Escape from Knee-Pin (diary entry)

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Monday night brought my client up to the sixth hour of her second MMA course. In line with current restictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been running these via Skype and she has been training with her lockdown partner. This second course has really only focused on Submission Grappling. We arrived at escapes from the knee pin (aka knee-on-stomach).

The lesson began with a warm-up of ground-fighting callisthenics and dynamic stretching. We then went into pin transitioning. After this, I focused on looking at the defences from the knee-pin. This particular position is excellent for self-defence as the fighter is technically half standing and is using a weapon to frame his or her enemy wherease all other pins are easier for the enemy to lock up. The knee-pin doen’t have a lot of movement either and allows for an easy scramble back to side control or even mount. Finally, it frees up the hands to seek out submissions or, in the case of MMA or self-defence, to strike.

Defending the knee-pin isn’t so straightforward. Reversing a pin is always desired as it means one can get into a dominant position with less transitions between, but it is always the most difficult option. With the knee-pin it is arguably more important to reverse when escaping as snaking from this position is very difficult and the opponent is likely to scramble for another pin, as described in the previous paragraph. When reversing, we looked at ensuring the opponent’s legs were controlled at all times and also covered ratcheting up into a pin at the end. Next we moved onto snaking, which is technically easier to initiate but carries a higher risk of being re-pinned. I coached my clients to snake to the dog-fight position and sweep from there.

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