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Knee Bar Tips With Braulio Estima

Knee Bar Tips With Braulio Estima


In the ever evolving sport of Jiu Jitsu it seems we are always looking for the edge.  How can I find an attack that no one will see coming? Within the last few years the leg attacks have grown in popularity and for a long time were the “sneak attack” so to speak, that no one saw coming.  Fast forward to present day, and that is not as much the case as these attacks have become super popular thanks to being in the spotlight as the match ending submissions in several of the highest profile competitions in the world.  Still very much something we all need to train, learn and understand. 

There is no shortage of leg lock, foot lock or knee bar variations these days.  It seems like it was only a few years ago that leg submissions were viewed as cheating, or some sort of black magic.  It now seems that everyone is starting to accept that if you are not willing to accept that there are leg attacks out there, well, you are basically in turn accepting that you do not want to be good at Jiu Jitsu.  Can you imagine saying “No, I don’t train arm bars I don’t believe in joint locks, only strangle submissions for me.” Of course not, so why should the legs be any different? Hint: they are not any different.  

While there are a ton of variations of every technique out there, the core fundamentals are the same. Take the arm bar for example, there are thousands of ways to get into position, but at the end of the day the submission fundamentals are rather basic, bend the arm in the opposite direction it is supposed to go.  Often times we complicate things, look for shortcuts or ignore the best practices out there. Not today. Today we break down a knee bar attack from Braulio Estima. Braulio is a multiple time ADCC champion as well as a multiple time Black Belt World Champion who has wins over some of the best in the world including Marcelo Garcia.  Braulio has spent years refining this technique and has been able to utilize it successfully at the highest levels of competition. Who better to learn the technique from than the guy who created it? Afterall, as the saying goes, the more you know the more you win. 

We are breaking down the Estima Lock – knee bar attack by Braulio Estima.  For this technique we are going to start in what I would call a standard half guard setup with a knee shield and a cross collar grip as well as wrist control using our right hand to control the opponents left arm.  Braulio then likes to bring his knee under his left arm which is being used to grip the opponent’s left side lapel and reinsert the knee shield but with his collar grip now being forced to the outside of his knee shield control. 

Ready for some NEW SCHOOL Toe Holds? Click Learn More!


From this position Braulio is ready to get into position to attack the knee, in order to do this he uses his knee shield and his collar grip to lift the opponent onto him (load his weight up on the knee shield) and then turns to his back which then causes the opponent to be pushed off to the left side in this case.  As the opponent goes to the left side, they will be forced to either face plant or base out with one or both of their hands. In most cases the opponent will base as to not face plant. As this is happening Braulio uses his right arm to scoop under his opponent’s left leg pulling the leg to him, or himself to the leg depending how strong the person is holding this position.  As this happens, he also is brining his right leg over the same leg he just scooped up in effort to further control the leg and keep it locked in place. 


After locking the leg in place Braulio needs to get it to the other side while also preventing the opponent from escaping before being able to finish the technique.  In order to do this he grabs the foot and bends the opponent’s leg at the knee limiting the range of motion and making it harder to pull straight out. While doing this he also switches from being on his right hip to being on his left hip bringing the opponent’s leg with him as he transitions and hooking the leg with his left arm at the heel. 

To finish he is simply hugging the opponent’s leg very tightly and pulling the leg towards his head and if he must in order to get the submission, he can also push his hips forward.  As with all knee bars, it comes on fast, so be careful and listen to your training partner so that no one ends up limping off the mats. In my opinion it is your responsibility in training to ensure the safety of your training partner, however, in competition it is your responsibility only to ensure your own safety.  

If you like the level of detail and teaching style that Braulio provides, check out his video instructional titled “The Estima Lock (Updated) and new school toe holds”If perhaps you prefer something a little different than Braulio’s teaching style, the best place to start with any technique in my opinion is to look at John Danaher’s video instructionals.  In this case you could look at “Leglocks: Enter the System”.  John has guided some of the greatest grapplers to ever walk the earth.  You can not Ignore his systematic approach to Jiu Jitsu when his entire squad is slaying on the mats in every competition they go to.  John is widely known as the most detailed Jiu Jitsu instructor on the planet.  

He has taken his passion for Jiu Jitsu and coaching and created a name for himself among the best of the best in the grappling world.  John has systemized his approach to Jiu Jitsu making it simple in that you build the muscle memory necessary to respond in any situation, but with not just one technique, but a series of techniques that are based off of the opponent’s most likely response to your initial attack.   Do what you know is right and Enter the System today video instructional today and start learning Jiu Jitsu from the best there is. 

The Estima Lock & New School Toe Hold by Braulio Estima

The Estima Lock & New School Toe Hold by Braulio Estima takes instructionals to an all new level. Braulio utilizes his world class  experience and exceptional teaching skills to provide YOU the tools needed to be UNSTOPPABLE. Take a look at the techniques that helped Braulio become an ADCC Champ as well as IBJJF World Champion!



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