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Heel Hook Help With Lachlan Giles!

Heel Hook Help With Lachlan Giles!


When it comes to martial arts, or self defense in general  size always becomes an issue, or at least it did. When Jiu Jitsu was introduced it was sold as the martial art that could empower a smaller grappler to take on a larger opponent and come out of the match victorious, or more importantly, in a self defense situation, come out of the situation alive, and doing better than the other guy.  We often hear that strength doesn’t matter, size doesn’t matter, the only thing that matters is your Jiu Jitsu technique and your ability to execute on your plan of attack.  

Is this true?  What do you think?  Is it possible that size and strength can be completely eliminated from the equation?  I think the answer to that is very specific to that certain situation and can vary greatly  depending on the details of that particular match. 

This being said we witnessed someone highly successful in taking out many goliaths of the sport in the most recent 2019 ADCC competition.  There were several matches ended by the smaller practitioner because of his ability to get the same, or very similar heel hook. Everyone, especially the smaller lighter grapplers need to know what this heel hook is and how to land it.  

Before we dive into the technique let’s start by taking a look at who this savage is and what his achievements look like.  Lachlan Giles has quite the resume.  Some of the primary achievements are as follows.  1st Place ADCC Asia & Oceania Trials (2015 / 2017 / 2019),  1st Place IBJJF Pan-Pacific Championship (2016 / 2017), 1st Place IBJJF Pan-Pacific Championship No-Gi (2016 / 2017), 1st Place UAEJJF Continental Pro (2018), 1st Place Kinektic Invitational 1 (2019), 2nd Place Boa Super 8 1st Edition (2015), 2nd Place Boa Super 8 2nd Edition (2015), 2nd Place UAEJJF Grand Slam Abu Dhabi (2018), 3rd Place ADCC World Championship (2019*), 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship No-Gi (2017), 3rd Place EBI 5 (2015).

Needless to say, with a resume like that there is certainly a lot we can learn from Lachlan.  Let’s dive into this heel hook he favored during ADCC and make sure we understand the details so we can start to add it into our game for when the opportunity presents itself. 

Lachlan first discusses what the typical leg attack approach positions and what he doesn’t like about it.  It is very common for people to play an inside control where they are looking to start with both feet inside the opponent’s legs.  While this does allow for a lot of different types of setups, as a smaller grappler, or really for anyone, what you have to understand is that it also takes away your greatest weapon.  When you are on the bottom and the opponent is trying to close the distance, the greatest weapon you have is your ability to connect the bottom of your foot to the opponent’s hips, chest, leg, or any other part of their body and push them away with a considerable amount of force. 

It is crucially important to not allow this to happen, especially when you are the smaller of the two grapplers.  Lachlan shows how easy it is for Bernardo to collapse his legs and start passing his guard when he is playing the inside control that most grapplers are aiming for these days.  

So, if you’re not supposed to follow suit with what everyone else is doing, then what exactly are you supposed to do?


Lachlan is going to start by showing a Dela Riva entry that he likes to use.  He prefers to start out with under hook Dela Riva. In order to achieve under hook Dela Riva Lachlan has his right foot in his opponent’s left shoulder and his left leg wrapped around the opponent’s right leg just below the knee leaving room to under hook the opponent’s right knee with his right arm all the while cupping the opponent’s right ankle with his left hand, as close to the mat as possible.  From here to achieve the under hook Lachlan removes his left leg hook and creates space for his left arm to sneak in and under hook in the crook of his elbow the opponent’s ankle just above the heel. 

IT IS HERE! Lachlan’s newest instructional is DEDICATED to the techniques that he used at ADCC 2019!



Now from this position there is a chance the opponent just simply postures up, or does not pressure in, and if that’s the case we can go to the attack which we will talk about soon, but first, what if the opponent decides to pressure in?  In the event that the opponent decides they want to pressure in, we must work to stop this immediately. Allowing the opponent to close the distance and pressure in eliminates our ability to attack and therefore putting us in a really bad position.  

In order to prevent this from happening we simply need to move to a shin on shin position with our left shin against the opponent’s right shin.  Understand that this does not mean our foot is not still active because it is. The foot is still hooking inside the opponent’s leg below the knee.  This is similar to the K guard if you are familiar, if not, well, this is what it looks like, or a “shallow” version of it anyway.  

Ok, it’s time, let’s attack this leg and break it off.  Maybe don’t actually break it, that seems mean. The next step in attacking the leg is to gable grip over the opponent’s shin as you can see in the image below.  Also note that Lachlan’s opposite foot came over to the leg he is attacking, and he put his instep just above the knee so that he can pinch his knees together and ensure he maintains control of the leg.  As he obtains this grip he pulls the opponent to the mat by pulling the gable grip into his chest. In one example he also used his Dela Riva hook on the opponent’s opposite leg to assist in pulling the opponent to the ground by pushing with his instep against the opponent’s leg.  

Once the opponent is on the mat there is a complete system based on what the opponent does.  For this breakdown Lachlan is going to focus on how he finished a lot of his heel hooks in ADCC.  From this position he is looking to first lift the opponent’s foot off of the mat toward their butt.  When he gets the foot off of the mat the opponent can no longer run away. The next thing he is looking to do is to triangle his legs around the opponent’s leg.  Once this triangle lock is achieved there is not much the opponent can do to find safety or an escape, the nice thing however is they likely do not feel at risk until the triangle is locked around their legs and you start to reach for their heel with your forearm.  

Once you are in this position and you are able to scoop up the opponent’s heel it is as simple as bridging your hips to get the submission.  From this particular position the opponent may back step or move around a bit in any direction trying to escape, however there is not much likelihood of that becoming a reality for them as you have their leg locked inside of your legs that are triangled creating a very strong hold on them.  

Lachlan has a new video instructional coming out very soon, and by the time you are reading this it may already be out detailing how he handles leg attacks.  In the meantime, you can see the success he has had with his leg lock system and the detailed approach he takes to explaining all of the variables from each position.  Check out any one of his instructionals on BJJ Fanatics, a favorite of mine would be the Body Lock Pass instructional. 

In this instructional you can expect 6 volumes of content breaking down each step along the way on how to apply this pass from various positions and all of the smallest details that you need to know to ensure it is successful.  As I’m sure you have already realized, there is a lot for us to learn from this ADCC veteran who has proven once again that size and strength do not matter in Jiu Jitsu only the strategy and the execution of the technique. Get your copy today and start taking your game to the next level with one of the best coaches and competitors in the world. 

Leg Lock Anthology: 50/50 by Lachlan Giles
Lachlan Giles is FRESH off of a heroic ADCC 2019 performance where he defeated three +99KG superstars back-to-back-to-BACK with heel hooks. Leg Lock Anthology 50/50 by Lachlan Giles covers the TECHNIQUES that lead Lachlan to defeat 3 of Jiu-Jitsu’s BEST athletes in a row. Learn the nuances that make Lachlan’s leg lock approach unique and effective!



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