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Passing The Guard or Footlock

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Resendiz, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. Resendiz

    Resendiz Just glad to be able to train again.

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    How do you view people and their skill when going for footlocks?

    I think footlocks are ok, BUT they are too often attempted and when failed they find themselves in a worse position.

    Heres how I see it. Jiu Jitsu players who go for foot locks right away are showing LACK of guard passing skill. ANYONE can throw a footlock and hope it lands. Its like looking for a one punch knock out. But like a person hoping for a one punch knock out they are risking POSITION. At my academy i have noticed this;
    ---I dont really see people go for footlocks in the beggining of practice, not when they are fresh. It is when they are tired and are not able to pass an opponents guard that they begin going for foot locks. Ill be honest i believe that i have a very hard guard to pass and this may fustrate someone. Ive noticed a pattern that when someone cant pass my guard they start relying on footlocks, going for them over and over again because they cannot pass an open guard... going for a hail mary. Then eventually they will fall to a bad position that the oponent will capitalize on.

    I think that everytime someone goes for a 'fall back anklelock' they are missing an oportunity to work on the guard pass followed by body positioning when the guard has been passed, submissions from the mount, sidecontrol, getting a better feel for keeping and shifting your weight on an opponent when reacting to his movements, taking the back opportinity..etc. I believe Jean Jacques has the same opinion, ive talked to him about footlocks and he says something in the lines of "they are fustrated that they cannot pass your guard and thats why they start going for foot locks" without me asking him about MY situation but the man has eyes in the back of his head and notices everything that goes on in the mat. Also whenever someone begins to go for a footlock in the beggining of class he says "dont rely on the anklelock try to pass his guard". And as abvious by now, I agree. IMO footlocks are easy to get and land, atleast for me. It is easy to grab a foot and fall back then begin working on what tipe of footlock you want to apply. I dont mind that much when people go for footlocks because i think they are mentally fustrated by now, if anything it has helped me a LOT in defending footlocks and learning how to position my legs etc... BUT i still think that they are too often attempted. Dont get me wrong, if its there take it, i think footlocks are MUST learned techniques but one should not disregard the guaard pass because after all Passing The Guard is about 80% of a Jiu Jitsu fight.

    What are your opinions on ankle locks and how do you view peoples skill when most of their game is falling back for foot locks.

    In case you are wondering "does everyone tap you with footlocks?" the answer is no. i have not been tapped from an anklelock in a while but i see the same pattern almost everyday in the gym that i felt the need to ask you guys what your opinions are. Feel free to disagree.

    Discuss.
     
  2. Aesopian

    Aesopian Brown Belt

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    I've noticed the same pattern. Can't pass guard, fall back for footlock. But when done out of desperation like this, they usually fail, since if they lacked enough energy or skill to pass guard, they don't have enough to finish the footlock.

    None of this to say that footlocks aren't good technique or don't have their own setups (since the footlock game can be very technical and involved), but they do end up being used as a "last resort" or "easy out" with mediocre success by people who should just be learning to pass guard.

    I noticed something funny about this too. Pretty much everytime I've seen a white belt get his guard to a level that blue belts start trying to ankle lock him instead of passing, he's just about ready for his blue belt. Not a 100% rule, but I've seen it more than a couple times (and it happened to me).
     
  3. SmashiusClay

    SmashiusClay Avatar of Cyttorak

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    My problem with your post is that you describe someone falling back into leg locks without proper positioning and control and then say that this lacks skill, true but then again people who keep doing god-awful armbar attempts from guard and failing and getting passed because of it should learn some more submissions and how to pass. The problem is the same in both cases.

    A properly applied footlock should first and foremost involve correct positioning, a lot of people grab the leg and then just try to bend or twist it as hard as possible without real control. As a result when a newbie tries to apply a leglock I generally just clear their legs, if they've made any attempt to control me, which is fairly rare, and then just go straight to mount and armbar. I then give a brief lecture on proper technique and after a few sessions they are no longer going for "hail mary" subs.

    A clear recent example of this was the Hoger/Newton fight at the last UFC. Newton used a very nice mount escape but then instead of pinning Hoger in place he went straight after the leglock and was remounted and submitted. A good leglocker will isolate the leg being attacked and pin his opponents hips in place by the use of his legs, from here even if the submission is unsuccessful they should still be able to regain a dominant position, i tend to get position and then rather than forcing my opponent to tap (which, lets face it, is really pretty easy) I try to gain side control and continue the fight.

    I would also say that some of the responsibility here is upon the person in guard, you should control your opponent in such a way that they are unable to gain a good leg lock position and any attempt to do so will result in getting mounted.

    I agree with you that leglocks should not be used as an excuse to not pass guard but I also believe that it is not a sign of poor technique to use them, it is however a sign of poor technique to not use them well.
     
  4. colinm

    colinm Brown Belt

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    i agree
    +1
     
  5. Coach Couzo

    Coach Couzo Orange Belt

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    I use footlocks to set-up for a guard pass and vice versa.

    For instance, if my opponent is using Dela Riva guard and not paying attention to his legs. I will pin the leg on my hip, with a toehold lock, and pause for a second. If my opponent is wise, he will either release the Dela Riva guard altogether or try to release his pinned foot. These 'openings' allow me to immediately set-up for several guard passes.

    If my opponent does not defend the toehold, I shoulder roll over his torso to my back. While rolling, I triangle my opponents hooked leg, securing proper position. Then I slowly apply the ankle lock / toe hold.

    Instead of taking the toehold, I could also pull off an inventive pass, see http://bjj.org/techniques/thetechniques/sucuriPassRiva/

    The point: good positioned footlocks can help to pass the guard, bad positioned footlocks leave you ... well you know.
     
  6. Walt Ruckus

    Walt Ruckus Orange Belt

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    I used to think that leglocks are just brute and ugly submissions with little skill involved.

    Then I went to a seminar that specialized on a straight ankle lock and guard passes related to it. It changed the way I think about footlocks. They are just as technical as any submissions and one should not neglect them.

    On the other hand I'm with the school that emphasizes passing the guard and I usually try to do just that, pass the guard. But every now and then the opportunity presents itself and I'll "fall over for the footlock".

    I think people who do more submission wrestling tend to go for footlocks more often. Perhaps it's the rule set that allows more lower body submissions and the fact that it's harder to defend them without the kimono.
     
  7. TJS

    TJS Brown Belt

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    If you go for them alot you are not going to develop you gaurd passing game as well. It's hard not to though because I have got to the point where If i get ahold of the foot a tap is almost always soon to follow. So if someone does have a good gaurd..why not take a shortcut and end it right there?

    I do agree that in the begining though you shouldent rely on it or you wont develop your gaurd passes .
     
  8. Adino

    Adino Purple Belt

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    I think it's much more effective to drop for a heel hook. You really need to catch this one fast b/c you can lost more position but it's vastly superior.
     
  9. Gsoares2***

    Gsoares2*** Banned Banned

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    honestly i prefer passing the guard over trying for foot locks.. To me its more fun and then leaves me in a position to try many things..

    I dont give the guys who do it any respect.. .. if you get a clean set up and pull off a good leg/foot submission you deserve the respect.. if you just continue to fall back out of guard to ankle lock some one.. then alls your showing me is How bad you suck at everything else. Practice is there to improve not to show you can tap someone by some bs fluke they let you have.
     
  10. knoxpk

    knoxpk Black Belt

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    I think the footlock game game can benefit scramblers, like catchwrestler guys or wrestlers taking some sub grappling. I dont think that thme "specializing" in guard passes is to their benefit anyhow. Of course to know some is great but the philosphy of wrestling is basically action and a wrestler is not comfy fighting his way out of one position for more than 30 seconds or so.

    Now if you are talking about BJJ students, then I agree you are learning how to use guard therefore you should alos learn how to pass and practice it.
     
  11. Sherdog_Mutt

    Sherdog_Mutt Purple Belt

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    Great point. What really helped me take my guard passing against higher belts to a new level were footlocks (at least the threat of footlocks). Against guys with a really good active guard, I like to fake footlocks to help me pass their guard. If nothing else, the threat of a footlock will at least give them something else to worry about while you're working your guard pass.
     
  12. tudor_bjj

    tudor_bjj Purple Belt

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    Ask JJ about his fight with PDP in ADCC... :)
     
  13. TheHighlander

    TheHighlander Green Belt

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    Mostly I work to pass, but I will periodically go for foot locks. Sometimes a fake as Mutt indicates, other times because my opponent has a better guard game than my passing game. There's three primary results:
    1) get the footlock - match over - enough said
    2) abort the footlock, back in guard - nothing lost, but now he has to worry about the footlocks as well as the pass
    3) fail the footlock, i'm on bottom - this lets me play my bottom game. Most people with guard games better than me don't necessarily have a good enough top game to keep up with me. Given the choice I will tend to fight against my opponent's weaknesses than his strengths. Isn't that the point of jiujitsu?
     
  14. Cnyle33

    Cnyle33 Blue Belt

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    your gym allows heel hooks?? wow, mine doesnt. Im new to bjj, and although i know how to apply a proper straight ankle lock, i prefer to attempt to pass the guard.
     
  15. DMcKayBJJ

    DMcKayBJJ Blue Belt

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    I train pretty traditional BJJ and am still just a white belt. I've never learned any foot/leglocks, so I'm pretty much always just trying to pass guard. Thankfully, I've gotten pretty got at it.

    I guess ignorance is bliss in my case...
     
  16. Half Boston Crab

    Half Boston Crab Purple Belt

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    I don't know, if you go for leg locks from the opponents guard and you nail the leg lock every time, there is nothing wrong with that. You should work on your guard passes of course, but there are people who have guards that are almost impossible to pass, since they use their legs very effectively to keep you in their guard. If the person does this at the cost of not protecting his legs, you should go for a leg lock right away and damn well teach him that that isn't good enough. Then when you've caught him in like 7 leg locks he'll probably have learned his lesson and started protecting his legs. Then you will probably have a little easier time passing his guard since he's aware of the leg attack. That's how the leg lock and guard pass complement each other. You can't just hold guard and protect the guard pass at every cost and then complain when someone goes for a leg lock instead.

    Then of course you can do leg locks from the guard and half guard as well, without sacrificing your position. When you do that you can combine them with sweeps and that's real nice.
     
  17. DirectDrive

    DirectDrive Black Belt

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    it still amazes me how controvercial leg locks are. a lot of people will not take the time to understand them and write them off as a desperation move.
    i use the straight ankle lock a lot, but it about good technique and positioning, like any other sub. by the time i fall back i pretty well know that i have the sub. if you are trying a leglock out of despair you are just making a bad situation worse.
    from what i have seen a lot of people get frustrated with leglocks and talk about how you should be trying to pass their guard. the way i see it is if your guard was that good your leg wouldn't have been dangling out there in the first place.
     
  18. Enron Exec.

    Enron Exec. Guest

    Go for footlocks and practice the scramble for when you lose it. Its prolly easier then passing the gaurd thats for sure hahahaha
     
  19. kneecompression

    kneecompression Orange Belt

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    i just hate when big strong guys go for heel hooks during gi class, because their straight ankle locks suck and they can't pass my guard, then tap out from exhaustion immediately after i sweep them, and then NEVER come back to class...





    on that note, i've been having some success with the achilles lock lately, but it's not some thing i go for very often...i love my kneebars though
     
  20. Resendiz

    Resendiz Just glad to be able to train again.

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    you DO know that the fight wasnt.... ah nevermind its hard getting through you.
     

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