Transitioning From Side Control By Using The Knee Ride Setup

There comes a time when your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game may stall out.  This is common, and not always a bad thing, however it’s something you must want to avoid in order to avoid getting surpassed by other grapplers.

Adding techniques to your arsenal is a must, and you must focus on working out of various types of positions, such as the top side control.556266_453413958016043_411240398_n

Today, I’m taking a look at the knee ride setup as demonstrated by Stephen Whittier, who does an excellent job of breaking down this complex positional transition.

Get your pen and pad ready!

Using Your Body Weight To Execute The Knee Ride

Normally, I find myself discussing why being stuck in bottom side can be such a difficulty for most grapplers.  However, it’s not uncommon for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu players to get stuck working from top side control!

This is a dominant position to have, and it offers plenty of opportunities to advance position and begin to work for the submission.  Yet, some find it difficult to transition out of this setup, so having an effective transition in your arsenal is a definite.

  • Before we can worry about working out of this position, we must focus on properly setting it up by making sure that our knee is planted to their hip so they cannot escape.
  • Sprawl your other leg backwards so that the only thing touching the mat is the knee that is pressing against the hip.
  • Begin pressing the bodyweight against your opponent by turning into them.
  • You’ll now want to reach across their body and grab hold of their Gi.  Try to pass it off into your top hand, which should be around their top shoulder.
  • Next, you’ll want to push your arm into their so that it turns it up and away from you, meanwhile, you’ll also want to grab hold of their Gi pants.
  • As they begin to turn away, quickly pop up off of the mat and place your knee on their stomach, which will eventually allow you to pass into mount.

Properly Timing The Transition Move

As you can see, there is a lot of steps to this move!  What it all boils down to is your ability to distribute your bodyweight properly and time your movements perfectly!

If you neglect to do so, then your opponent has the ability to escape from this spot, and neglect your attempt at trying to advance position.  Especially when it comes to dealing with your opponents Gi, timing cannot be understated when talking about this sequence.

Confidence is key, and if you believe in your ability to work from top side control, then everything else—such as your bodyweight and timing—will all fall into place and allow you execute the knee ride properly.

This is a move that will take some getting used to, so get onto the mat and give it a try!

See Stephen’s 40 Plus BJJ Success at

Dan Faggella

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *