Sambo Leg Lock – FootlockFriday

 I stumbled upon this nifty little hold on, where else, YouTube.  Labeled the “Sambo leg lock”, this sneaky little move is a nod to the crafty fighting style that was birthed out in Soviet Russia way back in the 1920s!  Sambo is an acronym for Samooborona Bez Oruzhiya…good luck pronouncing that, but I can tell you that it translates into “self defense without weapons.”

Before going into the move, there were a few things the video points out if you want to pull this off.  First, make sure you aren’t selling this move; unlike most leg locks this one isn’t as blatant as your traditional heel hook or toe hold.  Secondly, having a proper flexibility and range of motion in your hip flexors are very important for this to work properly.

As a sidebar, I had a few people ask recently (thanks to everyone who’s familiar with my OTM articles) if I’m still giving away my "Heel Hook Secrets" DVD – the answer is YES – just visit

Stay tuned on OTM because I have way more awesomeness coming, but I wanted to get that out there for everyone.

The Execution

This move takes place from full mount.  While in this position, begin to work for a kimura or some sort of arm lock.  This is key to really sell this process and to get your opponent thinking that you are looking to take his arm home and put it on your mantle.

While doing this, take the leg on whichever side you are attacking, and hook their ankle with your foot.  From here, you want to rotate your body to the opposite side as if you were trying to sit on your other foot.  Keeping the hooked ankle, this will flare his leg outwards, causing great strain on his lower body.

From here, push down with your thigh, ideally this will apply pressure onto their thigh as well.  While doing so, press your lower leg towards the sky.  As you will see in the video, this will create a leverage that counter acts the natural position of the leg, causing great pain and forcing the tap.

What If?

So you’re probably thinking to yourself that this seems all too easy of a setup…there has to be SO MANY WAYS to defend this!  Well, sure, there’s the obvious one; what if the opponent simply rolls up into you?  Well, I’m glad you asked.

If they roll into you trying to get out, their leg will still be readily available for some damage to be inflicted.  From here, just simply forego the grape vine on the ankle, and post that leg close their buttocks.  Now all you have to do is reach over and turn this sambo leg lock into a nice little calf slicer!  That’ll teach ‘em!

So there you have it.  This move is a quick hitter that acts effectively as a leg lock and a calf slicer.  Disguising this as a kimura will open the door for you to do your thing and get that submission victory!

-Dan "Micro" Faggella

TechGasp Comments Master

About the author