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Hide Your Legs from Braulio Estima!

Hide Your Legs from Braulio Estima!



I remember watching some black belts several years ago compete at a tournament. It was business as usual and then someone pulled an Estima lock out of the toolbox. The bottom man was playing guard and being a little careless with his feet, and allowed the passer to snatch one of them up. Within seconds there was a tap and you could tell the bottom player was incredibly surprised by the submission, and had probably not seen it before that day. This was also the first time I had seen the submission and I immediately became intrigued.

The Estima lock may not be as common of a submission as some of the more popular lower body attacks, but make no mistake, it is surely just as dangerous, and Its popularity has grown significantly over the years. When applied correctly this vicious submission can cause a lot of damage. It is also a fantastic way to get your opponent’s attention and possibly cause them to make a mistake, leading to a favorable transition or a possible guard pass. 

The Estima lock can be applied from many different positions and in multiple scenarios. Our guide to the Estima lock today, is none other than Braulio Estima and he’s got some excellent tips on how to secure, apply, and finish this devastating foot attack. Here, one of the creators of this unique submission will share with us some insight and a few tips on where to start. Check this out! 


Beginning with some great advice that we can use in any area of our training, Estima encourages us to make the Estima lock an answer to a reaction of another technique. Often times its not the first submission we throw up that gets the job done. Sometimes it’s the second or third, and so on. The Estima lock can be very effective in this way. 

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For an example, Estima gets in to a knee slice passing position and begins to put pressure on his partner. As his partner applies a lasso to Estima’s arm, he comes forward and gets even heavier, causing his partner to push him away. As this occurs, Estima sits back to trap the foot and begins to apply the lock.

In a second example, Estima begins to pass in an “in and out” style and as he travels around the guard. As he passes his partner begins to frame and Estima drives to the opposite side, sliding right in to position to catch the submission. 

Where application is concerned, Estima looks to get the blade of the foot across his belt line. He then reaches under the foot, cradling it and crossing over the toes. He then places his other arm on top and applies what looks reminiscent of a rear naked choke grip. As he applies pressure inward to the ankle, he commands what appears to be an unimaginably painful lock on the foot. Estima couples these mechanics with also sitting back and connecting to his partner with his leg to prevent them from rolling. 

This looks to be very painful when applied correctly. Be careful with this one!

Estima is no one trick pony when it comes to the legs, in this first video he shows us a very effective method of securing a knee bar. This is a great set up and there’s plenty of amazing details to consider here. Take a look at this!


Setting up in half guard, Estima begins with positioning himself so that he can begin to pursue the lock. With a knee shield and a grip in his partners far collar, and at the far wrist, Estima is ready to get started. This first piece of information looks to be extremely important. As Estima explains, so often we try to attack that far leg and get squashed in the process because we don’t have the proper framing in place. Estima starts by bringing his knee shield to the other side of his hand that he’s placed in the collar. You can tell how sturdy this makes his half guard structure and as he continues hell be shielded from his partner’s efforts to smash him.

Estima uses this grip and his knee to cause a reaction from his partner, by giving him a little push in the opposite direction. As his partner recovers, Estima steers him away and dives under the far leg, under hooking it, and securing it tight to his body.  As he guides his partner across his own body, he achieves an ashi garami style configuration of his legs. Here, because of Estima’s superior connection and framing its nearly impossible for his partner to come back toward him. As he swings his right leg up and over his partner’s backside, he bites down on the butt with his leg and then manipulates the knee a bit to cause his partner to collapse directly in to a knee bar scenario. Here, Estima can now hug the leg and apply the finish. 

This next technique finds Estima in single leg x guard where he demonstrates a toe hold. Have a look! 


Starting off in single leg x, Estima shows us how to get a good bite on the leg so that we can have control over the limb. He cups the knee with his left hand and pushes the instep away from him with his right hand. He also turns his outside knee hard in to his partners leg. All of these elements combine to create some very strong opposing forces and work together to establish great control. He then turns to his back, travels toward the foot, and reaches over the foot, securing the figure four lock, that in this case looks more like a rear naked choke grip. Biting the heel with the blade of his wrist, Estima then pinches his elbows together and crunches in to the foot to produce a very quick tap.

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If his partner chooses to roll, Estima allows him to do so, letting go of the leg and pursuing the submission. HE can also choose to switch to a knee bar at this point!

I hope you enjoyed this segment of instruction from one of the best in the world. Estima has cultivated a style that’s unique to him and very effective. Each one of these attacks is perfectly orchestrated and incredibly devastating. Great stuff! 


The Estima Lock & New School Toe Hold by Braulio Estima

The Estima Lock & New School Toe Hold by Braulio Estima takes instructionals to an all new level. Braulio utilizes his world class  experience and exceptional teaching skills to provide YOU the tools needed to be UNSTOPPABLE. Take a look at the techniques that helped Braulio become an ADCC Champ as well as IBJJF World Champion!



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