starting from the knees...

Why do we start from our knees at all? Wouldn't it be more realistic, and no less practical, to start each roll either in the closed guard or in mount or cross-sides?

It's true that the "from the knees" position does occur in sparring, but if you think about how the match is going to get to the ground, it's going to be from a takedown (in which case the most likely scenarios are the closed guard or side control). It might be from pulling guard, but again, pulling guard on a standing opponent is dfferent from pulling guard on someone who's on their knees.

The main reason is to save space.

I do agree that we should just start out with one guy agreeing to play some type of guard or sidemount, not a shoving match from the knees.

Or just have one guy stand and the other play from the bottom (see Marcello, Baret, etc..)

For beginners, they learn a little bit of clinch work that's relatively safe because they're not standing. So they get used to pummeling for underhooks, neck ties, etc.

And for advanced guys, well, in my experience, they NEVER clinch. Instead, one decides to get into a sitting up/butterfly guard position and the other one advances to pass the guard. Which is great. But so is starting from a bad position like under the mount, f.ex.

Jonpall is correct.

Jacare training before the Mundials:

you can also start in each other's guard...

Where I'm working, 90% of the people are sitting down! Shen is correct.

As a very experianced white belt with two stripes, my advice is to spend the entire rolling round pushing and shoving my uke from our knees. That way I never tap. Tapping is for the weak and I will NEVER do it.

I think in this day and age we should start from rolling chairs. I mean, shit, we arn't living in a third world country where adults sit on the ground...

actually most of my real fights start when my "opponent" won't give me the common courtesy of a reacharound. so maybe we should start our training matches from a doggystyle position.

damn chickenfeet, too far, too far...


You have never seen a fight breakout while two people are kneeling in Church...?

I'm calling BS. Unless, by "church", you're also including mosques and old-school synagogues. We sit in pews in North America, man.

LOL - Shen was being funny.

From the knees gives a beginner a little sense of wrestling. Othewise it's due to a space issue.

NO ONE fights on their knees. Stand up and soccer kick!

Here's a flash for Flash. The majority of Christian church goers in North America do have kneelers in their churches.

And please, I don't want to get into a religious discussion here. Just wanted you to know.

LOL, chickenfeet, you definitely crossed the unspoken line.

Posture and mat preservation.

The kneeling posture closely resembles the posture one has while on a bar stool which is where a great many fights begin (and end). Also, the knees don't dig up the mats like a bar stool would.

It's critical to train takedowns, but the macho mentality at class makes it difficult if not impossible to train them progressively and safely.

For example, I'd like to see a progressive training curriculum for stand up something like this:

  1. Practice circling, feinting, and closing. No actual takedowns.

  2. Practice clinches and ties, to the point just before an actual takedown.

  3. Practice shoots, short of actual takedowns.

  4. Pull out the "crash pad" (the extra thick mat used by beginners learning throws and takedowns) and start finishing, but slowly and carefully, with cooperation and not resistance from the person being thrown or taken down. The person being thrown should be learning how to protect all their moving pieces during the takedown or throw, rather than trying to "spoil" or counter the takedown or throw.

  5. When the person being thrown knows where to put all the moving pieces (like those ankles that keep getting torn up at tournaments), pick up the pace and the force.

  6. Remove the crash pad, start over slowly and carefully, then build up the pace and the force.

  7. Back up a step if it appears things are going wrong.

  8. LASTLY introduce resistance to the throw, once again gradually and progressively. When the person being thrown fights back, that's where injuries start to come in, assuming the person being thrown has developed good break-fall techniques, and assuming the person doing the throwing knows where to land without breaking ribs, arms, etc. on the person he is landing on.

  9. Go "live" (random throws, skilled resistance - not just spazzing and thrashing) but at 25%/50% effort levels.

Since nobody in high school or college wrestling, or judo these days, or bjj, knows the concept of working cooperatively and patiently with a training partner, the net result is:

A lot of people don't want to train at all (fewer wrestlers and judoka than other sports, fewer bjj'ers).

A lot of people who train don't want to train standup, at least regularly.

Academies that start doing standup have LOTS more injuries. And the injuries are more serious.

Noone is stopping you from starting in guard/sidemount. Just ask your opponentn for the day if he'd be cool with taht because you're trying to work on it.

Basically where i'm from you start standing if there is enough room to do it safely, if it's a crowded class we start on our knees.

Great post, egrbvr! I fully agree! That's exactly why I don't like training takedowns with most people. I've trained in wrestling & judo and I've seen some really nasty injuries...

As usual, Shen is hilarious!


How bout just do judo instead?:)

On a side note I tooke a old school jiujitsu class where you stand in the middle and are surrounded by 4-5 people from the rest of the was basically to practice throws and self defense moves to the emphasis was on someone grabbing your from behind, headlocks, bear hugs. They just keep coming and coming...which was alot of fun and if you practice controlled...and everyone get to work alot of throws and self defense in a somewhat alive and suprise situation.