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Leg Drag as a Position

Leg Drag as a Position


The Leg Drag is commonly perceived as just a pass but it is far more than a pass.  The leg drag is one of the most effective passes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but it is also a position, similar to side control, knee on belly, or full mount.  We recently wrote an article “Leg Drag Overview” discussing the key elements that make the leg drag pass successful, today, we discuss the leg drag as a position.

How do we justify that the leg drag is a position?  It is used for many different things such as pinning, transitioning to other positions, and setting up submissions.  The leg drag is such a dominant position that many people utilize not only as a pass but as a position.  For example, some people may knee slice to pass the guard and then transition from side control to the leg drag.

Leg Drag as a Pin

The leg drag is one of the best pinning positions in bjj.  The leg drag is a great pin when dealing with a good guard player or someone who has excellent guard retention.  The position will completely immobilize your opponent’s hips, misalign their spinal cord, and control their legs.  The Mendes Brothers who are arguably the most dominant fighters ever in bjj always use the leg drag and their weight class is one of the toughest divisions in bjj.

If you combine all of the details of the leg drag, it is almost a better position to pin than side control given all the control points, the problem is that in the IBJJF you do not get points for leg drag position, that being said, check out this video below of the leg drag and all the details.  Check out Kurt Osianders take on the leg drag below, he uses it primarily as a pin.

Leg Drag as a Transition

Leg drag is also an unbelievable transitionary position.  The leg drag is one of the best positions to set up back takes from.  Why is this?  When you put your opponent in the leg drag you force their hips one way and you flatten their shoulders.  This is EXTREMELY uncomfortable and will force your opponent to turtle. 

The Mendes Brothers popularized the leg drag and primarily use the position as a back taking position.  This is because they put so much pressure from the position that your opponent will likely turtle to escape the discomfort. Check out JT Torres leg drag to back take below.

Leg Drag for Submissions

Contrary to popular belief, there are several submission set ups that work extremely well from the leg drag position.  All of these transitions and set ups stem from the fact that the leg drag is such an uncomfortable pin that your opponent will want to escape, when they escape, there will be opportunity for submissions.

Some of the best submission entries from the leg drag are the Ezequiel choke, the arm triangle, and the arm bar.  The leg drag is very versatile, there are even entries to ankle locks, knee bars, and heel hooks from the leg drag.  Learning the leg drag inside and out can make you an extremely dangerous guard player.  Check out Gregor Gracie’s double leg drag pass below, if you compare it to the other videos above you can see everyone does the leg drag a little different.

If you want to learn the leg drag and more passes, check out Gregor Gracies DVD set “high level fundamentals.”  This is an extremely good resource for anyone who wants excellent instructional content and simplicity.  Gregor really breaks things down and makes it suitable for anyone of any weight, age, gender, or fitness level.


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