Learning leg locks can be a super powerful weapon against more skilled opponents. There have been many blue belts that have caught unsuspecting opponents much better then them with ankle locks.
I was talking to two World BJJ champions the other day and the subject leg locks came up in the conversation.
One World Champion said that he didn’t like leg locks very much which was basically an indicator that he didn’t really practice or place a high priority towards incorporating them into his training.
As a World Champion he is obviously very good and has been successful without with this approach. However, IMO this is an aspect of complacency that could come back one day to cause him problems in a tournament or on the mat.
I’ve been a black belt for a little more than 2 years now and I have the privilege to roll with a third degree black belt world champion (not the one who doesn’t like leg locks) on a regular basis. His skills greatly surpass mine though I have been adopting a strategy of using leg locks against him with some success. I’ve rolled with other black belts of equally high caliber and landed some good leg locks as well.
3X World Champion Denilson Pimenta – Free BJJ Instructional Videos
Suffice it to say, “I love leg locks” and use them to win on the mat. But even if you don’t or if you are a white belt that is not allowed to do leg locks, you can benefit from learning them and at least understand some basic defense strategies.
Historically Gracie Jiu-Jitsu has not really placed a high value on leg locks. In the early 20th Century Gracie Jiu Jitsu frowned upon leg locks claiming that they were a poor man’s method of fighting.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswaldo_Fadda Some have speculated that the IBJJF’s limitations on leg locks isn’t just to protect the athlete but that they have political biases against leg locks.
Worthy of note is that BJJ roots came from Judo and that Judo once incorporated leg locks into their art. Over the years leg locks were banned from Judo competition (allegedly due to frequency of injuries) and as a result Judo leg locks have been almost forgotten or omitted in training and kata by all but the highest ranking judo masters still alive with the knowledge.
Here’s a very fast tutorial on leg locks by Jason Scully. Don’t try and learn techniques from this video, learn from your professor or an expert like Roli Delgado.
Watch this video from Jason Scully to appreciate the myriad of ways to attack the legs and how your legs are more vulnerable that you thought.
The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation allows Blue belts to use straight ankle locks. Purple, brown and black belts are allowed more options though heel hooks and certain other positions are not allowed.
With so many people using guard, especially spider guard, there are a lot of ankle lock opportunities out there for you. Learn leg locks and go catch someone on the mat today!
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Jason Scully 105 Leg locks in 9 Minutes
Baltimore Martial Arts is having Roli Delgado, a world renowned expert on leg locks, coming to teach a leg lock seminar on January 10th 2015. Cost is $50 online.