Jose Varella & IBJJF Legal Foot Locks
Jose Varella, a Jiu Jitsu black belt from GF Team in Rio is known for his foot lock attacks. But unlike most other foot lock masters on the scene, he only really uses IBJJF legal leg locks. What does that mean? That means that he does not use any knee reaping entanglements. You will rarely see him use positions like the inside sankaku or the knee knot. He prefers to use leg attack techniques that are legal in IBJJF rules, so that his attacks are legal in any tournament he goes to. That is the benefit of using IBJJF legal leg locks. You can use them in almost any rule set that allows even the most basic of leg attacks!
There are different ways of attacking the legs in a legal style. And there are variations from that. But let’s take a look at two of my favorite IBJJF legal leg attacks that Jose Varella uses and teaches!
Straight foot lock from de la riva guard
Next time you play de la riva guard on an opponent, perhaps try this foot lock. The de la riva guard is actually a great way to set up the straight foot lock since you already have control of the opponent’s leg. You can let go of the de la riva hook on the leg and turn your hips, so that you are closer to the leg that you are controlling. Overhook the ankle, and bring your hand to your belt, and make a fist for more pressure. After that, drop your other leg to the ground as well, and post with it. Drive your de la riva hook leg to the ground and you apply pressure up with your overhook. In 2013, Caio Terra himself used this foot lock to finish an opponent at the European Open!
Toe Hold from 50/50 guard
When you are in the 50/50 guard position, you have a powerful leg attack at your disposal. You have the toe hold available. In the 50/50, put your inside hand on the opponent’s knee, while your other hand will go to his foot, up by the toes/top of the foot. Then you must escape your hips away from the leg that you’re attacking. Get your other arm under the opponent’s foot and lock up a standard toe hold grip. Push the foot up by the opponent’s butt and crank to finish. Simple and effective.
As I said earlier, IBJJF legal attacks are important. I am a huge fan of reaping entanglements and attacks, but it would be silly just to practice those only. You have to be well rounded, even in your leg lock game. If you’re looking to up that aspect of your game, take a look at Jose Varella’s IBJJF Legal Footlocks DVD.