Essential Leg Attack Positions and Details
Leg and foot locks have long carried an air of controversy which continues to this day. The murky history of the development and subversion of the leg game allegedly begins with the legendary rivalry between the Gracie's and the branch of the jiu jitsu family tree headed up by Luiz Franca. The story goes that Oswalda Fadda and his group of students challenged Helio Gracie and his top students to challenge matches. Legend tells us that the Fadda group with it's knowledge and use of foot locks defeated many of the Gracie students. It is alleged that this was the start of the anti-leg lock mentality in BJJ, as Helio deemed the techniques as "suburban" or somewhat lesser and dirty.
From this disputed event, it is believed the course of leg locks was suppressed in competitive jiu jitsu for many decades. Through the influence of sports like catch wrestling and the spotlight on competitive grappling events like the ADCC championships which would pit BJJ purists against grapplers adept in different modes of submissions, the power of leg locks would be put on display.
Today with so many different events and rule sets available for a competitor, having a good working knowledge of leg locks and the positions involved is an absolute necessity. To enter into any No Gi submission only event today without this knowledge would literally and figuratively leave you with no legs to stand on.
So where does one start to begin to explore leg locks and begin developing a foundation of knowledge? It's important with any submission system to understand the basic positions from where the submissions can be secured.
In the video below, four of the most important leg positions are discussed and explained. By understanding the entries and positions first, you will put yourself in a much better place to begin attacking the knees, ankles and feet of your opponents. It is important to spend some time working on drills and entries with your training partners to become familiar with these positions.
If you'd like to explore the now famous inside sankaku position, check out this article from BJJ Fanatics on the topic here.
In the second video below, the author builds on the basic positions to clarify some key details that will make the actual submission finishes more secure and guarantee that you will have your opponent's tapping.
The study of leg locks can be one of the most challenging, yet important endeavors one can undertake. It is challenging in that as it is one of the most recent developments in the martial art, there is still a lot of changing and conflicting information out there. Even leg locks gurus like Dean Lister and John Danaher continue to refine and develop their respective systems. Dedicating your time and investing your energy into the study of leg locks can be extremely rewarding as a well-rounded leg attack game will definitely give you an advantage on the mats in your academy and in competition.
If you are ready to develop a well-rounded leg lock game to be able to compete on all stages, a great resource would be Jose Varella's DVD instructional "IBJJF Legal Footlocks" on sale today for $39!