Dan Faggella is a BJJ Academy Owner, No Gi Pan Am Champion at 130 pounds, and recognized expert in the area of leg locks and lightweight BJJ. Dan writes or Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, MMA Sports Mag, and more – find more of his leg lock articles and resources at www.MicroBJJ.com/Keenan
In most sports, there are specific competitors that have a unique calling card of sorts. There is always one or two players who have a unique style that you can’t quite categorize them. Always thinking outside of the box, these athletes continuously evolve their style along with the times.
One of these men, from a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu perspective, is Keenan Cornelius.
A super talented brown belt, the former Lloyd Irvin protégé has shown flashes of fantastic skills. Currently training with Atos BJJ, Keenan has a defensive approach that makes him standout amongst the rest of his peers.A unique style, his guard pass defense is second to none. No matter the opinion of his style, it has proven to be effective and useful.
Utilizing Defense To Emphasize Offense
Like many high level grapplers, Keenan Cornelius does a fantastic job when he is working out of his own guard. Making no exception to his style, Cornelius began working his magic from his guard. A unique defensive grappler, Keenan’s main focus while working off of his back is to not allow any guard passes.
Even when he is placed in an awkward position, it’s the main focus of Cornelius to defend at all costs. In this match, he found himself folded like lawn chair in the middle of the winter, but was still able to work comfortable and defend. As you’ll see in the match below Keenan uses an array of “micro-transitional” techniques and sequences which are applicable from a variety of angles-but all are based on only a key foundational constructs…and if you want to read more about Keenan’s techniques and sequences-I dive in to a whole bunch of that and more over at ScienceofSkill.com
This eventually allowed Keenan to isolate a leg lock attack, which he was able to switch into a beautiful transition into back mount. The setup worked wonders, but his position did not last as he was soon on the bottom once more.
After a few resets, Keenan found himself seated as Neto began escaping. Upon standing up, Neto found himself being dragged down to the mat by the seat of his pants—no, LITERALLY—only for Kennan to strike once more. As if his defense wasn’t unique enough, his offense is right on par with it.
Transitioning Into Dominant Positions
For Kennan Cornelius, it’s all about being patient and awaiting your time to strike. A constant focal point of his matches is that they are extremely unique when he defends. I pointed out how he was able to utilize a leg lock to transition; even though it didn’t last long, he was able to score points from it.
Later in the match, Keenan would utilize the same setup and score a wonderful transition. Not wanting to let his opportunity pass once more, Kennan used the dominant back mount position to finish Neto with a wonderful submission.
A unique style that seemingly acts like heated plastic, Kennan has shown signs of becoming one of the best in BJJ today. Just one step away from obtaining his black belt, one can only assume the greatness of Kennan Cornelius is only just beginning….hint hint….if you’re interested in Keenan reading about Keenan’s goals and unique training structure….and his “possible” MMA goals you can read more about that here….
BJJ Academy Owner, No Gi Pan Am Champion