Leglocks - why so neglected?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Matt Thornton, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. Matt Thornton

    Matt Thornton Amateur Fighter

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    Maybe it's just me, but it seems like when I roll with a lot of guys, they comment when they notice I like to attack the legs. I don't always go for them, but whenever there's an opportunity I go for it. It even seems like I'll be with guys who are absolutely tooling on me in the positioning game, passing my guard and sidemounting me, but when I go for their legs, suddenly they're helpless. My first night at my MMA gym, I caught a purple belt with an inverted heelhook, I've caught two of my instructors with a toehold, and when I went up to TriStar, I tapped 4 guys in a row with a toehold.

    The above sounds like I'm tooting my own horn, but it's really the opposite. I've been doing BJJ (no gi) for about 6 months, and while I do have a wrestling background, and I train and study MMA nonstop, I shouldn't be able to tap some of the guys who I have.

    It seems to me like leglocks get neglected a lot, maybe because they're a little bit more difficult to teach? Guys just assume the only leglock there is is an Achilles tendon pull (footlock), and then when I start going for toeholds and heel hooks, they don't know what's going on.

    So before you pick up that new book on guard techniques, or before you try to improve your mount position, start training some leglocks. They can be a little bit dangerous, but just know when you're caught. Start off from some common leg lock positions, and roll from there. Make sure to drill protecting your own legs into your head. It's easy to leave your legs vulnerable for attack. Obviously, from my avatar, I recommend checking out Bas' stuff. He's got some good material for picking up leg locks. He advocates the inverted heel hook over the regular heel hook, because it acts faster, and it's harder to slip out of (he broke a guy's shin with it in Pancrase). Now as people get to a higher level, obviously they start doing more with leg locks. But if you're not going to go for leg locks, you should train them anyways, because you need to know how to get out.

    One of the best things about leg locks is, if a guy knows that you love attacking his ankles and knees, he really starts to get nervous. There's this guy at my MMA gym who's a lot bigger than me (and he's skilled; tough combo to beat), and he likes to play the game of holding me down in side mount and dominating me. I attacked him with a couple of leg locks, and after a rolling session he admitted that I made him afraid for his legs. After that, I could just fake a leg lock, and he'd start squirming and doing what he could to get away. When you make someone afraid to use their two most powerful limbs, that's really a mental victory. For example, if you break the guard, and stand up, it'll make passing that open guard a little bit easier, because he'll be worrying about you leglocking him, so he won't focus as much on you passing open guard.

    Just some food for thought. Remember also that BJJ's major contribution to grappling was the positioning theory. Position before submission. I know Marc Laimon doesn't like leg locks because you have to usually go to a neutral position, instead of a dominant one, to get a leg lock. So it's definitely safer to try to go up the positional dominance ladder. But you should at least be training with leg locks.
     
  2. scorcho

    scorcho Brown Belt

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    I agree. A lot of people are used to just dealing with the upper body, and are surprised when I go for their legs. 2 of my favorite moves are the toe hold and knee bar from on top in side mount. Dropping back for an achilles lock on someone with a good guard also works pretty well.
     
  3. Soid

    Soid Renegade of Funk

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    Tapping purple belts and instructors at the age of 16. Hmm.. is Rickson your biological father?

    Anyways I just think they might not be expecting you to go for leglocks when doing Gi jiujitsu because a lot of tournaments do not allow it. I would like to do leglocks but my school does not allow it for us novice people and I'm sure it's for a good reason. I only see people going for it in nogi.
     
  4. RedAger

    RedAger Amateur Fighter

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    leglocks are neglected because if the person knows how to defend it you risk losing position and getting into a really bad position. when i didnt know how to defend leglocks i got them slapped on all the time as soon as everyone knew i could defend them they stopped going for them
     
  5. b0b

    b0b Banned Banned

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    Especially in MMA training. If you guys are just doing no-gi grappling, you don't have to worry about being pummeled.
     
  6. LCDforMe

    LCDforMe Purple Belt

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    I don't even know how to do any real leg locks now that I think about it. People always try to slap them on me but I can kinda scramble my way out of them. Otherwise...I'm scrwed.
     
  7. alexgncw

    alexgncw Guest

    i use leg locks all the time but i think the reason they're "neglected" is because they're not really taught at the white belt level and in a tournament you do risk loosing position if you don't finish a leg lock
     
  8. Green Whale

    Green Whale Green Belt

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    You need to remember that most people who train, do it for recreational reasons, just to have a little fun and stay in shape. A very small percent train hardcore when you look at the whole picture. A lot of guys who just train recreationally don't want to bust their ankles and get hurt and cause this to miss time at work, etc.. It's just a hobby guys, everybody isn't trying to be the ADCC champ or Pride champion.

    www.greenwhaleproductions.com
     
  9. phenomfan1529

    phenomfan1529 Brown Belt

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    Tapping puple belts & instrutors? damn bro!

    Im now just learning leglocks at my school and Im getting pretty good. And I was just wondering, is there an advantage for leglocks with taller people? (when your the taller guy)
     
  10. Gsoares2***

    Gsoares2*** Banned Banned

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    yeah this happens when a new guy who doesnt know leg locks comes in and trys some ccrap he saw on tv. Leg locks cause so many injurys especialy when a new guy is trying them out. They crank to far, or to fast for a tap and before you know it you have a knowledgable 5 year veteran out for months because some deuche bag caught a heel hook and twisted as hard as he could.

    The guys you tapped probably were just being lazy and didnt think you were going to play a leg lock game so they let you get where you were.

    Most leg locks anyone can do.. they are cake and if they are taught at an early stage in training people will be lazy and forget the positional game and just go for leg locks instead of passing the guard.

    YOu would just have white belts trying to achiles lock and heel hook each other instead of passing the guard... which will result in them being inured.. which will result in them not comming to class... before you know it your gym is out of buisiness and your wife is turning tricks to pay the bills.

    Real men pass the guard.
     
  11. ichimonji

    ichimonji Blue Belt

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    there is a school in our area that worsk hard on legs. Its not Sambo, but its not BJJ either. They do not have a huge school base. What happens to often is new people start at that school and becasue they dont do excercises in class, and becasue they spar really hard the good guys get better and the new guys get hurt and/or dont come back.

    IMO this is the best way for fighter stables which want to train pride ufc champions. There is no womens kickboxing. There is no kids class. They train hard and fast and all of them had at least 4 years of HS wrestling exp. But because they are at this high level it is realatively impossible for a new guy to start training with them.

    We get alot of business from them. Inadvertantly. I train at a traditional BJJ school. 5 days a week with gi. We dont allow legs to anyone below blue. We dont force people to spar for their first month. We ease people into the game and we have a good time doing it. We have women and children train at the school. We are by know means the most devistating team in the state but you now what ... I can train and then go to work the next day to make a living for me and my family.


    ...

    I am glad you are able to destroy your purple belts and your instructors. And I do agree with you that legs are a lesser played game. I will not work legs with someone I do not know well. Not because I am afraid of what he knows but because I am afraid of what he doesnt know. When I go to other MMA places and people jump to my ankles the first time I push them hard with my foot either to the chest or too the ass. the next time it will be a kick. Heel hooks are not submissions, but are rather on the level of elbows and knees. Feel free to use them but I will use knees and elbows back.
     
  12. krellik

    krellik Gimli son of Cisco

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    Not working heel hooks and toe holds as a beginer I understand, but ankle locks and knee bars I do not understand...??
    Personaly I think its much about tradition because parts of bjj view on leglocks dont make sense... I mean come on its okay to go for every freaky low percentage upper body sub in the book but not attack the legs.. Whats the logic in that?

    Personaly im into sub wrestling and mma so I would prefer to learn leglocks right away. Especialy for subwrestling.
     
  13. Green Whale

    Green Whale Green Belt

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    Iceman,
    I've literally been to at least 30 different BJJ schools run by BJJ black belts. I've never been to one that didn't do leglocks. There are some particular students who didn't like to train them, but it seems like somewhat of a stereotype. Not training enough takedowns though, now that is another story, hehe

    www.greenwhaleproductions.com
     
  14. Big Red

    Big Red Green Belt

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    Knee bars & anchilles locks are awesome. At my place, we dont really spar with em. We are taught them but unless its no gi, leg locks arent used.
     
  15. Soid

    Soid Renegade of Funk

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    The logic is simple, leg locks if fought against can cause more of a injury. I've been in leglocks and have done leg locks before I started BJJ and the first time I got caught I didn't feel shit but tapped right away when I looked at my knee stretching. I was alright but the shit is you don't feel them till.. POP goes the weasel.. then you're fucked. Whenever guys I roll with go for a leglock I tap right away even if they don't have it. Plus I don't do BJJ to fight or to become a blackbelt master. I do it because it's fun, just like I play baseball and other sports.
     
  16. krellik

    krellik Gimli son of Cisco

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    Personaly I feel there are way more dangerous lock than ankle locks... Heel hooks on the other hand, now they are nasty I agree. I feel knee bar is ok to do relatively early in training. Just be careful with the twisting ones.
     
  17. Matt Thornton

    Matt Thornton Amateur Fighter

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    Just... a... hobby? Does not compute. Lol. I getcha. Sometimes I forget about that one.
     
  18. abhi

    abhi Green Belt

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    I remember when I just started to do BJJ and when I went for an ankle lock the other white belt frowned and I was told only black bet and above are only allowed to do it
     
  19. phenomfan1529

    phenomfan1529 Brown Belt

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    Only black belts were allowed to do ankle locks?
     
  20. anthony27

    anthony27 Yellow Belt

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    To the thread starter,
    It's not cool to do leglocks for subbing people while sparring in practice, especially becuase you're relatively new to bjj. Ususally noone is going to tell you this because you potentially wouldn't understand. They may just stop rolling with you because it's not worth getting your knee torn. Yeah it could be that they are scared of you because a heelhook in the hands of a whitebelt (w/wrestling skill) who's trying to prove something is a dangerous thing.

    If you're going to do leglocks make sure you ask the guy you're about to roll with what the ground rules are about leglocks. This way if they agree then you both know what you're potentiallly going for and would better be prepared to deal with it as in a real match. Still though don't crank that shit. Just get them in the position to where you know you have them beat and then you can let them go.
     

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