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These 3 Toe Holds Will Demoralize Your Opponent In BJJ

These 3 Toe Holds Will Demoralize Your Opponent In BJJ


Demoralize Your Opponent With These 3 Toe Holds

The toe hold is a very popular leg lock submission in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Typically the attack will hold the ankle of their opponent using a kimura grip to control the foot, specifically by gripping the toes. This grip causes intense strain to the joints, and is a very effective way to submit an opponent. When it comes to Modern Brazilain Jiu Jitsu, foot locks, and toe holds in general are used all the time in high level competition. Guys like John Danaher, Gordon Ryan, Garry Tonon, Eddie Cummings and others are known for having revolutionized the sport by making leg locks the norm. Nowadays you will see everyone using leg locks. It is a very wide spread technique that is usually taught at blue belt level and above in most Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools.

By keeping an open mind and absorbing effective techniques from other disciplines, Bernardo Faria brought a leg lock foundation that he was able to build on and achieve a high degree of success with throughout his career.


BJJ Fanatics has a great amount of instructional training videos on leg locks. Today we are going to look at three different types of toe holds that are proven effective by some of the most battle tested top level competitors. Let’s check it out!

#1: The Inescapable Toe Hold From De La Riva by Dean Lister

Many people in the scene consider Dean Lister to be one of the top grapplers of his generation. Dean is a pioneer in jiu jitsu and is one of the earliest leg attack experts who could arguably have been responsible for the rise of the current crop of leg attack gunslingers. Dean has got a nasty toe hold from De La Riva that he likes to use to demoralize his opponent’s. Watch the video below and then we will break down the technique. Check it out now!

The toe hold is one of 5 main leg submissions. It is good to know that you can always attack the feet of any high level guard player. Remember, over half of all submissions are attacks on the legs. In order to hit the toe hold you want to make sure you have the proper grip.  When you grab the foot your pinky finger should be against their pinky toe. This is the best grip for a toe hold. If you go too high on the ankle you will not have the right control over the foot, and if you go too low it will slip out of your hand.

Dean Lister uses a kimura grip to isolate the foot of his training partner. It is also important to control the free leg of your training partner (the one you are not attacking). This will prevent your training partner from being able to turn and escape the submission. This is the same principal as controlling the shoulders when attempting an arm lock.

#2: Toe Hold From Checkmate by Jay Wadsworth

The next toe hold we are going to look at is from Jay Wadsworth. Jay is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt who is notorious for his 92 double sleeve guard, because it is a revolutionary take on a fundamental concept in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Jay is a police officer for the New York Police Department and an amazing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu player with several major champions at the black belt level. Jay is also known for his Ashi Garami leg attack system for submission grappling. Let us take a look at how Jay approaches the toe hold. Watch the video below and then we will break down the technique. Check it out now!

Jay Wadsworth used this toe hold to submit his opponent Jacob Miclot at Fight To Win 72 in Pittsburgh, Pa. The great thing about this toe hold is that it is different from your normal toe hold. Jay has a great set up to get into what he calls the check mate position. Once you are locked up there nice and tight you want to first bring your opponent’s foot to the opposite side of your body. That opens up his straightened leg to start attacking submissions. From here simply reach back and collapse around the foot. Jay brings this leg to his chest, letting go of the bottom leg in order to grab the top of the toes. Instead of a kimura grip, Jay uses forearm and forearm contact. He makes a “casting motion” (like he were fishing) to rock the leg forward, causing his opponent to tap. Great stuff!

#3: Toe Hold From De La Riva by Tom DeBlass

Tom DeBlass is a legend in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu scene. Tom has had an impressive competitive career in both jiu jitsu / grappling and mixed martial arts. Tom is also an incredible coach and an amazing instructor. He has produced many high level athletes out of his Ocean County Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy. Tom loves to use foot locks in competition and has made killers out of normal grapplers with techniques like this toe hold from the De La Riva. Let’s check it out. Watch the video below and then we will break down the technique!

The De La Riva guard has been regarded as one of the best developed versions of open guard that exists today. But in this technique, Tom DeBlass shows an easy way to threaten and defeat the De La Riva guard using a nasty toe hold submission. Tom demonstrates the first step to defeating the de la riva in a case where his opponent has a deep hook and is driving through to his far leg. Tom knows he has to secure the free foot of his training partner.

In a case where you can snatch this foot, either due to error or laziness, make sure that you grab the foot in a way that does not alert your opponent to what you are doing. If you grab with the inside hand your opponent will be able to make an adjustment and possibly even abandon the De La Riva altogether before you even have a chance to try the submission. To avoid this, DeBlass grabs his training partner’s foot using the outside arm so as to keep his intentions a complete mystery.

To finish the submission, DeBlass comes down quick on his opponent’s hip in order to prevent his training partner from escaping. He brings his knees together and pinches the leg. Now he can settle his weight on top of his training partner rather than off to the side, allowing him to finish the toe hold.

It is important to remember that even if you do not use leg locks you need to understand their concepts in order to spot them coming. Leg locks are some of the most effective submissions in modern Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition. If you want to improve your game then these toe holds will help give you a huge advantage over your opponent!

Dean Lister Teaches Your How To Surprise and Submit Your Opponents On the Mat. Even Younger, Stronger, Faster & Higher Ranked Belts - With The Most Lethal & Least Understood Attack In Grappling: The Leglock. We all know now that Leglocks Are The Great Equalizer. Dean Lister’s System Is Almost Like Cheating Because Your Opponents on the mats on in competition won't know what hit them. This is the original - OLD SCHOOL guides to leg locks



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