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Dean Lister On How To Train Leg Locks Safely



Despite what your opinions or beliefs are in the Jiu Jitsu community, leg locks are here to stay. While they have  not made a huge impact in the world of gi competition and with the IBJJF, they have made a clear statement in the world of no gi. Especially with the submission only scene becoming so popular, leg locks have become a major way of competitors being able to secure wins. The Danaher guys and many of the 10th Planet competitors have had some big wins at events such as EBI and Polaris due to leg attacks. The sad thing is that many BJJ schools do not train in this aspect of Jiu Jitsu. That is because many BJJ coaches believe that they are simply too dangerous to teach. But this is a now known fallacy. The father of modern leg locks in competition, Dean Lister has some opinions on how you can train them safely.

Train leg locks slow and steady 

So it is well known of the damage that is cause with leg locks. Straight foot locks break the foot and hurt the achilles. Same with a toe hold. A kneebar destroys the knee and the devastating nature of the heel hook can cause major ligament and muscle damage. Even with these dangers, you can train them safely. The way to train these techniques is to drill them slow, with the correct technical aspect and steady. This way, there are no sudden injuries and your training partners can begin to feel what a real leg attack feels like.

Use them in sparring

Another mistake is not allowing your students to use these leg attacks in sparring. It is a must. Drilling slow and steady is the first important step, but it needs to be amped up in sparring. By allowing your students to use them in sparring, they can begin to see these techniques in a real live situation with real pressure. For attackers, they can see the many entries into the attacks and the defenders can know how exactly to get out.

Don’t forget to train leg attack defense 

While leg locking people can be some of the most fun that you’ll have in sparring, don’t neglect the leg lock defensive maneuvers.  To be perfectly proficient in all of leg attacks, the defense can be as important as the offense. When someone busts out these attacks, you need to be able to keep calm, properly defend and get the hell out of there. Don’t forget your leg lock defense, or you will be submitted far too easy and be left in the dust.

Dean Lister also goes on about theories on leg lock safety and how to be careful on who to train these with. Dean talks about these topics and more on his DVD set, K.A.T.C.H which is a fantastic resource of leg lock attacks, leg lock theories and more.

Click here to view the K.A.T.C.H DVD set at BJJ Fanatics!


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