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Ankle Lock: A How To

Leg locks are all the rage these days. While the heel hook gets most of the glory, the straight ankle lock tends to be forgotten or passed over for other leg locks. The straight ankle lock when done effectively is a strong, debilitating technique that can secure a victory in no time. There are many variations on the ankle lock, but here is a how to on how I finish the classic foot lock.

The first important aspect is to get the correct position before the submission! Down below, I use the ashi garami position (single leg x). I apply pressure to his leg, specifically his knee with my legs and my outside foot on his hip pointing out.


Next, I lock up a guillotine grip on my opponent’s ankle. I try to get the bite of my wrist close to his ankle as well. I try to tuck and hide my right arm under my body to make this grip tight as can be.


Once I am ready, I bridge on my head and I start to finish the lock. I have to get my hands from stomach height to chest height. This can be tough, so I turn my thumb away from my stomach, pointing towards my opponent. Then I will start raising my grip up to my chest level.


Here is another view of my thumb. This is such an important part of the technique to finish. Again, my thumb has to point towards my opponent to get my grip to chest level.


And now for the complete finish. Once my grip is at chest level, I go back to fingers/palm down, then I clamp down my top arm to my body and I extend my body fully to get the correct extension for the tap.



The ankle lock is such an effective technique. As I mentioned earlier, heel hooks get the glory because of recent big victories in the grappling world, but the straight ankle lock will get your opponent to tap just as well. Give it a go, and try it out next time you roll!