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Inside Sankaku: Power of Position
Anyone that follows the competitive grappling scene knows of the infamous “Danaher Death Squad” consisting of Eddie Cummings, Garry Tonon and Gordon Ryan lead by Renzo Gracie black belt, John Danaher. While you watch those three impressive black belts compete, you’ll notice what they do best…leg locks. But it is not just the locks themselves, but the positions that these gentlemen are able to control. They work from different positions such Ashi Garami and Outside Ashi, but the most power of all positions they go to is Inside Sankaku.
Inside Sankaku goes by many different terms. You might hear honey-hole, 411, saddle, but it all means one thing, complete control. Inside Sankaku is the most powerful of all the leg lock positions. But why is it the most powerful? Well for one, your opponent does not have the chance to attack your legs, but you have every chance to attack their legs. This is because your legs are triangled on the inside of your opponent’s legs. Unlike Outside Ashi or 50/50, it is the safest of all leg lock positions.
The next point on why it is so powerful is the tight, sometimes painful control. There are two main ways of holding Inside Sankaku. One is a stiff control of the hips which prevents an opponent from running away from your leg lock. The other is a painful crush on the leg. Both controls will leave your opponent sore. Being able to deal out some painful pressure and keep someone from constantly trying to escape is one of the big pro’s for this position.
Yet another point of thought on why Inside Sankaku is so effective is the various entries into it. There are endless ways of getting to the position. Top or bottom is irrelevant for Inside Sankaku! You can easily find ways to it, no matter what. You must use fundamental and creative thinking for the entries. Find the ways you like most and go to it.
While there are more reasons, the last prominent reason on why Inside Sankaku works so well is the imminent threat of a leg lock. Once you get to this position, the heel hook presents itself immediately. Not far after, the inside toe hold, and knee bar are also ready for the picking. When so many attacks become available, that makes the position dynamic as can be.
Inside Sankaku is a position that you will see more and more in high level competition. As more Jiu Jitsu players become open to leg locks, they will see the power of this position. So far, Cummings, Tonon and Ryan have all become EBI champions and Inside Sankaku has played a big role in those wins. It is something to learn and experiment with during training if you are leg lock minded. It can only be positive to study this part of the game.