Using The Knee Ride Setup In Gi Based Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Today I’m here to break down a slick transition from side control into the knee to belly setup, as demonstrated by Stephen Whittier.  He has a great new program out that you can check out here.

This move—known as the knee ride—is a practical setup that any level of Gi grappler can use.  If you find yourself getting stuck in side control often, not knowing how to advance, then this is certainly something you’ll want to add to your arsenal of grappling moves!

Setting Up The Knee Ride From Side Control

The knee ride is used to transition from being in side control to ending up in the knee to belly position.  The key to this is to know how to manipulate your body and bodyweight into your favor, and making sure that your timing is down pat.

Be aware that your opponent will be ready to escape from this hold, so you must be quick on your feet!

  • First, from side control, you must make sure that your bottom knee is placed firmly into their hip.  Don’t allow them any chance to move that knee!
  • Have you other leg extended onto the mat, with the ball of that foot touching the mat.
  • Other than the foot, only your knee should be making contact with the ground.
  • Begin pushing into them, turning their head with your shoulder.
  • While you are doing this, grab their Gi with your bottom hand, and pass it off to your top hand, just behind their shoulder.
  • Once the Gi has been bright to their shoulder, begin turning their head by continuing to press with your shoulder, while maintaining a good grip on their pants.
  • From here, pop up quickly off of the mat, and place your knee onto their belly.

Using Your Opponents Gi Against Them0

Normally, we tend to think that whatever we wear is almost a shield, of sorts.  Our clothing is there to keep us from feeling very primal, and most as if we belong.  In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, we look at clothing as a means of being of a certain rank, given our belt system, and how the Gi is almost a shroud that we wear while going into battle.

However, for certain setups—such as the knee ride—we can use the Gi that our opponent wears as a means of benefiting our own agenda.

In this setup, we discussed how we must reach and alter our opponents Gi for us to gain leverage.  If we neglect to do that, then realistically we are at a greater disadvantage when it comes to trying to gain leverage, thus allowing our opponent to slip out of the position, leaving us to fend them off.

By using our opponents Gi, we place ourselves in a situation that is far more favorable than just hoping for the best.  Don’t be afraid to grab hold of the Gi and use it as a way of gaining better positioning!

See more great tips on the knee ride here.

Dan Faggella

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