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Footlock Guard: questions and concerns


Green Belt
Feb 13, 2006
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Lately I've been playing around with what people call the footlock guard. Let me start with what I do know:

Obviously a straight ankle lock and a Heel Hook are right there for you. As far as sweeps I've learned two.
The technical standup sweep: When he is down on a knee trying to keep balance and stack you, you can switch your grip from overhook to underhooking his ankle and pull it up on yourself. Push his knee away as you do a technical standup. This is a common style of sweep from X-Guard and half guard also.

A Leg lever type sweep: When he stands you can't do the first sweep. Threaten foot locks until he brings his free leg close enough, then dive for an underhook on the free leg. Your outside leg swings down and around for momentum while the inside leg bows his knee out like a leg lever except with the back of your knee. Sorry it's hard to explain but it's really similar to a half guard sweep.

Are there any more important moves to know from the foot lock guard? And does anyone have any general footlock guard advice? I'm still new at it.

Oh and about my concerns: Let's say I'm attempting a straight ankle lock and I have a tight grip of my opponent's ankle. If he should turn his knee in hard and I don't let go of his ankle, didn't he just explosively heel hook himself? People have escaped by turning thier knee inside and doing kind of a running escape, but it's normally slowly and they are freeing spinning thier ankle. If the ankle doesn't spin that's really bad right? I'm not trying to hurt anybody so I want to know if I should let go should someone try to spaz out of the footlock guard.

There are a number of sweeps you can do. The regular "tripod" open guard sweep works just fine, except your leg is wrapped around from the outside, rather than straight to the hip. You can also kick your middle knee through so both feet are on his hip and push back with that, or drive through for a 50/50 type position.

I am not really sold on this position for gi bjj, when you can't do heelhooks. Unless you can do heelhooks, it's very hard to finish or sweep the guy. With a gi on, he will grab your collar and defend pretty well. Unless you reap to heelhook, illegal with the gi, you are going to get your foot knocked off his hip, and then he is going to pass. Basically the threat of heelhook makes this position powerful, otherwise it's pretty weak.

I would not worry about guys trying to spin out of a straight footlock. It's not a heelhook type pressure if they spin into the heelhook escape. They could still get jacked, but actually it's a sort of mild reverse heelhook pressure that is going on. Mostly the ankle is what I would be worried about in that situation.

Interesting subject ....
Can somebody link me to any videos or pictures of the footlock guard? In action or instructionals would be even better. Im asking because I like to use the ankle lock and heel hook a lot. It would help a lot if I could get a sweep off of a missed attempt.