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Tom DeBlass Puts An End To The Lockdown

Tom DeBlass Puts An End To The Lockdown


What is the BJJ lockdown?

In recent months, "being stuck in lockdown" has taken on an entirely new meaning.  Let's focus on the use of the lockdown in BJJ.  In BJJ, the lockdown position is a very effective tool, especially for the skilled half guard player who is able to trap an opponent and set up many different sweeps and submissions.

The bottom player uses their outside leg to step in and over the lower leg of their opponent.  The inside leg is extended and the foot and instep of that leg is used to lift the trapped leg of the opponent.  By combining this with the connection of their outside leg, the bottom player traps the top player's leg and creates a position that allow one to extend the opponent away or pull them in to elevate them and set up other positions.

The lockdown can be an incredibly frustrating position that was first popularized by Eddie Bravo and his 10th Planet jiu jitsu system.  Submissions like the infamous 'Electric Chair' can have devastating consequences set up from the lockdown position.  By combining the control of the opponent's lower body afforded by the lockdown with grips under the armpit, the half guard player can easily move the opponent's weight where they want them.

Tom DeBlass And The Lockdown


Tom DeBlass is known to be a master half guard player from both the top and bottom positions.  Because of all the time he spends working from the position, he finds himself facing lockdown quite frequently as his training partners and students try desperately to keep him from passing, or attempt to set up reversals to put them in better spots. If reversals is something that attracts your attention, then check Funky Wrestling Reversals by Ben Askren or They Shoot, You Score: Single Leg Counter Wrestling by Max & Ben Askren.

In the technique video below, Tom DeBlass shows how to deal with a deep half guard lockdown.  In this example, the bottom half guard player has secured a deep underhook and transitioned deep into the half guard position and can now take the back at will or set up other dangerous reversals.  Not content to simply escape the position, Tom shows how to capitalize on the escape and set up a devastating knee bar of his own.  Check it out below!

Key Problem Areas for Tom DeBlass

There are a number of reasons why this position is very bad and must be dealt with immediately for Tom DeBlass.  They are simply:

  • Tom's Head is Above His Opponent's Head--If you've every watched any of Tom's instructionals, one of the first rules of his sweeping/reversal game is to get your oppponent's head above your head.  So this must be addressed right away.
  • Tom's Back Is Exposed--At will, the opponent in this position could begin to attack the back.  This is a key danger that DeBlass is mindful of.
  • The Whizzer Won't Save Him--Typically when an opponent works to secure an underhook, a whizzer can sometimes be used to nullify that underhook.  In this case, Tom's opponent is too deep and the whizzer is impossible.

The Escape


For DeBlass, the time to escape is now.   The back is already exposed.  There's no time to sit and ponder the situation.

The three parts of the escape that need to happen simultaneously are a drop down to his inside elbow, almost as if he was set to try to roll away from his partner.  Simultaneously, he is going to step his untrapped leg back and behind the opponent and windshield wiper his trapped leg up and out of the lockdown.

The Kneebar

The moment his trapped leg is extracted from the lockdown, DeBlass begins to bring his knees towards his chest.  This allows him to secure the opponent's leg to either set up one of his favorite submissions, the knee bar, or to create a scramble allowing him to move towards a top position.

The knee bar is secured by putting the opponent's extended leg behind his top arm and armpit.  He will then bite into the opponent's hips with both feet and hip into the trapped and straightened leg to secure the submission.

Securing the top position would involve keeping the arm holding their leg extended and pulling yourself out and coming back towards them to secure a better position.

In typical DeBlass style, this technique shows the relative ease with which you can escape an extremely bad position and not only escape, but set up a devastating submission of your own.  But the opportunity must be seized immediately and is not something that can be achieved through overthinking.  Stop.  Drop. Step back.  And escape.

If you're ready to embrace the BJJ Lockdown position, you need to check out Tom DeBlass' Lockdown Blueprint.  This series will give you all the tools to use the lockdown position offensively to set up back takes, submissions, and reversals.  He's also going to give you all of the secrets to escaping the lockdown and putting yourself in better positions, much like the excerpt above.  You can get your copy here or at the BUY NOW link below.




Tom DeBlass Lockdown Blueprint


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