Leg locks...The new standard?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Unr8dBJJ, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. Unr8dBJJ Yellow Belt

    Unr8dBJJ
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    Hey guys,

    So in a previous thread I stated I had been out since Jan with an illness but I've beaten that and find myself thrust back into a regular training schedule and it feels amazing. What I am noticing though is that on average our gym has been focusing on leg locks 500% more than we ever did before. It wasn't too long ago that only straight ankle locks were the only thing taught to white belts and very limited techniques to blue, etc...The submission only structure that has taken over most tournaments where I train has brought in a new mentality not to mention watching Tonon shred everyone he goes up against. Just curious to know if this is the new wave to take over in the last year and if your gyms are embracing leg locks and their focus as much as mine has.
     
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  2. BJJ_Rage Gold Belt

    BJJ_Rage
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    no gi, yes. Gi, not so much.
     
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  3. MaxMMA Blue Belt

    MaxMMA
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    Seen a few gyms in the area jump on the new leglock craze. One gym trains almost nothing but the new leglock systems/formulas. Which as I've said in other posts, I believe is a problem. There are blues and purples from a few of these schools, that literally no jack all about the rest of the things jiujitsu has to offer.

    I'm probably missing something, but everything I've seen from these formulas/systems seem to be similar or the exact same as the old school, heel hook/footlock/kneebars setups/finishes, we used to drill back in the early 2000s the only difference being we didn't have names for every possible position you could place your feet,shins, ankles etc like they do now.

    My leglocks are pretty decent as they stand right now, would probably be good to go over all this new wave stuff with someone knowledgeable though.
     
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  4. BJJ_Rage Gold Belt

    BJJ_Rage
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    Not nearly the same, the entries are what makes the difference, not the actual lock.
     
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  5. MilesP4P White Belt

    MilesP4P
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    Agreed, the entries have become more sophisticated and I think the way people control the position is much better now. Guys like Gary Tonon have figured out a way to not only ensnare people in leg lock potions with slick entries but he has also found out how to KEEP them there.
     
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  6. MaxMMA Blue Belt

    MaxMMA
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    That's why I also said setups/finishes. The entries that I've seen demonstrated are similar to the stuff we drilled in the old days, we just didn't have names for stuff like cutting halfway through and then sitting into the heel hook.
    Definitely more sopisticated than what I saw in the past, a lot more details, but essentially the same old tricks with some new flair.

    Reminds me of this "guillotine series" and "kimura trap system" I see advertised on Facebook. Stuff that white belts should know, but don't for some reason.
     
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  7. machomang Orange Belt

    machomang
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    the finishing mechanics are different than the old school ones. i watched an old ken shamrock vs. don frye and they were cranking heel hooks all wrong.
     
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  8. BJJ_Rage Gold Belt

    BJJ_Rage
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    the little details are what make the difference, why do you think dds boys get in leg entangles but almost always they are the ones gettingn the better of the situation?
     
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    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  9. kintana Purple Belt

    kintana
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    I would say so. My gym for the last 8 years leglocks where only really done by a few people. Now it seems all members are attacking the legs. Almost on my rolls guys always ask something like "toe-holds okay?" Or "do you mind if I look for leglocks?"
     
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  10. mataleaos Green Belt

    mataleaos
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    Every era has a hot trend. This isn't the first time that heel hooks were popular. There was a brief heel hook craze in the late 00's but nothing like now.

    Things come along and they are silver bullets for a little while because they change how the game is played. When I started training, the darce choke was the rage, and everyone had to learn it. Just before that it was the x guard and the deep half. The darce changed how people played from side, half, and the turtle. High level guys were getting tapped with uber simple darce setups. Now days the darce is a fairly basic technique that's still very effective but it's not a magic bullet. The same thing happened with the high elbow guillotine/Marcelotine a couple years later. Then the Kimura traps. The the berimbolo. Those were magic bullets too, but people learned them and now they're just a part of a sort of 'new school' era of basics. The arm-in guillotine right now is making a sneaky comeback with a lot of advancements on the low.

    The same thing is already happening with these heel hooks. They aren't even the magic bullet they were a year or two ago. People are catching up and embracing them. Not everyone but a lot of people at least. The Danaher guys are still on the forefront of the leg game, and when you watch them play the legs and watch everyone else, you can see they're ahead. But the overall leg lock knowledge has gone up. The major reason why this heel hook phase is lasting so long is because the big part of it is the 'positioning' before the heel hooks.

    Everything goes in cycles. There will be a berimbolo phase again. There will be a darce and guillotine phase again. There will be a deep half phase again. Heel hooks will cool off and then get hot again.

    Everything in fighting sports goes in cycles.

    But the current no-gi meta game is interesting because it's making people re-think what position before submission means. Kimura grips, darce and guillotine grips, 4-11 leg entanglements. None of these are classic position before submission but put you right next door to the end of the match.
     
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  11. mataleaos Green Belt

    mataleaos
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    I'm 90% with you. There's nothing new under the sun. But I will say after training with Gordon/Tonon/Cummings there is something going on that is still not mainstream yet. The pinning pressure they have on your hips is not the same as anyone else I've felt. Just them putting you into a 4-11/saddle hurts your femur and your hip. The pressure itself makes you want to tap. And the mechanics of their finish? On the outside heel hooks I was limping for 2 days because my feet and ankles hurt so much. Not my knee at all. At those inside heel hooks? You can feel the pressure all the way from your foot to your hip and even into your spine if you have a tight lower back.

    I've trained with a lot of big name leg lockers but none that were doing it like this. So yeah this stuff is similar to what was done (Scott Sonnon had a LOT of this stuff) before but there's a new flare to it.

    I don't think it's entirely fair to hate on some of this marketing stuff. Yeah some of it is cheesy. And Sakuraba was doing the "kimura trap system" before this millennium, but there are advancements with it that not everyone knows. I've been on that kimura trap shit for years and years and I am still learning new details and tips on it.
     
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  12. kjg1672 Purple Belt

    kjg1672
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    I'd like to see leg locks introduced as part of the self-defense vs. sport BJJ argument. I think a good argument could be made that leg locks, especially heel hooks, should be a part of any self-defense curriculum. What better equalizer against a much larger attacker than a heel hook?
     
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  13. mataleaos Green Belt

    mataleaos
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    Here's a good video on this with firas zahabi, Garry Tonon, and Gordon Ryan.

    I agree. They're effective self defense tools. Especially for women. Dean Lister and Jeff Glover teach reaping attacks for women's self defense because women have strong hips and legs, and they're good attacks when someone is between your legs.

     
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  14. Kozbot Purple Belt

    Kozbot
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    The best leg lockers in the world tapping guys in light GnP sparring does not mean leglocks are good for self defense.
     
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  15. mataleaos Green Belt

    mataleaos
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    No, it's not evidence in itself that they are good for self defense, but there is a decent amount of evidence to suggest that they are just fine for self defense, and little evidence to suggest that they will get you any more or less hurt (than other solid joint locks or chokes) if they are done properly. People come up with all of these hypothetical situations and conditions for self defense, where they set all the parameters of the attacker and the defender. It's silly. Self defense is way more about mindset, preparation, strategy, and tactics than it is about what techniques or moves that you use.

    I know someone that used a heel hook successfully in self defense, and I know someone else that tried to armbar someone and got the shit beat out of him. And there are clearly opposite situations where a heel hook would get you fucked up and an armbar would work great.

    BTW I find leg locks very unsatisfying personally. I mostly do armbars and chokes when I train.
     
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  16. Uchi Mata Gold Belt

    Uchi Mata
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    I think the big innovations you're seeing in the no-gi game are primarily oriented around playing what have traditionally been thought of as submissions as primary positional controls, rather than just importing the positional hierarchy from gi and calling those the standard positions. You look at things like Ryan Hall's approach to triangles, the way the Mendes bros, DDS, and Marcelo play the front headlock/guillotine, the kimura trap stuff, and everything the DDS has been doing with leg locks; the common thread is that they're treating these positions which were formerly thought of as basically just subs that you either finished or didn't *as positions in and of themselves, as staging points for multiple finishes and positional transitions*.

    When I got to roll with Gordon Ryan, everything he did was normal except that his positional control once we got into a leg entanglement was ungodly. I know a little bit about the leg game and we went through a few positions, and the whole sequence he just tightened his control more and more such that when he heel hooked me it was super slow because my hips were so locked down I couldn't do a damn thing. It felt no different in terms of my ability to defend than getting arm barred from mount. I think that's what makes sub only so cool: it's divorced from the constraints of treating, say, mount as an inherently great position and instead asking of a position 'how can I force a finish from here, or how can I improve my position'. Seen in that light, inside sankaku is better than mount because you have more finishing options. Having a locked in kimura might be better than knee on belly or side control because you're already threatening a sub and every response uke can make will lead you to a finish or to his back.

    So the idea that there's nothing new isn't quite true IMO. It's true that the finishes you see you can see in 30 year old Shooto matches or whatever, but the process by which the attacker controlled the position and progressed steadily to the finish is new and represents a very significant development in grappling. It's a very different strategic mindset driving development in a new direction.
     
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  17. Idonotbelieveit winning

    Idonotbelieveit
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    Best leg locks are from catch

    Bjj leg masters like lister learnt from catch

    Some of the Gracie boys are doing leg locks

    They have noting on funaki ken shamrock Suzuki sakuraba
     
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  18. MaxMMA Blue Belt

    MaxMMA
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    No disrespect, but it just sounds like jiujitsu to me. Seamlessly rolling from one sub to another, or one position to another, or from sub to position or vise versa is fundamentally the essence of jiujitsu. All these big names and their fancy systems are just patterns and sequences of subs and positions that they have found work really good for them, and over the years of working on them, have improved and created really efficient ways of controlling/finishing from these situations.

    Not saying I could sub these dudes lol, I'm just saying they aren't doing anything revolutionary.
     
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  19. mataleaos Green Belt

    mataleaos
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    See, I think so too. The only difference to me is the leg lock positions feeling like positions and not like moves.

    But as far as people using submissions as control points, I mean that's what sort of got me into BJJ. I had started and wanted to quit, and I saw guys like Marcelo Garcia, Bill Cooper, Cobrinha, Jeff Glover, Leo Vieira. And they were seamlessly moving from sub to sub or sub to position, or position to sub.

    When John Danaher says he has a unique view of jiu-jitsu that is 'control leading to submission' I thought that was what we all thought anyways?

    I guess I may between you and @Uchi Mata in that I think there are improvements and evolution going on, but I wouldn't say anything is revolutionary right now. And I've trained with the DDS guys. They're awesome. I'm not taking anything away from them or their success.
     
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  20. Uchi Mata Gold Belt

    Uchi Mata
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    The difference is strategic. 20 years ago if someone voluntarily let go of mount to take a kimura grip or instead of trying to pass guard fell back into a leg lock all the old black belts would shake their heads about giving up position to chase a submission. Now, people are starting to understand that the kimura isn't just a submission, it's a position in and of itself that might give you more routes to a finish than mount (in no-gi). Same with leg locks: you're no longer jumping on something and hoping to get the tap, you're going into a position where you can maintain control and all routes lead to a finish. People didn't used to think of many of these positions in that way. I started in 2002 and no one was talking about that sort of thing. Positional dominance meant passing guard and getting to mount or back. The idea that a leg entanglement could also be positionally dominant was totally alien to the thinking at that point in time. So no, the moves aren't new. But the way of thinking about them and the level of important you place on different factors has changed. Dynamism and having a clear route to a finish is being prized much more now than static positional control, and that's a clear change from 15-20 years ago when positional control was everything.
     
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