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Countering the Straight Ankle Lock Defense
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Countering the Straight Ankle Lock Defense

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A lot of people consider the straight ankle lock to be an inferior leg locking submission, especially when comparing it to heel hooks and kneebars. I would strongly disagree with anyone who makes that claim. The straight ankle lock, when done technically and done well can be an excruciatingly painful submission. The difficulty of the ankle lock doesn’t come from its inherent nature, but due to its defense.

There are multiple ways of defending the straight ankle, but it mostly depends on the position. The escape you would use from ashi garami will and should be different from the escape you use against inside ashi. Leg attack defense has little do with actually stop the submission part but escaping the position its being attacked from.

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One of the more common ways of defending the straight ankle lock is opening the attacker’s knees away from each other. When this is done, it can be difficult for the attacker to get the necessary squeeze to finish the submission. Because of this, it is important to learn how to counter this hip opener so we can be more successful with this submission. Watch the following video where you will see prodigy Mikey Musumeci explain this counter.

All Mikey is doing to respond to the ankle lock defense is adjust his angle around the defender’s ankle. From my experience, the most important thing to continuously adjust in the process of attacking an ankle lock is the angle around the ankle. The traditional ankle lock applies most of its pressure in a way that breaks the ankle on the outside. When adjusted the way Mikey does, however, it results in increased pressure that can break the ankle in a straight manner.

Mikey shows all his best guard tactics, traps, and attacks as he leads you through a guard player masterclass!  Mike, who is not only a genius on the mat but in the classroom as well, has turned Jiu Jitsu into his own laboratory.  He understands that the best way to retain your guard is to learn how to stop every pass!  He will tell you, as if you are there… the tips and tricks to stop every pass.  Once you know how, all you have to do is do it!

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