The usefulness of Leg Locks

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by Hanzou, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Hanzou

    Hanzou Grandmaster

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    Banned in Judo, yet rising in popularity among Bjj and MMA practitioners, leg locks appear to be a very reliable way to end a fight. My question is, how useful are leg locks in a self defense situation?

    I could imagine that they could be quite devastating since the set ups of are relatively flexible, and it's fairly easy and quick to destroy a knee or an ankle once applied. Additionally, most people aren't familiar with a leg lock set up, so have no idea its coming when the set up begins. Finally, women can also apply leg locks since they don't require a huge amount of strength to pull off.

    I suppose my real question would be what is the legal fall out from essentially crippling someone? Additionally if someone is carrying a bladed weapon, you could get sliced up fairly easily. However, if someone is trying to kill you, I guess getting a few slashes is better than ending up 6 feet under.
     
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  2. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    To be honest, in a self defense situation, I wouldn't be attempting any locks. It is not my job to restrain someone. I would be more inclined to damage whatever joint I managed to have a hold of, and get out of dodge to report it to the proper authorities. Coming from a jiu jitsu/judo background, I know quite a few joint locking/breaking techniques. Would I lock in a grappling class? Yes. Playing around with friends? Maybe. Not in most self defense scenarios.
     
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  3. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    The purpose of a leg lock is not to restrain an opponent. It's to break* their leg so they can't continue to fight effectively.

    *(Technically, it's usually about snapping ligaments, but occasionally you can get actual broken bones.)
     
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  4. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    Leg locks are banned in judo competition, however there is one that is still listed as a Kodokan grappling technique, ashi-garami. At the same time it is on the list of kinshi-waza (forbidden techniques), along with kani-basami.
     
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  5. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    The biggest concern I have with leg locks in a self-defense situation is that they generally involve being tangled with the opponent in a way which may make it difficult to quickly disengage and retreat if that becomes necessary. I can come up with specific situations where a leg lock could be the best option, but they wouldn't be my go-to move in most self-defense contexts.
     
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  6. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    I know almost nothing about leg locks, they are my biggest weakness in fighting. But I hate them, they scare the heck out of me, too easy to get injured. Not little injuries, pretty big ones.
     
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  7. Anarax

    Anarax 2nd Black Belt

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    There are setups/situations where you'll have a downed opponent's leg while you're in a standing position. Doing leg locks from this position is much safer and can be valuable in a self-defense situation.

    It all depends on the situation.

    Weapon awareness can be tricky with leg locks for some may get too fixated on the legs and not look at their opponent's hands. Being mindful of your opponent and feeling their movement through the leg you have will help with awareness.
     
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  8. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    When you pick up your opponent's leading leg, and hook his back standing leg off the ground, your opponent will fall. At that moment you still hold on his leading leg. If you twist his leg, flip his body and force him to land with face down, you can easily lock his leg while sitting on his back.

    This is a good example that the ground game can be the follow up from the stand up game. This is why one should train both the stand up game and the ground game at the same time (not separate).

    The leg lock can come from a single leg. This is why if you are good in single leg, it can open many doors for you.



     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
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  9. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    In self defense, yes.

    In competition, depends on the rules.
     
  10. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    In competition (where leg locks are allowed), leg locks are used to force a tap by showing your opponent that you can break his leg. I'm not aware of any sort of competition where leg locks are used to restrain an opponent.
     
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  11. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    I guess I wasn't clear. I agree.
     
  12. FriedRice

    FriedRice Master Black Belt

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    It wouldn't be my go-to move b/c I'm mostly a striker, but even with my 30% training of BJJ on average, I can still get that heel hook pretty quickly and rip all that ligaments right off.....especially on the average dummy in the streets that's untrained.

    They shouldn't even have enough time to get off that 1 solid head stomp or kick. If they had a knife, you probably wouldn't even feel it due to the adrenaline. This could be a good or bad thing. Good, because you'll keep going with the attack on his knee even while getting stabbed and not really feeling it (until after). He's going to be in much worse pain in about 1-2 seconds so the stabbing shouldn't even be more than 1 good 1. Bad = he could hit a main artery.

    When the Law comes, invoke the 5th. But if he's slashing you, then you are certainly within your rights of SD to take out his knee. Punching him in the face for that KTFO, might look worse in court. People who train, knows how severe a torn ACL is, but most people on a jury wouldn't see it that way compared to smashing someone's face in with your fists as SD.
     
  13. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    I use the pro wrestling figure 4 one in the deadly streets as a restraint from time to time.

    There are some circumstances where that works really well.
     
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  14. Hanzou

    Hanzou Grandmaster

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    in this video, Coach Zahabi of tristar gym states that when grappling a much larger opponent, leg locks are preferable to arm bars.



    He also says that BJJ practitioners shouldn't neglect leg locks, because when its combined with other Bjj tools, it gives us a significant advantage over other MAs.
     
  15. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Leg locks against a blade?????

    Doesn't seem like a smart plan.
     
  16. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    If you like going to jail....
     
  17. Hanzou

    Hanzou Grandmaster

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    A few slashes vs getting raped and/or killed.

    Sounds like a plan to me.
     
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  18. TMA17

    TMA17 Black Belt

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    Check out the video from the 8:25 mark.

     
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  19. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Are attackers only allowed to slash? What happens when they start stabbing and you bleed out.

    You really think you can ignore someone stabbing you in the hamstring, thigh, calf, groin, inner thigh while you lock in a leg lock? What happens when they cut your femoral artery?
     
  20. Rat

    Rat Master Black Belt

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    Unless you want to restrain the person for what ever reason, just run when they get grounded if you are brought with them try to break and run.

    I would also say learn it alongside Knee and Elbow ones if such things exist. Never know when you might not get to the arms or vice versa.123
     

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