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Have You Seen This Nasty Calf Slicer From The Crafty Dean Lister?

Have You Seen This Nasty Calf Slicer From The Crafty Dean Lister?


 Dean Lister's Calf Slicer From Half Mount

Who is Dean Lister?  Dean is one of the great pioneers of Jiu Jitsu and mixed martial arts in America. He is an ADCC Champion. He fought in some of the biggest MMA organizations: Pride FC and Ultimate Fighting Championships. His teaching has had significant impact in both MMA and Jiu Jitsu.

Dean Lister was born in San Diego, California. However, with his family in the military he spent most of his youth abroad in South American countries. Like a lot of military kids, he faced constant bullying as the perpetual new kid. He sought martial arts as a way to defend himself. When he returned to the states, he found wrestling, then Sambo and eventually Jiu Jitsu. He spent over a decade training at Fabio Santos’ academy in San Diego where he earned his brown belt. Eventually Dean would earn his black belt from fellow Santos student Jeffery Higgs.

Lister’s grappling accomplishments are significant. He competed in ADCC tournament 6 times and is the ADCC Open Weight Champion (2003) and ADCC Super Fight Champion (2005) and ADCC Champion (2011).  Additionally, he a two-time national (US) sambo champion, four-time Machado National (US) BJJ champion and National (US) Gracie BJJ champion. He has notable victories over Jean Jacques Machado, Iiir Latifi, Nathan Marquardt, Saulo Ribeiro, Marcio 'Pe De Pano' Cruz, Alexandre Ferreira ‘Cacareco’, Masutatsu Yano, Augusto Ferrari, Radek Turek, Rodolfo Vieira, Joao Assis, and Ricardo "Demente" Abreu.

Dean’s grappling skills served him well in MMA. He has had over 20 fights in some of the most prestigious organizations. Lister was a King of the Cage Middleweight Champion. He has also fought in Pride Fighting Championships and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Dean Lister has devastating submissions and amazing escapes. Click Learn More!


Lister is well known for his teaching abilities and has been sought all over the world for his combat knowledge. He was a grappling coach for Tito Ortiz on Ultimate Fighter Series 7 (TUF 7). He teaches at Victory Mixed Martial Arts in San Diego with fellow black belts and Jiu Jitsu legends Jeff Glover and Jocko Willink. It is also worth noting that Dean served as the catalyst that introduced the great John Danaher to leg locks. John tells the story of Dean training at Renzo’s. Danaher asked Dean a question about a leg lock. Lister replied, “Why would you ignore 50% of the human body?” It was Dean’s simple statement that started Danaher on the path to create his legendary leg lock system that would shift the paradigm of Jiu Jitsu.

In this video Dean Lister explores a calf slicer from three quarter guard.  He starts the video by stating the nature of guard, leg locks are easily available. Inside control is available from guard. Also, grapplers may over extend their legs when defending a pass. The step over knee bar is one example of this. However, Dean states that some leg locks are easily stopped by triangling your legs. This defense of triangled legs provides a counter for the top players. Dean starts in a three quarter mount position. His opponent still has some control of his legs yet Dean’s knee is on the mat. First, Lister will post his free leg on the mat. He swims his arm through the space between his leg and his body and rolls through. From this roll there are a variety of options. Dean can triangle his legs mid roll and hit a nasty calf slicer. He notes there are some important details of this submission. We must be careful with our arm placement. If our training partners or opponents can get a grip on our top side arm there is an arm bar available to them. Lister notes this arm bar is particularly dangerous because it cannot be defended. Also, it is important to grab our opponent’s toes. The end of the lever will grant more force than grabbing at the ankle. Another key detail is we must triangle our legs. If they are not triangled it is relatively easy for our opponent to escape. Dean notes that he treats this submission like a twisting submission.  What he means by this is there is a very small line between pain and damage. Much like the heel hook, it must be carefully applied. Certainly if our training partners are not aware of the damage then it is appropriate to have a catch and release policy.  Dean states that the nice thing about this sequence is if you miss the leg triangle the back take is also available. Just keep rolling through. Another nice thing about this series is that it works no matter what your body size. Well done Dean.

This video is a wonderful example of Dean’s ability to communicate technique to even novice grapplers.  Like all of Lister’s instructional videos, there is a lot of detail. I know that I often gain new insights every time I re-watch one of his videos. Dean Lister’s instructional videos have a powerful impact on anyone who makes a careful study of them. Certainly, the Jiu Jitsu community is lucky to have him.

Imagine how different you would feel on the mat if you knew you could defend any submission? How would you feel if you were under side control just knowing you were about to take their back? Learn Dean's sneaky escapes in this series from BJJ Fanatics!




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