Comparisons to Arm Locks and One Basic Leg Lock Technique


While wrist locks and armbars are all well and good, sometimes you get unlucky. Should an opponent not prove susceptible to any of the above techniques, either because of improper execution on your behalf or because you couldn’t get them into position, there is always another set of limbs you can attack. These would be the legs. While it is initially harder to start leg locks, they almost always result in faster submissions. Please note once more that any locks are dangerous, and should not be attempted without trained supervision. This is particularly true of leg locks, as legs are not as naturally flexible as the upper joints. This means that if you do get a leg lock, it is more likely to result in severe damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the ankle, knee, or hip. For this reason, these techniques are often banned from sporting competitions, or if not banned, restricted on some level. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in particular is careful in its teaching and application of these locks, and beginners would do well to pay heed to warnings. Once more, do not attempt without trained supervision.



As with all of the techniques discussed thus far, the reason leg lock techniques work is because they force the limbs to move in a way that they simply aren’t designed to. The most basic lock is known as a knee bar or straight leg bar. This technique applies pressure to the knee in much the same way the armbar applies pressure to the elbow. The best way to initiate a straight leg bar is after both combatants have gone to ground, and the opponent has escaped your guard. During this escape, if you can trip up an opponent, but can’t get hold of an arm, grab their leg. After they’ve fallen again (because you have their leg!), apply the same principles from the armbar to the leg bar.


Portland BJJ Technique: Transition to Half Guard From a Failed Sprawl


Control the target leg with your arms and hands by holding the ankle, and wrapping your own leg around the back of their thigh and buttocks. Straighten yourself out, applying pressure to the adversary’s knee by arching your hips. This often results in hyperextension of the opponent’s knee. Further application of the knee bar can result in torn tendons/muscles/ligaments, and broken knee caps. This means permanent and crippling damage, so be careful. Often in early stages of this technique, an opponent will submit, and victory is once again yours.

Once more, this is a potentially dangerous move, and should not be attempted without supervision. This is one of the more advanced locks, but it is a staple BJJ technique for many practitioners who wish to have a back up technique in case the armbar fails.