You Can NOT Escape This Toe Hold By Dean Lister
Dean Lister’s Nasty Inescapable Toe Hold
By many, Dean Lister is considered one of the greatest grapplers of all time. Dean is one of the pioneers of both jiu jitsu and mixed martial arts, having been one of the earliest leg attack experts who could arguably have been responsible for the rise of the current crop of leg attack gunslingers like the team known as the Danaher Death Squad, made up of the likes of Garry Tonon, Eddie Cummings, and Gordon Ryan among others. Dean’s story is similar to many martial arts practitioners in that he was drawn to the martial arts after feeling the need to be able to defend himself as he was not the biggest kid in class, but he was often the new kid.
Also, by keeping an open mind and absorbing effective techniques from other disciplines, he brought a leg lock foundation that he was able to build on and achieve a high degree of success with throughout his career.
What are toe holds?
As a popular position in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a toe hold is a foot lock submission in which the attacker is holding the ankle of an opponent using a kimura grip to control the end of the foot, specifically at the toes. This grip causes intense strain to the joints, and is a very effective way to submit an opponent.
With all that said, let’s take a look at Dean Lister’s Nasty inescapable toe hold. Watch the video below and then we will break down the technique. Check it out!
What an awesome and dynamic toe hold from the De La Riva guard! According to Lister, the toe hold is one of the 5 main leg submissions. You can always attack the feet of a guy with a high level guard, and Lister says over half of his submissions are attacks on the legs. Lister starts out by giving us his technique for grabbing the foot: pinky finger to pinky toe. This is the best grip. Too low on the foot and it will slip out of your hand. Too high on the ankle and you will not have enough control over the foot. Notice he uses a kimura grip when he goes for the submission, which is an important detail. The main rule that Lister gives us for toe holds specifically is: the leg that you are attacking for the toe hold you will be holding with you arms, but you need to control his other leg with your legs so the opponent can’t turn. You can’t stop your opponent from escaping if you do not have control over the other leg. For a leg lock, you need to have both legs or both hips control, it is the same principal in controlling the shoulders when going for an arm lock.
If you want to be a well rounded grappler, even if you do not like legs locks you have to at least understand them, so you do not fall victim to them. The truth is there are people who can’t even pass your guard that are specialists at leg locks. Lister shows us that from the De La Riva you can not allow your opponent to sit up for this move. Interestingly enough you will notice that one of your opponent’s legs is already hooking the back of your leg, while his other leg and foot are exposed. Do not just grab the foot first, he is going to see your attack. Instead, go over the knee with your hand into a forward roll to lock it in. You will see that Dean Lister uses his arm to maintain control over the opposite leg of his opponent when he rolls, preventing an easy escape.
With the right angle and the right attack, a toe hold becomes a very simple and effective submission a lot like the kimura. The next time you are training on the mats do not be afraid to attack the legs! Many of us will be primarily focused on arm locks or attacking the upper body in general. Legs are often exposed in guards and transitions. Attacking for leg locks can open up a whole new world to your Jiu Jitsu game. So get out there and trying this nasty inescapable toe hold from Dean Lister!