What NOT Learning Leg Locks Is Doing To Your Jiu-Jitsu
Avoid The Limitation. Learn Leg Locks NOW.
Leg locks were always seen as taboo, or cheap moves. I am glad to see that we are moving away from that mindset, and the leg lock game is alive and well in the world of jiu-jitsu. It is a game that you must know in this day and age. It is a whole other side of jiu-jitsu, and it is still evolving.
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But, I still see some resistance to the leg lock game. As evident as it is in the jiu-jitsu world, I have talked to, seen, and rolled with people that have absolutely zero knowledge of the leg lock game. And, these people are not white belts, they are higher colored belt practitioners. They have fear, maybe a bit of ego, and think sticking to their “old school” jiu-jitsu is the way to go.
Leg lock are more than just heel hooks, ankle locks and kneebars. It is a whole new game, and system of movement. And in this, inherently, you can play off these movements to set up additional movements. Good jiu-jitsu is being able to flow from one more to another, and leg locks can allow us to do that, much like our “old school” techniques.
Below are a few ideas on how knowing leg locks can improve your overall jiu-jitsu game.
You are ignoring 50% of the body.
If we didn't know, or haven't heard, this is the statement made by Dean Lister that changed John Danaher’s outlook on leg locks, and jiu-jitsu in general. And it makes sense. The legs are large targets, with many joints that can be manipulated and used to submit your opponent. If you are neglecting the game, you are losing out on many submission opportunities when you face your opponents.
You are now susceptible to a whole new array of submissions, and you know nothing.
Even if you hate leg locks, you have to know them, and respect them. Not knowing anything about leg locks puts you in very dangerous positions, with no defense. Maybe you do not like to initiate leg locks, and that is fine, but you must know how to defend against them. We do not neglect our mount escapes, our guillotine defenses, or guard retention. And, you cannot ignore the leg lock game, and its proper defenses.
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You are limiting your ability to setup other techniques.
The leg lock game isn't just about attacking ankles and knees. Your entries into the legs cause movement, urgency, and reactions from your opponents. Even if you do not successfully enter into a leg entanglement, you can use their reactions to set up sweeps, passes, and even other submissions. It is much like upper body attacks. Like when we use a kimura attempt from closed guard to set up a sit over sweep. We can flow from technique to technique, and leg locks also allow us to do that.
The leg lock game is vast and immersive. It is filled with new and interesting technique, that can improve your game as a whole. Do not neglect it. Embrace it. And your overall skills as a practitioner will improve once you dive in!
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