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jnp
7/31/2007 11:33pm,
I'm curious as to what everyone thinks. Is the kneebar a viable submission in a MMA match, or does it leave the back of your head too exposed to strikes? To be clear, I'm not talking about the headlock-grip kneebar, but the more traditional move wherein you're hugging the foot to your chest with both arms.

I know Shamrock and a few others pulled it off, but nowadays people are more familar with leglocks, and are less likely to be caught off guard by them.

So what do you think? Will the back of your head get caved in (assuming hand strikes to the back of the head are allowed) or can you finish the sub beforehand?

Roidie McDouchebag
8/01/2007 12:12am,
Hand strikes to the back of the head are pretty much just not allowed in any major (or legit minor) org, so that issue is moot. But even if back-of-the-head punches were allowed, the bigger problem with the kneebar, IMO, is that it's a power move and almost always leaves you in **** position if you fail. The problems in MMA are very similar to those in grappling when going for it. So my rule is, only go for it when either you know your opponent is weaker, know they suck at grappling, or are turtling for whatever reason and have an opportunity to go for it.

So really, I'd only use it while turtling.

Fighting Cephalopod
8/01/2007 12:30am,
I'm curious as to what everyone thinks. Is the kneebar a viable submission in a MMA match, or does it leave the back of your head too exposed to strikes? To be clear, I'm not talking about the headlock-grip kneebar, but the more traditional move wherein you're hugging the foot to your chest with both arms.

I know Shamrock and a few others pulled it off, but nowadays people are more familar with leglocks, and are less likely to be caught off guard by them.

So what do you think? Will the back of your head get caved in (assuming hand strikes to the back of the head are allowed) or can you finish the sub beforehand?

(From half guard)

Sit up. Spin your outside leg over his head and plant it, sole of the foot down, next to his hip. PUSH hard off the ground and fall to your back. You should now be back to the ground with him belly down, with little danger of strikes to the back of the head. Finish the kneebar.

Fighting Cephalopod
8/01/2007 12:32am,
the bigger problem with the kneebar, IMO, is that it's a power move and almost always leaves you in **** position if you fail.

What? A kneebar is you arching your back vs them trying to curl their leg back. If you can hamstring curl anywhere near what even an average person can deadlift, I'd like to know where the hell you buy pants. A kneebar is only a "power move" if you suck and are holding their leg at arms length trying to curl it to your chest, instead of doing a situp to press their leg against you and then arching back to extend it.

Roidie McDouchebag
8/01/2007 3:42am,
I'm saying it takes more power than an armbar, and offers less of a chance to recover a decent position if you fail. If you feel confident going for it from the top of half-guard, fantastic, do so, I do when I'm against someone I think it'll land on, but I'm not giving up top half-guard to go for it, I simply have no desire to see who's slicker.

It's too easy for them to defend against, not by using invincible leg power, but by being able to hold you off long enough to triangle their legs and turn offline. Kneebars have to be really slick to work, and I don't count on being slick enough, maybe I'm more cautious than you. If I have top position, that has value to me, I want to keep it, and if I'm going for a submission, in MMA, then it has to be something that can fail and still leave me in a good position, like a keylock, or an RNC, or a triangle, or even an omoplata or armbar, all long before I consider a kneebar. If I have to win by grinding, then that's how I win. I don't take risks going for kneebars that might not land, unless it's not a risk at all and I'm not potentially sacrificing position, because I'm turtling.

IMO, kneebars are fun to go for in grappling, but in MMA, the risk of getting hit from the top after it fails makes it just not worth it to me. How often do you see kneebars in the UFC? How often at ADCC for that matter?

john joe
8/01/2007 6:01am,
most recent attempt i saw was Guida on Griffin at UFC72; Guida couldnt quite get it and Griffin landed some meaty shots to his ribs but nothing too heavy, before Guida fucked it off and went for something else.

spirez
8/01/2007 9:03am,
Most recent one that ended the fight that i can recall is Shogun Vs Randleman at Pride 32, that was real deep too.

Didn't T. Griffin get caught in another really deep knee bar a couple of fights back but managed to hold on?

Donkey_Fizzle
8/01/2007 11:12am,
I'd have to agree with Cracky, to a point. Kneebars are fun to do in practice but the risk vs reward factor in a MMA match doesn't compute. Frankly because when you can't finish it you are is a **** position. It's one of those submissions that stays in my little bag of tricks until it presents it self. I don't deliberately set them up.

Fighting Cephalopod
8/01/2007 11:39am,
I'm saying it takes more power than an armbar,

And an armbar takes more power than a heelhook; that doesn't make it a "power move".


It's too easy for them to defend against, not by using invincible leg power, but by being able to hold you off long enough to triangle their legs and turn offline.

If they triangle their legs you should be immediately switching to the toehold on their other leg, which is much harder to defend against and leaves an immediate opening for you to finish the kneebar if they try.


Kneebars have to be really slick to work, and I don't count on being slick enough, maybe I'm more cautious than you. If I have top position, that has value to me, I want to keep it, and if I'm going for a submission, in MMA, then it has to be something that can fail and still leave me in a good position,

If you do the kneebar like I noted in my first response, usually you'll be able to recover to a top position if it fails, as long as you're aware enough to realize when you're not going to get it and bail out at the correct time.

UpaLumpa
8/01/2007 12:33pm,
If they triangle their legs you should be immediately switching to the toehold on their other leg, which is much harder to defend against and leaves an immediate opening for you to finish the kneebar if they try.

This is actually partially how we're taught leglocks.

Fighting Cephalopod
8/01/2007 3:48pm,
(From half guard)

Sit up. Spin your outside leg over his head and plant it, sole of the foot down, next to his hip. Hook his leg with your arm, PUSH hard off the ground with your foot and fall to your back. You should now be back to the ground with him belly down, with little danger of strikes to the back of the head. Finish the kneebar.

Reposting with the important bolded detail that I was too drunk to include when originally posted.

Fighting Cephalopod
8/01/2007 3:52pm,
This is actually partially how we're taught leglocks.

It's a good place to start with toeholds, because you're already controlling his other leg, which is 90% of the time what leglock-happy newbies fail to do when they start rolling every which way looking to twist your ankle off.

Roidie McDouchebag
8/01/2007 4:15pm,
And an armbar takes more power than a heelhook; that doesn't make it a "power move".


I didn't mention the heelhook as a favoured lower-power submission because you can still lose in MMA even after you've successfully torn out the knee. Also notice that the armbar is at the end of my list of favoured submissions due to it requiring more power than some others.


If they triangle their legs you should be immediately switching to the toehold on their other leg, which is much harder to defend against and leaves an immediate opening for you to finish the kneebar if they try.


If I get offline, you're not getting the toehold either, and you're not getting back to top position without winning the ensuing scramble.

The thing is, I'm not disagreeing with you that the kneebar is a valid technique for MMA, and if you like it, good for you, but it shouldn't be a favoured submission because the risk is greater than with other submissions. I don't think that's particularly deniable, the risk is simply greater, the chances of landing it are worse. It doesn't matter if you can come up with something else you'd be able to do from there, the risk is still greater and the percentage still poorer, and that's not me saying that, I have the weight of the statistics on my side and you don't.

Donkey_Fizzle
8/01/2007 4:48pm,
I find a lot more arms hanging out there begging to be armbared then I see legs ripe for a kneebar. And even if an armbar takes more effort to finish than a kneebar. The trade off is in the set up. And I am speaking only from an MMA point of view. But IME, kneebars require a lot more set up. More than likely though it's because I don't train them as much as other submissions and I am just missing openings. I love leg locks and I use than more than anybody else on my team. But in live rolling I have rarely been able to tap a guy from a kneebar. What wind up happening is a scramble, a roll to a different set up or an escape.

gdel
8/05/2007 8:06pm,
If you do a knee bar from side mount, they wont be able to hit you with strikes

Boyd
8/05/2007 11:33pm,
I respect kneebars and all, but they've always come off to me as armbars with a grossly disfigured risk/reward ratio. The difficulty of controlling a leg vs. an arm, the ease of escapes, the severe positional sacrifices imposed by failure are generally analogous between the armbar and the kneebar, by amplified by the leglock.