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How to get your leg free while doing newaza

judo | 2018-10-03

Once you're down on the mats, there's a lot that can go right, and a lot that can go wrong. Footwork to keep you upright is important, but once you get down on the ground, knowing the ins and outs of the Knee Cut to Pin is super important. Almost every Judo player has found themselves in this exact position. And, unfortunately, it is one of the most common places to see judo players lose a match. Totally trapped after getting your knee cut to pin. This is most common when your opponent is able to pin you, control the top half of your body and render you unable to get your leg free. Everyone has fallen victim to this at least once (if not many) times in their career.

There is nothing worse than being so close to winning and just falling short due to a silly mistake.

For this technique, it is important to keep your hips high. This will keep your knee angle wide and render your opponent unable to cut and pin them. The best way to combat this in a match is to drill moves like this over and over. Ultimately it will make winning easier for you, the more work you put in before you hit the competition mats. The knee cut to pin is all about pressure, making sure you get your partner to look away from you with your shoulder. Here are a few of the key points you need to focus on to get this to work:

Knee Cut to Pin Step 1:

Be sure to keep applying shoulder pressure so your opponent is looking away from you. This will help you with the next part.

Knee Cut to Pin Step 2:

Get your hips high and free your knee. If your partner's legs are locked over your knee (around your thigh) then you won't be able to do this move. If they have control of your knee, you're in deep trouble. You don't want that. So keep your hips high and make sure they don't have control of your knee.

Knee Cut to Pin Step 3:

Step out wide with your free leg. This will allow you to maintain some kind of control and will help you avoid being seriously trapped.

Knee Cut to Pin Step 4:

Bring your trapped leg's knee to your free ankle. This will begin your knee cut and is about to set you free.

Knee Cut to Pin Step 5:

Kick your leg free! You're back in control as soon as you free your leg. Get to it!

Final Thoughts

BJJ players and judo athletes can both benefit immensely from this technique. Being able to avoid the pin and free your leg is going to frustrate your opponent and keep you on top. The knee cut to pin is a necessary technique to know so you can avoid falling victim to it. By learning and knowing this position inside and out, you make sure that you remain on top. There are a lot of variables and components to the knee cut to pin and you need to make sure you have answers for them all.

Make sure you're constantly drilling this technique both offensively and defensively in practice. Keeping the hips high will be a game changer. You don't want to fall victim to the pin, so make sure you're proficient at freeing your knees at all times. Once you've mastered that, drill it over and over. This way you'll be sure to never be caught on the mats.

Lastly, make sure you're executing both on and off the mats. Strength matters here, make sure you take the time to educate yourself at FUJI Fit and leave nothing to chance. Put the work in, get the reward out.


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