Leg Lock Defense! Chris Herzog

Dan Faggella is a BJJ Academy Owner, No Gi Pan Am Champion at 130 pounds, and recognized expert in the area of leg locks. Dan writes or Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, MMA Sports Mag, and more – find more of his leg lock articles and resources at www.BJJLegLocks.com

I’m sure most of you out there know or at least have heard about 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu.  The brainchild of world renowned grappler, Eddie Bravo, 10th Planet is a unique take on the sport of BJJ and has incorporated its own spin on things.  Traditionally focused on the no-Gi side of things, 10th Planet focuses heavily on attacking and counter moves.

Recently I discovered a video from Chris Herzog who is the head coach at 10th Planet Rochester.  In this video, Chris takes a complex reversal and breaks it down for us.

Take It Back to 1993

We start out in a typical leg lock scenario where the opponent has already began working the foot, looking to apply a hold from their hip.  Chris explains how most people will fall straight back which he calls “1993”, referring to the very first UFC event between Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie.

Chris begins his strategic breakdown:

  • If the opponent already has the ankle isolated, you must “put on your boot,” or straightening your leg and turning your toes away from the armpit.  Failure to do so leaves you open to a heel hook.
  • With your leg nice and straight, bring one hand up and aleivate the pressure being applied by his knees.  Doing this will bring him more onto his back, or, to 1993.
  • Post with your non-submission side hand.  While posted, lift your butt off of the floor and swing your non-submission side foot under you, staying on your knee.
  • Your non-submission side hand goes to the knee of your opponent while your other hand cups the back of their head.
  • Quickly lift yourself off of his knee and shoot it through your legs.  Right away, sit back down onto his thigh.  If you sit too high, your opponent may have good range of motion in his hips and be able to bring his leg back through.
  • Replace your hands so that the hand on his knee is now on the back of his head, and the one on his head now goes to the same-side elbow.
  • Using your leverage, rock forward and violently rip at his arm and kick your heels back.
  • BAM!  You now have mount.

There it is!  Sure, there are TONS of moving parts to this and something you’ll have to work on a bit in order to get it down pat, but this is a beautiful transition to have in your arsenal.  Many people panic and flop around and twist and turn when their leg is about to be claimed by their opponent, but this move not only saves you from certain pain but it allows you to obtain the dominant position and look super-cool while doing so!

Also – if you want to see more on the attack side of things – ChubeJitsu’s Nate Chubay has a few killer offensive leg lock videos up in the past month such as this leg lock attack with Davi Ramos. Knowing both side of the coin (attack and defense) is what makes for a rounded game. Stay training smart, and keep it locked here at OTM!

-Dan Faggella

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