavy or skilled opponent, the difficulty of escaping the position increases exponentially.
When I first started training at my academy, I was getting stuck in this position all the time, forcing me to make big mistakes leading to submissions. Although it sucked at the time, I am now comfortable in this position and have minimal difficulty escaping it.
Because knee on belly is so brutal, it can force grapplers to make mistakes such as allowing under hooks or exposing their back. That’s why its important to allow yourself to be in the position and focus on breathing and staying safe while you develop your game plan.
The biggest mistake new students make when they trapped in knee on belly is pushing their opponent’s knee. When you push against the knee with the far hand, you are exposing yourself for an under hook, which can allow the top player to attack armbars and kimuras. When stuck in the position, you have to keep your elbow connected to your rib cage, no exceptions.
In the following video, Bernardo Faria shows a great way to escape knee on belly. Bernardo Faria is one of the best grapplers of all time and is great teacher that puts a lot of great content online for free. See below:
Because we can’t use the far arm to push the leg, we have to use the close side arm, which is much safer to use. In order to get the best leverage to push, we want to push very low on the shin, but not necessarily grab the foot. After pushing and trapping the foot, it becomes easy to revert to half guard or come on top and try to sweep or wrestle.