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Luiz Panza: The Model's Footlock
Luiz Panza is a black world champion and one of the most exciting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitors on the mats today. Though he has yet to develop the name recognition of some of the superstars and luminaries of the BJJ world, that is due to change very soon. Panza, a former model, traded in modeling and corporate career to dedicate himself to the jiu jitsu competitive scene only relatively recently. Known for his devastating straight ankle locks or 'botinhas', this Checkmat BJJ fighter is a name that is guaranteed to grow in popularity and recognition as his game develops.
In the video and interview below, Luiz trains and talks with BudoJake on the Rolled Up program. His aspirations to fight mixed martial arts in his late teens, led him to the jiu jitsu mats.
"The best way to learn is being smashed."
In the interview, Panza says although he feels strong from the top position, the majority of his game is based in being on the bottom. Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida is his favorite training partner and as Panza says, "being smashed" is the best way to learn. You must surround yourself with training partners who push you to your limit and even defeat you. Panza humbly says he doesn't see himself as a phenomenon, but knows that he will always work hard to get better.
"I had a dream."
Panza had a good job as a banker and he was also doing work as a model, but he loved the idea of fighting and training jiu jitsu, so he abandoned those safety nets and chose to follow the more authentic path of his dreams. Because he is doing what he loves, no challenge is insurmountable and this translates onto the mats and into the lives of his students.
In the video below, Luiz Panza breaks down his infamous botinha or achilles lock.
Key points of the movement are broken down below:
Proper placement of forearm blade on shinIn the video, Panza explains that a relatively shallow grip, keeping the blade of one's forearm on the shin is crucial to finish the technique. One important detail is to watch how the lapel is secured on the same side of the arm locking the shin as opposed to the far lapel. By maintaining a grip on the near lapel, the mobility of the torso is maintained and allows for maximum torque at the end of the technique.
Squeeze elbow smashing foot and toes in armpit
The elbow is crucial to keep pressure on the foot and toes, keeping the package tight while legs and torso are adjusted to finish the move.
Feet together against opponents ribs
The feet must be kept together to yield the most power and to protect each other. Once split, they can more easily be attacked. By keeping them together and pressing them into the opponent's torso, you prevent them sitting up and nullifying your lock.
Open chin and rotate torso to belly down
To maximize the pressure on the shin, Panza urges to keep your chin open and use the whole upper body in concert to apply the pressure. As the rotation of the body begins, the opponent will see and feel the end coming.
Pushup to finish torque on shin
It is in the final push up from the belly down position, that the opponent will feel the excruciating, insescapable pain and pressure of the last moments of the botinha.
For additional information on Luiz Panza and his philosophy of leg attacks and foot lock approach, check out this BJJ Fanatics article here.
By now it's easy to see that Luiz Panza is not just your average black belt competitor and pretty face. He is a well-rounded competitor with his best successes still to be had in the future. Known primarily for his gi leg attacks and dynamic finishes, his will be a trajectory to watch in the coming years.
Pull back the curtain on Luiz Panza and his secrets, with the "Hidden BJJ Secrets" 4 DVD collection on sale right now. Unbelievably, you can snatch up your copy, like Luiz' snatching up one of his patented foot locks, for only $77 right now!