Dean Lister’s Knee Compression Defense
Who is Dean Lister? Dean is one of the great pioneers of Jiu Jitsu and mixed martial arts in America. He is an ADCC Champion. He fought in some of the biggest MMA organizations: Pride FC and Ultimate Fighting Championships. His teaching has had significant impact in both MMA and Jiu Jitsu.
Dean Lister was born in San Diego, California. However, with his family in the military he spent most of his youth abroad in South American countries. Like a lot of military kids, he faced constant bullying as the perpetual new kid. He sought martial arts as a way to defend himself. When he returned to the states, he found wrestling, then Sambo and eventually Jiu Jitsu. He spent over a decade training at Fabio Santos’ academy in San Diego where he earned his brown belt. Eventually Dean would earn his black belt from fellow Santos student Jeffery Higgs.
Lister’s grappling accomplishments are significant. He competed in ADCC tournament 6 times and is the ADCC Open Weight Champion (2003) and ADCC Super Fight Champion (2005) and ADCC Champion (2011). Additionally, he a two-time national (US) sambo champion, four-time Machado National (US) BJJ champion and National (US) Gracie BJJ champion. He has notable victories over Jean Jacques Machado, Iiir Latifi, Nathan Marquardt, Saulo Ribeiro, Marcio ‘Pe De Pano’ Cruz, Alexandre Ferreira ‘Cacareco’, Masutatsu Yano, Augusto Ferrari, Radek Turek, Rodolfo Vieira, Joao Assis, and Ricardo “Demente” Abreu.
Dean’s grappling skills served him well in MMA. He has had over 20 fights in some of the most prestigious organizations. Lister was a King of the Cage Middleweight Champion. He has also fought in Pride Fighting Championships and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Dean Lister has devastating submissions and amazing escapes. Click Learn More!
Lister is well known for his teaching abilities and has been sought all over the world for his combat knowledge. He was a grappling coach for Tito Ortiz on Ultimate Fighter Series 7 (TUF 7). He teaches at Victory Mixed Martial Arts in San Diego with fellow black belts and Jiu Jitsu legends Jeff Glover and Jocko Willink. It is also worth noting that Dean served as the catalyst that introduced the great John Danaher to leg locks. John tells the story of Dean training at Renzo’s. Danaher asked Dean a question about a leg lock. Lister replied, “Why would you ignore 50% of the human body?” It was Dean’s simple statement that started Danaher on the path to create his legendary leg lock system that would shift the paradigm of Jiu Jitsu.
In this video Dean Lister explores his knee compression defense. Lister notes that this is one of the first submissions that he learned dating back to his wresting days. First Dean explores two entries to this submission. The first entry is from top turtle. The first step is to get one hook in from the top position. Next, sit back while pulling your opponent on top of you. The sequence is finished by triangling your legs while pulling down on your opponent’s toes for a quick tap. A second entry is from three quarter guard. You can post the free leg on to the mat. Next swim your hand through the space between your leg and the mat and then roll. Catch your opponent’s legs in a triangle and pull on the toes for a quick tap. The defense to this submission is relatively simple. The key is to push your free foot against the captured leg. The strength of your legs will be no match for your opponent’s arms. Dean notes that some would try and defend the submission by hooking the free leg under your opponent’s leg. However, the body mechanics is stronger if you push in the manner that he advised. Dean closes that you are still in a lot of trouble in the position. You can still have your back taken. However, at least you avoided the submission.
This video is a wonderful example of Dean’s ability to communicate technique to even novice grapplers. Like all of Lister’s instructional videos, there is a lot of detail. I know that I often gain new insights every time I re-watch one of his videos. Dean Lister’s instructional videos have a powerful impact on anyone who makes a careful study of them. Certainly, the Jiu Jitsu community is lucky to have him.
Imagine how different you would feel on the mat if you knew you could defend any submission? How would you feel if you were under side control just knowing you were about to take their back? Learn Dean’s sneaky escapes in this series from BJJ Fanatics!