BJJ Leg Locks You Need to Know

brazilian jiu jitsu in raleighThe sport of BJJ is continuously evolving, and the surge in popularity of the leg lock makes it a move that all fighters should know. More and more competitors are using this move as part of their primary strategy at high level events with success. Here’s what you need to know about this popular BJJ move. Where should train for Brazilian jiu jitsu in Raleigh? At Gracie Raleigh! Call today to learn more.

What Is Leg Lock?
Directed at the joints in the leg such as the hip, knee, and ankle, this move can be used to control your opponent and, in some cases, dislocate the controlled joint. These moves are most effective with full body leverage to counteract the large muscle groups, while some directly impact the ligaments in the smaller ankle joint or the knee.

What Does a Leg Lock Do?
Leg locks can be used as a control position inside a leg triangle or a leg knot to help maintain control as you transition between two attacks or while you apply the attack. Some leg locks have transitioned into more advanced BJJ submission techniques known as guards.

Types of Leg Locks

Straight Ankle Lock To perform this ankle lock, use your legs to isolate one of your opponent’s legs. Place your opponent’s foot in your armpit while holding their foot with your forearm at the lower part of their calf. By leveraging their hips forward, you force the foot to flex and create a powerful joint lock on the ankle and the Achilles tendon.

Kneebar¬†Also known as a leg bar or a knee lock, a Kneebar is a leg lock that can hyperextend the knee. The technique for this move is similar to that of an armbar. Begin by trapping your opponent’s leg between your legs and securing it with your arms so that their kneecap is pointing towards your body. Then apply pressure with your hips, forcing the opponent’s leg to straighten and hyperextend the knee joint.

Toe Hold By twisting or pushing the foot while controlling your opponent’s leg you can use your hands to hyperextend or hyper rotate the ankle. A variation on the toe hold is known as the figure-four toe hold. Hold your opponent’s foot by the toes with one hand and put your hand under their Achilles tendon and grab your wrist. Use your hand to flex the foot straight or slightly sideways to put significant torque on the ankle.

Calf Crush Compressing your opponent’s leg (heel to butt) while placing your shin or forearm behind the knee to crush the calf muscle can potentially separate the knee joint. Calf locks are extremely painful and can cause injury to both the calf muscle and the knee joint when applied successfully.

Heel Hook By transversely twisting your opponent’s foot severe pressure is placed on the ankle which in turn will torque the knee. There are several variations on this move that can all be used to control the movement of your opponent’s entire body. One of the most common variations is performed by placing your legs around the leg of your opponent and holding the opponent’s foot in the armpit on the same side. Heel hooks are considered to be a dangerous leg lock and are associated with a high rate of injury.

Best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Raleigh

Learn these and other opponent controlling moves from the expert coaching staff at Gracie Raleigh. No matter where you are with your Brazilian jiu jitsu in Raleigh, we can help you improve and excel in ways you never thought possible. Call or come by the gym today to take a tour and explore our complete class offerings for all members of your family.