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Hit A Sweet Calf Lock From X-Guard
Calf Lock From X Guard by Mike Cusi
Michael Cusi is a second degree black belt under Roy Harris and currently trains under Cobrinha. Michael started training at Roy Harris’ academy in August, 2000 after watching the UFC Night of Champions staring Royce Gracie where he first discovered Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. BJJ had a great impact on Mike Cusi’s life in all sorts of positive ways. It gave him more confidence; he gained friends, and learned that hard work and discipline would bring him success both on and off the mats. Because of the impact BJJ made on Mike Cusi, he knew he wanted to continue helping others improve their lives through BJJ like it did for him. This would lead Mike Cusi to open his own string of BJJ academies in Southern California known as The Stronghold (4 schools in total). His BJJ academies are an affiliate of Cobrinha BJJ and a part of team Alliance. Mike Cusi is a great instructor and a great competitor. Cusi has taken silver in Masters World and gold in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, both in the light weight division.
Today Mike Cusi is here with 5 Time World Champion Bernardo Faria to demonstrate his calf lock from X Guard technique. A calf lock is a compression lock that involves pressing the calf of your opponent into your leg. The direction of your shin against your opponent’s leg acts as a fulcrum and determines where the pressure goes. This is a dangerous position so only advanced grapplers should use it. The calf lock is an illegal technique for the lower belt levels at most Brazilian jiu jitsu tournaments. Watch the video below of Mike Cusi demonstrating a calf lock from X Guard and then we will break down his technique. Check it out now!
Leg locks have been called the great equalizer - it doesn’t matter if you are big, strong, fast or flexible; all that you need to apply a successful leg lock is the knowledge
Mike Cusi starts this technique from the bottom X guard position when his training partner (in this case Bernardo Faria) has one leg up. From here Mike Cusi likes to move into a foot lock submission position, or to control his training partner’s knee. Mike points out a really cool position for guys who are heavier or know how to pressure down using their body weight. He feeds his foot through to the inside of his training partner’s thigh to help control the distance. Mike also uses a collar grip to pull Bernardo Faria down before taking his right leg and sliding it under his training partner’s ankle. Once his ankle is through he grabs it and stretches through to lock his opponent’s calf. Mike makes sure to drive his knee to the outside the keep the pressure on his opponent. If he loosens his knee there will not be any pressure keeping his training partner’s knee tight. If it is a bigger guy, Mike will even step on his opponent’s ankle to better protect his own knee. From here he either goes for a collar grip to destabilize his training partner’s base, or his more preferred method is to swim his hand back and over the leg to secure the lock. Now Mike starts climbing up Bernardo Faria’s back, grabbing at the gi pants and belt to help himself up. He uses the momentum of his own body to tip his opponent over. Once his training partner’s back is flat on the mat he posts to get up and now he can start attacking the calf lock. To nail the calf lock he drives into his opponent. He can also release the calf lock and initiate a leg drag to transition away.
Although this seems like a lot of steps, it is actually a pretty straight forward technique. What I like the most about this calf lock from X guard is that it is a great way to dominate your training partner’s legs and remove them from any possible chance of successfully defending the calf lock. Mike maintains a serious amount of control as he sets up the calf lock. And even if you are not able to get the calf lock you still end up in a really powerful position. If you find yourself playing X guard a lot you may want to give this calf lock a try. It is not an often taught technique, which means your opponent will never see it coming whether in a live roll or in competition. Hopefully you find this technique useful. Thank you Mike Cusi for sharing this amazing calf lock from X guard with us today!