Finally, Leg locks for the BJJer

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by armtriangle, May 1, 2008.

  1. armtriangle Brown Belt

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    sorry for the long winded setup, but i dont care about your time.

    I have 2 instructors, 1 a black belt who is old school bjj and 1 a brown belt who is more mixed grappling styles. The brown belt taught the black belt up to a point and owns the school. ANYWAY, he was delving into uncharted waters (for my school, anyway) today with leg locks. The black belt aschews leg locks and wont even teach them to anyone below a brown belt (though he rolls to a knee bar fairly often).

    I have 3 years with a sambo instructor under darren pordash and gokor who was a bit of a leg locks genius. i gave them up because when i came to my bjj school i just got my ass handed to me by the more tradtional bjj guys. and i just wanted to focus on mastering positioning. so i am more of the school that believes leg locks hinder progress

    my brown belt instructor started us on a system today. Scott Sonnen has developed a leg lock system that he claims is more or less fit for bjj comp. That is, the main complaint about leg locks in bjj is that you have to give up a position to go for one. and when you dont get it, which is a fairly high percentage of the time, you end up screwed. I mostly agreed.

    The system basically stated that there are 4 leg lock positions (sort of like mount, side, guard, and rear mount), and that by using these positions you can go for leg locks and not give up position, you can transition back into traditional bjj positions without "bailing out". The homo-erotic names: full saddle, side saddle, half saddle, rear saddle. I only learned full, side and half today. I have to say they really do give you alot more control over your opponent than traditional leg lock setups.

    I landed full saddle, which is essentially and figure4 with the foot tucked in the crotch and the outside knee on the mat, on a purple belt today. And although i didnt finish the ankle lock, i held him there for at least 2 or 3 minutes with not much effort. the main thing is it didnt feel like i was just playing footsie and bailing out.



    anyway, anyone have any familiarity with sonnen and these leg lock postions?
     
  2. yodaman Brown Belt

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    That sounds like the RMAX sambo system, one which has been somewhat controversial in its release.
     
  3. shaftoe Orange Belt

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    Sounds interesting. I'd definitely like to see some pictures or videos of the positions you are describing.
     
  4. Aesopian Brown Belt

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    I've been working on leglocks a lot lately. I haven't had any real trouble giving up position going for them and the reason is simple:

    1. I think of them in terms of position.
    2. I treat them like guards.

    What I mean is that I'm not going to sacrifice a dominant position to go for one if the risk of losing position because of it is too high. That's the same as armbars and any other submissions. Example: falling to an ankle lock while passing guard and using grips that prevent him from standing so I can still abort the leglock and go back to guard passing.

    I'm also thinking of the leglock positions relative to the "standard" ones (i.e. mount, side control, etc.). Example: Getting swept and going for an ankle lock is better than simply going down, especially considering the next point.

    This fits right into the positional thinking and it has more to do with specifically how I control from the leglock positions. I treat them like x-guard or DLR in terms of controlling their posture, breaking their balance, rocking them until they fall, stretching them out, etc. Watch some of Marcelo's matches and you'll see him using the footlock position as a guard and switching between it and x-guard for sweeps.

    So I've done well at not Ken Shamrocking myself and flopping back and pulling people into mount since I'm taking my normal BJJ "position before submission" and understanding of guard to fit leglocks into a safe strategy.

    Trog and I have been working on simple leglocks lately, mostly the standard straight ankle lock and some kneebars. I've been having to scrounge around for good material on the subject since the majority of leglock instruction seems to by gotards.

    Here's what I've rounded up online so far:

    Dean Lister's setup:

    YouTube - Dean Lister - Tecnica Leg Locks

    Two clips from Kesting's new leglock DVD and his ankle lock article:

    Grappling Tips Newsletter
    Grappling Tips Newsletter
    Breaking down the Ankle Lock - an analysis of the basic foot lock

    Ryon and Rener teaching a straight ankle lock and its defense:

    YouTube - Gracie Insider May Technique of the Month - Footlock
    YouTube - Gracie Insider - Footlock Defense

    A surprisingly good detail from Lockflow on how to apply pressure to finish:

    www.lockflow.com
     
  5. armtriangle Brown Belt

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    aesop

    it differs slightly from what you are saying, in that the leg lock positions themselves are seen as a worthy position to strive for. if you get to full saddle for example, you have a fair amount of control over your opponent (for me more control than in guard, it seems). also if situated properly, there isnt much risk of a counter leg attack (a big problem with leg locks in general- playing footsie).

    then in addition, there are supposed to be some transitions back to the 4 major positions in bjj, like what you are saying, though we havent gotten that far yet.

    what i liked about the sonnen positions was what i dislike about leglocks in general, it eliminates the chaos that often occurs when "shamrocking." also, for those of us who arent fluid grapplers, we dont have to be in constant transition. you can lock down a position and hang out and work on a lock. thats probably where you're losing me, the fluidity. what youre describing is just being a good bjj player, being able to transition from one awkward position to a less awkward one. what im describing is more like trying to obtain mount, then work
     
  6. txfighter13 Purple Belt

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    I do a progression into submission of the legs. It is crucial a BJJ practiction that you know leg submissions because they will represent 40% of your offensive portfolio. I would start with straight ankle locks/defenses then I would gradually work into practical knee bars (from passing the guard/half guard/turtle). Remember when applying these submission the body part will snap almost instantly as opposed to armlock that has increasing amount of pressure. Apply the submission slowly, if you really have the submission it won't matter how slow you go.
     
  7. Aesopian Brown Belt

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    Sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out. What I have seen from Sonnon's saddle stuff hasn't appeared to be that legal for BJJ, since the ways he wraps the legs are illegal in a lot of competitions, though I'm sure they are the more secure ways to apply the submissions.
     
  8. steppenwolf Orange Belt

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    I first started out traingin under a guy who trained under Frank and Ken back in the old days of the lions den. Due to having to move I now traind BJJ and every time I role with some of the people there I always see opening for a leg lock but can't do one due to BJJ rules regardng leg locks and lower belt ranks. Luckaly for me there are also some advanced students there who are more than willing to allow leg locks when we role. A brown belt there can slap on a heel hook so fast and strong that I can instantaniously feel the pain all the way from my achilles all the way to my knee. However I always see white belts all spazing out while trying to do a leg lock and that's why there not allowed.

    I was also there when Hall made Henry Mattamoros tap out via heel hook, that looked like it hurt.
     
  9. armtriangle Brown Belt

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    i wasnt aware that the way he figure4's was illegal. I thought it was all good as long as you dont do a twisting submission. though, i will agree, thats what is most often set up from his saddle positions that i have seen.
     
  10. Sherdog_Mutt Purple Belt

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    Anyone check out Stephan Kesting's new DVD yet? I was wondering if anyone has a review for it.
     
  11. Aesopian Brown Belt

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    Sherdog_Mutt: Haven't seen Kesting's DVD yet but excited to get my hands on it.

    armtriangle: Just watched promo footage and a sample technique from Sonnon's saddle DVD. From my understanding, it's illegal to bring the outside foot all the way over the thigh like he does to figure-four it. It's also illegal to have the leg "crossed" like it's in an inverted heelhook position.

    It looks like great leglock material, just not legal for BJJ.

    I'm watching Vincent Fields' leglock DVDs and they're really good. Also has a bunch of stuff that's not legal in BJJ, but that's what no-gi rules are for. ;)
     
  12. ShanghaiBJJ Brown Belt

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    Could you elaborate on that please?

    I had read some of Sonnen's stuff on his blog and wondered about the quality of the material.

    I think his exercise stuff is pretty good, e.g. grappler's toolbox
     
  13. ShanghaiBJJ Brown Belt

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    My first thought on this thread
     
  14. Balto Silver Belt

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    This is news to me. I was under the impression that as long as you didn't figure four or fall over the free leg, it would be a legal straight ankle lock. A lot of times I will grab a straight ankle lock on a crossed leg if I end up in that position, so if it is illegal under IBJJF rules that would be good to know.

    Can anyone else familiar with the IBJJF rules chime in on this?
     
  15. armtriangle Brown Belt

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    small world, i trained under vince for 3 years. i also have his dvd

    i didnt know figure4 with the outside leg was illegal. good to know.
     
  16. Throatpoker Black Belt

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    I'm just a white belt, but the straight foot lock is awesome, I haven't used it much, but I'm getting pretty good at defending it.
     
  17. Gsoares2*** Banned Banned

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    Yeah its illegal to figure fur over the legs, or cross to an opposite side leg lock.

    Federation is trying to avoid career ending injuries to make the sport.. a sport..
     
  18. Zankou Bringing peace and love Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Hmm, I didn't know that. I know you can't "reap", but they are stopping people from figure fouring? Sad, that's my favorite control -- cross body figure four.

    I've ordered Kesting's instructional, and can't wait to get it.

    I have Vince Field's instructional too, but it is crazy advanced -- a world of leglocks. It would take me years of focusing just on leglocks to learn it.
     
  19. Calibur Jiu Jitsu Snob

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    Does anyone actually personally know anyone critically injured because of an achilles lock gone awry?

    Really?
     
  20. Throatpoker Black Belt

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    I have, a guy in my gym is still out after getting subbed with an achilles.
     

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