Throwback Thursday: When The Leg Lock Torch Was Passed

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Throwback Thursday…a fun way to post old pictures or videos on social media of something in the past. So how about a Throwback Thursday for an event of great Jiu Jitsu matches? Back in September of 2015, the UK based Jiu Jitsu promotion, Polaris Pro held a truly momentous event which featured some of the best BJJ and Submission Wrestling competitors in the world. There were two particular matches that event that was the “passing of the torch” so to say when it came to leg lockers in high level competition. Old school leg lockers Masakazu Imanari and Reilly Bodycomb took on Garry Tonon and Eddie Cummings. The outcomes were truly substantial for the guys from Renzo Gracie’s.

The first big passing of the torch was the match up of Masakazu Imanari, the proclaimed Ashikan Judan, or 10th Dan of Leg Locks against Tom DeBlass black belt and Danaher Squad member Garry Tonon. While Tonon had been tearing up the no gi and sub only scene, this was seen as a serious test for the young black belt from New Jersey. Everyone knew Imanari’s leg leg prowess from his days of MMA where he beat such talents as former WEC champ Mike Brown and Jorge Gurgel.

In less than a minute, both competitors were on the ground, initiated by Tonon. Both tried their best to get some serious reaping action in. Garry attacked Masakazu with an outside heel hook from outside ashi. Imanari had great composure, and was able to escape. After some more leg battling, Tonon was able to submit the leg lock legend with an inside heel hook from inside sankaku. You could hear the crowd’s reaction of amazement on how they felt about Garry defeating the 10th Dan of Leg Locks in such quick fashion.

That would not be the only match to shock and amaze competitors at Polaris 2. In another match, Reilly Bodycomb, the Sambo champion and leg lock extraordinaire. He took on the other Danaher standout, Eddie Cummings. Reilly was huge in the leg lock world with his on point instructionals and the many Sambo title wins. This was seen as being a huge test of leg lockers and who would come out on top.

The match started with Cummings sitting down in his patented butterfly guard, with Reilly brazenly putting his legs in danger. Reilly was able to escape Eddie’s initial entries and attacks. Those brazen moves would eventually be Reilly’s undoing. Barely past two minutes in, Eddie had control of both of Bodycomb’s legs. He was able to get to inside sankaku and finish Reilly with a beautiful inside heel hook.

While both had great success in Jiu Jitsu before, these matches were eye openers to the people that were doubtful of the Danaher Squad’s leg lock proficiency. It also catapulted them into even bigger matches and events. Both have some great competition lined up at the moment, so check them out on Facebook to follow their wins!

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