Jul 31

In a bitter battle, the elbows clash against the knees

A few years back, Nic Gregoriades crossed the Atlantic and eventually found his way to Delaware to teach a seminar.

If you don’t know, he received his black belt from the all time great, Roger Gracie, and he is the major creative force behind the Jiu-jitsu Brotherhood.

I happen to like his style (its very focused on concept).

So I traveled through twists, turns and back roads to attend. And we’re going to talk about one of the concepts I learned from that event.

It’s the idea that there is a micro battle that is constantly fought between the elbows and the knees.

Case in point:

In mount, the elbow escape is my favorite method of getting out. I like how it easily connects to half guard. When I first learned it though, I had a lot of trouble getting my knee under one leg.

That left me stuck in the position (not fun).

And one of the many adjustments that I made a difference for me is an emphasis on getting my elbow inside of the knee on one side. That little micro position allows me to easily push that knee lower on my body, which in turn makes it easier to slide my knee under the shin.

From there, it’s a fait accompli. I’m out of there. Dueces.

On the flip side though, when I’m on the top, I always aim to keep my knees inside of my partner’s elbows. It allows me to easily expose the arms. Even when they’re super defensive, I can drive my weight forward and slowly but surely separate their elbows from their body.

That’s when the armbar transition opens up.

And I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve hit it with that exact same setup.

Ultimately, it is a fight for the inside space. If you win there, the elbows can beat the knees and the knees can beat the elbows.

It just comes down to who focuses first on the right battle.


And in fact, that’s the focus of my newest course. It’s just about these micro positions and adjustments that make a difference in the game. And I’m expanding my weekly taping agenda to include at least one addition a week.

If exploring the micro game sounds like your cup of tea, there is a place you can go to learn.

It’s right here: