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Leg Locks. Where do I Start?
As a fairly green BJJ student, the leglock game can be somewhat intimidating. Where do you start? What techniques should you focus on? There’s a lot of information to cut through. Like other sequences in BJJ the leglock paths connect to each other and build into more intricate and complicated chains.
So, where’s a good place to start? Consider learning the ins and outs of the ashi garami position, or AG, first. It’s a great jumping off point to enter the world of leg locking. The ashi garami position is fairly easy to understand after a short time of exposure to its details. Once you gain an understanding of the position itself, you can then begin to put all of its utilities to work.
Keep an open mind. AG is not just a leg locking position. It provides a platform to launch some unique passing opportunities as well as a ton of excellent sweeps. You can seamlessly transition to other guards with very little movement. As with any position, you have options. Don’t ignore them. If the leg lock fails, you’ll be able to salvage the attack and keep utilizing the position.
What leglock should you start with? Look into the straight ankle lock. A good straight ankle lock is no joke. Learn the mechanics and develop the attack. When your opponents respect your straight ankle lock it will lead to other opportunities and transitions to the other leg lock positions.
I absolutely love this particular drill. It’s a great way to build an understanding of the AG position itself. It also demonstrates a method of reattacking the position when your opponent begins to escape. This sequence will assist you in getting the feel for AG. Get to work!
For more on the ashi garami position and leg locks, check out Jay Wadsworth's "Ashi Leglock System" from BJJ Fanatics! This will give you a great foundation for the modern day leg game.