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Let This Leg Lock Legend Tighten Up Your Game!
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Let This Leg Lock Legend Tighten Up Your Game!

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Dean Lister Shows His Outside Foot Lock 

Who is Dean Lister?  Dean is one of the great pioneers of Jiu Jitsu and mixed martial arts in America. He is an ADCC Champion. He fought in some of the biggest MMA organizations: Pride FC and Ultimate Fighting Championships. His teaching has had significant impact in both MMA and Jiu Jitsu.

Dean Lister was born in San Diego, California. However, with his family in the military he spent most of his youth abroad in South American countries. Like a lot of military kids, he faced constant bullying as the perpetual new kid. He sought martial arts as a way to defend himself. When he returned to the states, he found wrestling, then Sambo and eventually Jiu Jitsu. He spent over a decade training at Fabio Santos’ academy in San Diego where he earned his brown belt. Eventually Dean would earn his black belt from fellow Santos student Jeffery Higgs.

Lister’s grappling accomplishments are significant. He competed in ADCC tournament 6 times and is the ADCC Open Weight Champion (2003) and ADCC Super Fight Champion (2005) and ADCC Champion (2011).  Additionally, he a two-time national (US) sambo champion, four-time Machado National (US) BJJ champion and National (US) Gracie BJJ champion. He has notable victories over Jean Jacques Machado, Iiir Latifi, Nathan Marquardt, Saulo Ribeiro, Marcio 'Pe De Pano' Cruz, Alexandre Ferreira ‘Cacareco’, Masutatsu Yano, Augusto Ferrari, Radek Turek, Rodolfo Vieira, Joao Assis, and Ricardo "Demente" Abreu.

Dean’s grappling skills served him well in MMA. He has had over 20 fights in some of the most prestigious organizations. Lister was a King of the Cage Middleweight Champion. He has also fought in Pride Fighting Championships and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Let this crafty veteran tighten up your leg lock game.

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Lister is well known for his teaching abilities and has been sought all over the world for his combat knowledge. He was a grappling coach for Tito Ortiz on Ultimate Fighter Series 7 (TUF 7). He teaches at Victory Mixed Martial Arts in San Diego with fellow black belts and Jiu Jitsu legends Jeff Glover and Jocko Willink. It is also worth noting that Dean served as the catalyst that introduced the great John Danaher to leg locks. John tells the story of Dean training at Renzo’s. Danaher asked Dean a question about a leg lock. Lister replied, “Why would you ignore 50% of the human body?” It was Dean’s simple statement that started Danaher on the path to create his legendary leg lock system that would shift the paradigm of Jiu Jitsu.

In this video Dean Lister shows a straight ankle lock entry. He starts in a standing position. His opponent is seated before him. He grabs the pants and sleeve. Both grips are on the same side of his opponent. He sits back into an irimi ashi garami or single leg x on his opponent. Lister notes some key ideas on this position. First, his inside leg has not crossed the center line. It is on his training partners butt. This is adds a level of control to the position. His outside leg is biting hard onto his training partner’s hip. If his opponent is able to move the foot of the hip there is a real danger of a counter heel hook or possibly disqualification in an IBJJF rule set. Also, his hand is high on his chest. Dean states with the correct hand placement he can finish the submission with one hand. Lister plants his far side hand on the mat and turns his head away. Next, he bridges his hips for a quick tap. Well done Dean. There is a lot of excellent detail in the video that will add value to anyone’s submission arsenal.

This video is a wonderful example of Dean’s ability to communicate technique to even novice grapplers.  Like all of Lister’s instructional videos, there is a lot of detail. I know that I often gain new insights every time I re-watch one of his videos. Dean Lister’s instructional videos have a powerful impact on anyone who makes a careful study of them. Certainly, the Jiu Jitsu community is lucky to have him.

We all know now that leg locks are the great equalizer. Dean Lister has something to teach both novice and experienced leg lockers. Check out this series from BJJ Fanatics! 

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