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Capture the Heel Hook from 50/50 with Lachlan Giles
After dropping a tough match to Lucas Lepri in the opening round of this years ADCC World Championship, Lachlan Giles came back the next day and entered the absolute division of the tournament. Being a smaller grappler and the fact that the absolute was filled with absolute monsters, we weren’t sure what to expect. Well, Giles managed to slay three giants in the absolute division with vicious heel hooks from 50/50. Kaynan Duarte, who won his division, defeating the legendary Marcus Almeida, was first up for Giles and when Duarte tapped, the room erupted.
Giles went on to face Patrick Gaudio who he subsequently finished with the same submission. Giles was only stopped in the absolute by Gordon Ryan but he had already done enough to earn the right to fight for the bronze medal, where he would face a towering Mahamed Aly. This match ended in the exact same fashion as the others and once again the crowd at the Anaheim convention center rose to its feet in support of Giles’ incredible performance.
After ADCC Mahamed Aly actually made a playful Instagram post showing good sportsmanship and prompting Duarte and Gaudio, stating that they needed to pick up a Giles instructional. This was no doubt a great moment for Giles, as he had traveled very far to try his hand in the tournament and had a rough start. It was a great way for him to finish the weekend and the fans at ADCC were hugely supportive.
So, about these heel hooks from 50/50. Giles finished all three of his opponents at ADCC with inside heel hooks. We often times think of these kinds of attacks coming from a saddle type configuration of the legs but this isn’t always the case. It seems these Australian boys are bringing some life back in to the 50/50. Craig Jones has recently released content on the subject and its obviously working for Giles as well. Let’s take a look at some instruction from Giles on the inside heel hook from the 50/50. In this video he gives us some ideas to work through. This is very slick! Check it out!
This particular set up is born from a passing scenario and the knee on belly. As his partner settles in to the knee on belly position, Giles supports his partners body at the knee and hip, making sure he doesn’t have the opportunity to settle in too heavily. As Giles supports his partner, he spins underneath to a north south position and threads his right leg underneath his partners knee on belly leg, wrapping it around and securing a 50/50 entanglement.
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Here, Giles forms a triangle with his legs and elevates his hips, causing his partner to fall. As his partner descends to the mat the heel becomes exposed and Giles immediately secures it. Pinching the toes between his bicep and ribcage and securing the heel with the blade of his forearm, Giles has set himself up with a very long lever where the foot is concerned. Giles advises us to use the elbow in big circling motion to bend the toes. This will make exposing and capturing the heel much easier. I’ve always likened this motion to a big air guitar strum. If that means nothing to you, no worries, just keep reading. Securing his hands with a gable style grip, Giles creates rotation with the toes and heel and as you can see this rotation is what commands the tap.
This next variation is amazing and it actually works very well. I was actually able to use this one with more success than the first.
As Giles entangles the leg and secures the 50/50 his partner settles in very heavy and Giles is not able to put his partner down using the entanglement. IN this scenario, Giles begins to invert and reach for his partner’s far leg. As this occurs, he continues to spin underneath, the heel becomes exposed and very easy to acquire. This is so cool. I found that when I attempted this, as long as I kept rolling through, the hell would elevate right in to my work space and this made the heel very easy to secure. As he completes the roll though, Giles is now in position to once again apply the finish. As Giles explains, we need to be careful here with our training partners. If they continue to roll with the momentum there actually rolling in to the heel hook and could injure themselves. Be cautious with this one!
The inside heel hook from the 50/50 will surely enjoy some time in the spotlight now as Giles has definitely demonstrated its effectiveness at the highest levels of competition. Giles does not have a leg lock specific instructional available as of yet, but we can only hope.
Giles performance this weekend has proved that heel hooks are still alive and well in the BJJ competition scene. Their rise was quick and sudden, and many treated the leg lock game like it was just hype. But the heel hook has its place in BJJ and its still the great equalizer. Understanding heel hooks and leg locks in general is important to our BJJ toolbox. I don’t know where the stigma around leg locks came from, but I feel they’ve always been described in some circles as a “cheap” way to win. What was Giles to do against men that were 50-80lbs heavier than him? Wrestle them? Maybe. He chose to attack the smallest weakest parts of their body and that’s just smart strategy. Don’t ignore the lower half of the body. Learn to attack and defend leg locks and make your game more dynamic. The more we understand, the more dangerous and multifaceted our games can become. Good luck!
Congratulations to Lachlan Giles on a phenomenal performance at ADCC 2019!
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