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

07 November 2022

07/11/2022 - Teaching | Leglocks | Escaping seated single leg x

Teaching #Evening
Artemis BJJ (7 Easton Rd), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 07/11/2022

First reaction for escaping footlocks is to 'put the boot on', where you shove your heel forwards to tense up your calves. That should make it harder for them to push on your toes, which tends to be part of most straight ankle locks. Angling your toes away from them is also a good habit, as that helps to hide your heel and make it harder for them to therefore go for a heel hook.

The other big part of escaping this position is pushing their foot off your hip. You can then move forwards, which is a great way to prevent any further footlock attempts. The simple way to push the foot off is to bring your hips up, in order to expose their foot and reduce their ability to maintain pressure and grip on your hip. Once you have push it off, you can either come over the top of the foot, or better, land on their foot. With your weight on their leg, again their opportunities to continue footlock attempts are reduced.

In order to get to the mount when moving forward, you may need to remove the obstacle of their knee. It is common for that to end up stuck between your legs. You can shove that down with your free arm, then pop over the top. To help with that, you'll want your posting arm relatively close, or be able to adjust it quickly. You may well not land in a perfect mount, but as long as you quickly remove any space, that's good enough. Leaving space is almost always a mistake, as they could then either escape, or worse, set up some other attack.

Posting on your hand in order to create the angle to push their foot off your hip is a useful option. However, it does occupy both your hands. An alternative is to instead grab the upper part of their foot, near the toes, then shove that towards them. This can be enough to remove their foot from your hip, whereupon you can then shove it down and proceed as before. That uses only one hand, leaving your other hand free to grab their collar (or potentially head, in nogi) and pull them towards you. This both prevents them leaning back to finish a footlock and makes it much easier to move yourself on top into mount.

I'll also keep adding in my safety video, as I don't think this gets emphasised when teaching leglocks nearly enough. Really important: for twisting leglocks (which can happen accidentally, in the not uncommon event that the person being footlocked tries to explosively spin to free their leg), tap to pressure, not to pain.

Teaching Notes: I split this into three, I may not need all those options. The third one, where you push the foot forward and down, is definitely superior I reckon. Having that hand free to grab their collar or head makes a big difference. The other thing I want to do better next time is moving through to mount. Is there a way to more smoothly get to technical mount, making sure your knee gets into that gap by their shoulder you create with the collar pull?

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