Two Easy Drills for Leg Locks
Build your leg attack dexterity with these simple drills.
In the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there are two main ways of practicing techniques and positions. The most common of these methods is basic technique repetition and this necessary to learn how to perform techniques correctly and add all the necessary details. The other method is quick-paced, high intensity, interval drills. The latter is important because it enforces muscle memory for specific movements and techniques. With that being said, I would like to share some high-intensity leg lock drills I use all the time to improve my leg attacking game.
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The first drill is a modified version of a very basic seated ashi garami movement. Both partners will sit on the ground facing each other with their legs in front of them. The person doing the drill will move into ashi garami, aka single-leg-X, on one of their partners legs. The partner will do the basic defensive maneuver of pushing the outside leg towards the ground and begin to sit over it. The driller will then quickly slide out of that leg backwards and then renter the position but on the other leg. It is important that the person doing this drill holds both ankles of their partner the entire interval without letting go. I typically like to do this for one or two minutes.
The next drill I do regularly is an ashi garami entry against a standing partner. The person doing this drill will lie flat on their back while their partner is standing directly above them with their shins on the bottom person’s armpits. To do the drill, the bottom player will begin to lift their legs and hips up and angle themselves to one side while they put their partner in ashi garami. From this position, the ashi garami will be released and is moved to the far side leg. Two huge details for this drill are lifting the hips as highly as possible and creating the angle towards the leg being attacked.
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These two drills are a very effective way for a grappler to improve their leg attacking game quickly. They force the movement into muscle memory so that the transition becomes seamless and subconscious and consistently done correctly. They also focus on an important attribute great leg lockers have and that is the ability to quickly transition between both opponent’s legs. The ability to quickly move to the defender’s other leg is something John Danaher mentions constantly and has implemented greatly into his systems.
For more from John Danaher check out his magnum opus the first volume in his Enter the System Series focused on Leg Locks! This best-seller was one of the most eagerly anticipated BJJ instructionals in history. Check it out for yourself!