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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

10 June 2016

10/06/2016 - Teaching | Half Guard | Escaping Lockdown

Teaching #516
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 10/06/2016

If you find that you keep getting stuck in the lockdown, don't worry: there are numerous ways to free your leg to get back to a standard half guard. First off, you can avoid the situation by making sure your lower leg is curled back. That will put it out of reach for the purposes of a lockdown. If they have started to put the lockdown on, bring your heel to your thigh, then loop your foot out of their grip. Be sure to again immediately curl your foot to your bum, underneath both their legs, or they can put you right back into the lockdown.

Should they manage to get it a little tighter, try lifting your trapped leg up, like Christian Graugart. Curl your free leg back, sticking your heel by their lower heel. That should loosen the tension enough that you can drive your trapped knee to the mat and escape the lockdown. Once again, be sure to curl your foot out of the way, so they can't re-establish the lockdown.

A photo posted by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on



Finally, if it's too late for any of the above, there's the option I most commonly use. Scoot down towards their hips. You can now try one of three options: either grab their hips, lock your arms underneath their thighs, or hook an arm under their leg. I tend to go with the third option, though be aware there is a small risk that they might manage to shift into a triangle if you're not careful as you pass. Once you've secured a grip, either sprawl back firmly or kick your trapped leg backwards. Maintain your grips, then walk around towards their head for the pass.

Another more complex pass I sometimes teach comes from Rener Gracie. For this one, first sprawl to take out the slack in their grip. Swing your trapped leg towards your other leg. Hook behind their nearest knee with the instep of your free foot. Press their knee to the mat. This should give you the room to bring your trapped leg towards the other side, then simply drive the trapped knee through, moving directly into a knee cut pass.
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Teaching & Sparring Notes: I decided to stick to freeing your leg from the lockdown tonight, rather than going into too much detail about passing. My main goal is to dissuade people from using the lockdown to stall. It's certainly a valid position with plenty of options, but a lot of people (admittedly including me ;D) will use it to slow down the pace and get a breather. I don't normally put in as many techniques as this, but they're all relatively simple and I think fit together well. Last time I taught the Rener pass, but I think the options I went with tonight are easier to remember, as it's basically either 'lift up your leg' or 'grab their hips and kick'.

Sparring was fun, trying to get into some closed guard attack. I used the forearm to forearm clasp to keep hold of my shoulder clamp, but I was too flat on my back. I need to get on my side right away, pushing for that head and shoulder control. I vaguely had the overhook guard after that, but again I think I'm being too flat. I also attempted to block Sam's might knee slide as he tried to break my half guard, ending up going to quarter guard and then a toe grab sweep.

However, he could have kicked his leg free during my sloppy quarter guard (as he confirmed later when I asked: I didn't think I had that properly). I think I'll play some more with quarter guard at open mat, mainly out of curiosity. Main thing I want to work on is the half guard kimura, as I haven't taught that yet.

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