Go With The Flow: The Importance of Leg Locks
When it comes to high profile submission grappling, there are a set of techniques that have taken the world by storm…leg locks. Once upon a time (and somewhat still) leg locks were frowned upon in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community. They were seen as dirty, cheap and lowly techniques. Over the last few years, some very accomplished grapplers have won major matches and tournaments with these techniques, which are now breaking the stigma behind them.
Competitors such as Eddie Cummings, Garry Tonon, and Geo Martinez are just some of the high level black belts that have proven the solid power of leg locks. Not only do these techniques work, but they have become crowd favorites to see. There are reasons why leg locks have taken the lime light in competition and why they are important to learn.
One of the first reasons to study leg lock techniques, is due to the fact that so many competitors do not train them. The idea that leg locks are “cheap”, still sadly exist in many academies. That ideology is a downfall, because competitors that don’t train them will get submitted by them. Straight ankle locks, toe holds and kneebars are still foreign to so many people, that being able to put opponents away with them becomes easy. By training these techniques, the battles become yours to win.
The next reason to train these techniques is due to their effectiveness when it comes to pain. Anyone with experience knows the distinct pain of a leg lock technique. The pain is not like an armlock or a choke where one can have a higher tolerance to fight out and escape. These locks apply a unique pressure and pain to the foot, ankle and knee. They can be absolutely excruciating and can cause a tap faster than other techniques.
One more reason to highlight the importance of leg locks is that those techniques can make you a more versatile grappler. It doesn’t matter if you have a suffocating top game or a slick bottom game, adding leg locks to your arsenal will give you more ways to win. Even if you’re not a leg lock specialist, they will give you avenues against opponents when the techniques present themselves in competition. Having more ways to achieve victory is always compelling and positive. Don’t let an outdated idea stop you from learning valid and useful aspects of Jiu Jitsu. Leg attacks will make you a well rounded, dangerous individual.