Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Knee on Belly: A Solid Top Position Against Larger Grappling Opponents

In the last couple of months, I've been playing more with the knee on belly position when I grapple. It's not for everyone. To make the best use of it, you need to be fairly flexible in the groin. You also need to have great balance and quick reflexes. But I've found that as a smaller person grappling with larger people, it works really well for me as a top position.

Here are a couple of knee on belly videos I found on YouTube, showing how to apply an arm bar to either arm of your opponent:

The reason why knee on belly can be better than side control or scarf hold against bigger opponents is that it allows me to use my speed and agility to counter their efforts and getting me off the top. Even if I have a very solid side control or scarf hold, it requires that I put more of my body closer to my opponent where it can be used, attacked, entangled, etc.

With knee on belly, on the other hand, I can keep my body away from my opponent. And if he tries to shrimp away or push me off, I simply lift my weight off to keep control then re-establish the control point. Plus, there is the added benefit that I can drive all of my weight into the muscles that control breathing, causing my opponent to tense those muscles so that he doesn't lose his or her breath. This is great for tiring out a larger opponent, while conserving your own energy for a decisive attack. On top of that, if you're doing MMA, this position can be a great place from which to strike your opponent.

Anyway, it's been working out pretty well for me. Give it a try!


Anonymous said...

Knee on belly is a good position for anyone, although I wouldn't recommend using it against smaller and/or weaker individuals. I'm just a beginner in grappling: what other possibilities are there beside striking from this position or applying straight armbars? It's cool more and more women train and compete in MMA, especially hot ones like you. What's your record?

Lori O'Connell said...

I wish I could say that I had a record. I trained for the ring for over 2 years but never had the chance do get into it. Within the last few months, I haven't been doing the same rigorous MMA training schedule as I had been doing in the past with other life commitments getting in the way.

Honestly, because of the lack of any kind of fight coming my way, I've started to lose interest. It's a very heavy training regimen to maintain when you don't have a specific fight planned to train for. While I still like training in MMA and grappling techniques, I'm getting older and I'm not sure what the future holds in terms of ring fighting.

Anonymous said...

That sucks, don't give up hope though, sooner or later you'll catch a break. Training for MMA is tough, a few of the guys at my gym train for competition and their whole life is basically dedicated to training (at least 4, 5 days a week) with extra strength and endurance sessions. Most complement training at our gym with either thaiboxing or BJJ too.

I'm surprised they can't find an opponent for you, I know there's less opportunity for women to fight but still. Perhaps you could participate in a few thai/kickboxing events or grappling-tournaments to keep your spirits up. Maybe that way you'll get more attention and acquire some experience in the ring or on the mats. If you do well the right people may notice you and arrange a true MMA-fight.

In any case it takes guts to step into the ring and keep up the grueling training-regimen, it takes a special kind of person (man or woman) to resist that kind of stress and risk severe injury and punishment. I know I couldn't do it but that's mainly because I'm not that good yet (at grappling, not striking) and I don't want to demolish people just for the sake of victory and a trophy. Training's fun though.

What's your motivation for fighting?

Lori O'Connell said...

I've been doing martial arts for over 16 years and I'm always looking for new ways to challenge myself. I still have my reservations about doing a ring fight because fundamentally I really don't want to hurt someone, but at the same time, I am very curious to see how I react when the pressure is own. I know that I would probably step up when it comes down to it, but I would feel really bad if I hurt someone badly in doing so.

Anonymous said...

That's a noble aspiration but I do think these convictions will fly out the window the moment you actually get hit. I recognise it in myself: when I get hit during training I just want to give it back and I'm not really a fighter by nature. I really do think you must like hurting people in order to do well in the ring: it's not personal of course and certainly not in the sense you'd want to kill or handicap the other guy/gal but if you aren't prepared to go all out and the other party is you're pretty much done for. It's not very likely you'd really hurt someone bad (doing permanent damage) because of the conditioning of the participants and the rules/equipment so I wouldn't worry too much though. Just take care your old training-habits don't kick in or you will be disqualified.

In any case you're a brave woman, I respect that. Regardless if you ever step into the ring or not.