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Dean Lister’s Best Leg Locks


dean lister

Leg locks are all the rage in submission wrestling and no gi these days. With events such as EBI and Polaris showcasing competitors that are dominating the game with leg locks, people forget about one leg lock pioneer…Dean Lister. Dean Lister, a long time black belt and master of leg attacks, has had some truly awesome wins with a variety of techniques, from ankle locks, toe holds, kneebars and heel hooks. Below, I take a look at Dean Lister’s best leg lock victories…

3) Dean Lister vs Kyle Griffin @ Grappler’s Quest 2013

Back in 2013, the UFC Fan Expo hosted a Grappler’s Quest event with an awesome super fight of BJJ black belts, Dean Lister and Kyle Griffin. Most of the match showed Griffin playing top game, working on passes and chokes, while Dean mainly played a seated guard and half guard game, trying to set up his leg attacks. At around 5:15, Dean was able to isolate Griffin’s legs and secure a powerful toe hold to pick up the win.

2) Dean Lister vs Ricardo Abreu @ Grappler’s Quest 2013

At the same Grappler’s Quest, Dean had another beautiful leg lock victory against competitor, Ricardo Abreu. In the match, Dean aggressively went after Abreu’s legs. After transitioning in between a few different leg locks, he secured a nasty heel hook that ended the match almost immediately. Look for the fast tap from Abreu.

1) Dean Lister vs Saulo Ribeiro @ ADCC 2003

Dean had one of the best matches of his life at the 2003 ADCC event. Lister went on a tear in both the 99kg and absolute divisions. One of his standout matches at that event was his match against legend, Saulo Ribeiro. The two battled fiercely for over twenty minutes, but Lister’s leg prowess would shine brightly. Lister was able to work from top and grab Saulo’s leg, ending the match with a perfect kneebar.

While he has slowed down in the last couple of years, Dean is still a masterful Jiu Jitsu competitor that puts on some great matches. In addition to competing, Dean is a full time BJJ teacher, passing his leg lock knowledge onto the next generation of competitors. He has released some great instructional material as well. Down below, I attached one of my favorite DVD sets from Lister that can help anyone’s leg lock game.

Leg Attacks & Grappling Hacks – 4 DVD Set by Dean Lister


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