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Dismantling the Lockdown with Alec Baulding and Lachlan Giles
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Dismantling the Lockdown with Alec Baulding and Lachlan Giles

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If you’ve ever had the pleasure of being stuck in a good lockdown, you know it can be an arduous task to dismantle the position and get free. What’s worse, is someone who’s actually well versed in the systems of the lockdown. There are several ways to use the lockdown effectively to pursue reversals and submissions. Some of these techniques are very tough to defend once you’ve allowed the position to progress past a certain point. Made famous by 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, the lockdown has evolved over the years to become an interesting platform from which to launch many unique and interesting attacks. 

Several years ago, I had a training partner that used the lockdown religiously. But he mainly used it to stall. He was a perfect build to acquire the position, and then stay put. This frustrated me a great deal, and at times was honestly painful. There wasn’t much effort on his part to advance, so we’d remain there sometimes for the duration of the match. These experiences prompted me to delve in to the intricacies of the lockdown. First, learning to defend it, then I actually began to use it more in an offensive setting. 

So, how do we dismantle the lockdown so that we can continue to advance?

Alec Baulding and Lachlan Giles have some ideas for you. Let’s take a look at a couple of videos on the defending and escaping the lockdown and see if we can shorten our stints in this incredibly frustrating position. We’ll start with Baulding’s take and move on from there. Check it out!

If we’re thinking in a more preemptive fashion, we can stay safe from the lockdown by keeping our knee up close to our partner’s hips. But as Baulding states, we don’t always think this way during a match and inevitably we will fail to be preemptive at times. 

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Baulding begins by lifting the entire lockdown from the floor and turning his hip down slightly to the right side to center his partner. Here, he sprawls a bit and uses the heel on his free leg to scrape away his partners foot and break the lock. The moment his foot is clear, he brings his knee back to a safe position where the lockdown cannot be acquired again. Baulding is now past the knee shield in half guard, and can begin to push his partner’s knee down to pursue a standard half guard pass. 

As Baulding explains, the lockdown is not something that we can avoid learning. If you’ve never been in it, the chances are you don’t know how to escape it. Be preemptive. Learn what the lockdown is and learned how to deal with it before it presents itself in a more unfavorable situation, such as a competition. An ounce of prevention beats a pound of the cure! 

Let’s move on to a video from Lachlan Giles. He has his own variation of the lockdown escape to share with us. Take a look at this!

Another great reason to understand properly escaping the lockdown is for the safety of your knee. Knee injuries are common from improper attempts at exiting this position. This is important to keep in mind. 

Starting with some great advice on the position, Giles advises us to not get too focused on the upper body of our opponent. One of the key elements in making the lockdown effective is the acquisition of an under hook from the bottom. We need to be very aware of this when were trying to pass. Giles keeps his body weight centered over the hips, locking his chest to him. Even if his partner does achieve an under hook, Giles can deal with it much easier if he’s centered over the hips. 

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Giles no begins to turn his hips down and tuck his bottom knee tight to his partner. This will prevent the guard player from reacquiring the closed guard. With his arm hidden, his toes connected to the mat, and his knee tight to his partners hip, Giles begins to being his heel to his own butt. As he clears the lockdown hook, he rotates his foot up and over, leaving the hook behind. Once he sheds the lockdown, he brings his knee up and close to his partner, making it nearly impossible for him to reacquire the lockdown. Giles can now use his elbow to free his knee and begin to work through a standard half guard passing scenario.

In the event that Giles can acquire an under hook and an over hook on his partner, he will opt for a different passing procedure. With the over and under secured, he places his head on the opposite side of his partners body and sprawls his hips flat to the mat. He also brings his outside leg to the inside of the lockdown set up. With this wedge in place, Giles can pry his trapped leg free and begin to cut his knee through to finish the pass. Be sure to keep your hips flat and heavy and your head connected to the mat to keep your partner from going back to left or using your head as a way to create space. 

In the third variation, Giles returns his focus to his partners hips. He locks a tight harness below his partners butt, scoots down low, and begins to stretch his trapped leg backward breaking the lock. If you’ve ever had this one done to you, you’ll know that quite a bit of pain comes along with it. This is a very tough escape to combat from the bottom and its highly effective. 

Giles tags on a quick addition to the lockdown instruction here at the end. The electric chair is a common submission that normally gets launched from the lockdown. When this occurs, Giles advises to lean our hips and post on the hand as the sweep is coming to life. He then scrapes his partners hand from his knee and continues to retreat backward out of the position as his partner attempts to follow thought with the technique. 

WE covered a lot of information here! You can pluck a lot of excellent ideas from the instruction in these two videos. I hoe this helps you find the key to opening the lockdown. Good luck!

Lachlan Giles is on the forefront of innovation in Jiu-Jitsu. His Guard Passing Anthology: Half Guard  on all things Half Guard Passing. Take your game to the NEXT LEVEL with Lachlan Giles!

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