The elusive Self Defence Version of Gracie Jiu Jitsu

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
21,802
Reaction score
6,577
The new generation of submission grapplers are getting extremely well versed in them, and developing new entries to better exploit them. The speed of leg lock evolution is crazy right now in BJJ especially since the IBJJF loosened up restrictions on their use. Some of the stuff these kids are doing now is completely unrecognizable to old GJJ farts like me.

A mate of mine did the Lachlan guiles seminar and came back a beast.
 

dunc

Purple Belt
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Messages
368
Reaction score
235
The new generation of submission grapplers are getting extremely well versed in them, and developing new entries to better exploit them. The speed of leg lock evolution is crazy right now in BJJ especially since the IBJJF loosened up restrictions on their use. Some of the stuff these kids are doing now is completely unrecognizable to old GJJ farts like me.
Yeah - It will be interesting to see how this translates into MMA

I do think these kind of things have their place in SD kind of situations, because they are so unexpected and can do damage quickly. As others have said I'm not sure it should be a "go to" for SD just because your head can become a football (UK version), but it's certainly a viable option in the right circumstances
 

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
21,802
Reaction score
6,577
Yeah - It will be interesting to see how this translates into MMA

I do think these kind of things have their place in SD kind of situations, because they are so unexpected and can do damage quickly. As others have said I'm not sure it should be a "go to" for SD just because your head can become a football (UK version), but it's certainly a viable option in the right circumstances

Self defence isn't really technique driven. Yes you should have technique. But I think the concepts are more important.

So if the Leglock concepts get you from that point A to point B then they are as viable as anything else.

They make you very dangerous against a standing opponent if you are on your back. So if you are eating feet. Leg lock concepts will kind of help.

All this de la riva stuff.

 
Last edited:

Hanzou

Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
6,691
Reaction score
1,260
A mate of mine did the Lachlan guiles seminar and came back a beast.

Giles is an underrated genius. A friend of mine got his DVDs and came back a beast, so I believe it.
 

Hanzou

Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
6,691
Reaction score
1,260
Yeah - It will be interesting to see how this translates into MMA

I don't think you're ever going to see leg locking becoming a dominant force in MMA for a host of reasons. The main one being that if you know someone is a leg locker, you can train months in advance with the best in the business to counter them. Given that pretty much every pro MMA fighter these days is an advanced belt in BJJ or some form of submission grappling, learning to get out of leg locks doesn't really take a long time if you know the general fundamentals.
I do think these kind of things have their place in SD kind of situations, because they are so unexpected and can do damage quickly. As others have said I'm not sure it should be a "go to" for SD just because your head can become a football (UK version), but it's certainly a viable option in the right circumstances

Yeah, there's an argument that leg locks/attacks are effective when facing a much larger opponent with superior upper body strength. Here's a vid of coach Firas Zahabi up against a champion arm wrestler who is also a Judoka;


BTW, this shows you how much Judo suffers as a grappling art by not embracing leg locks. Imagine trying to use Judo throws against that behemoth!
 
Last edited:

Hanzou

Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
6,691
Reaction score
1,260
Self defence isn't really technique driven. Yes you should have technique. But I think the concepts are more important.

So if the Leglock concepts get you from that point A to point B then they are as viable as anything else.

They make you very dangerous against a standing opponent if you are on your back. So if you are eating feet. Leg lock concepts will kind of help.

All this de la riva stuff.


Yeah, that video is "old school", going from De La Riva to back take. Going to leg locks from DLR makes so much more sense nowadays. Yet another example of how much the game has changed.
 

Oily Dragon

Master of Arts
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
1,607
Reaction score
706
BTW, this shows you how much Judo suffers as a grappling art by not embracing leg locks. Imagine trying to use Judo throws against that behemoth!
As I understand it, Kano removed them because they were prone to injure students (like many joint locks). I could be wrong, but I'm sure I read that somewhere in a book once, and it made perfect sense.

So, the reason they've become popular in BJJ is probably because the art is so refined now, with such expert level instruction, it's a little safer now than a century ago in Japan, where nobody wanted to tap out, ever.

Nowadays, people learn to tap first, then learn.

Make sense?
 
Last edited:

dunc

Purple Belt
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Messages
368
Reaction score
235
I don't think you're ever going to see leg locking becoming a dominant force in MMA for a host of reasons. The main one being that if you know someone is a leg locker, you can train months in advance with the best in the business to counter them. Given that pretty much every pro MMA fighter these days is an advanced belt in BJJ or some form of submission grappling, learning to get out of leg locks doesn't really take a long time if you know the general fundamentals.
Maybe....
If you take that argument then no one would be submitting anyone with leg locks at a high level, which is clearly not the case
For me what is unproven to date is whether the addition of striking and gloves etc reduces the potency of leg locks. Personally I suspect the answer is "not much"
 

Oily Dragon

Master of Arts
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
1,607
Reaction score
706
Curious enough I googled to check myself. guess what I found.

I was wrong, Kano didn't remove leg locks. It happened over time.

 

Tony Dismukes

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,490
Reaction score
5,559
Location
Lexington, KY
For me what is unproven to date is whether the addition of striking and gloves etc reduces the potency of leg locks. Personally I suspect the answer is "not much"
I think the biggest difference striking makes is it forces you to get the control position completely right. In pure grappling if your control position is a little off, then the danger is your opponent might escape or pass your guard or counter leg-lock you. In MMA if your control position isn't really good then you may be getting your face smashed and not even have great options for bailing into another position.

Ryan Hall recently released an updated version of his 50/50 instructional video which incorporates the lessons he's learned from MMA. I'm curious as to what he has changed, but I don't have the money to invest in his (very good but very expensive) videos right now.
 

Hanzou

Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
6,691
Reaction score
1,260
As I understand it, Kano removed them because they were prone to injure students (like many joint locks). I could be wrong, but I'm sure I read that somewhere in a book once, and it made perfect sense.

So, the reason they've become popular in BJJ is probably because the art is so refined now, with such expert level instruction, it's a little safer now than a century ago in Japan, where nobody wanted to tap out, ever.

Nowadays, people learn to tap first, then learn.

Make sense?

Well Ashi-garami was banned in Judo before the universal leg lock ban in 1922. Supposedly a student got their leg broken when it was applied, pushing it to get banned earlier.

That said, who knows the full reason all leg locks were banned. We do know that Kano had issues with ground grappling, and preferred Judo to be more about upright, spectacular throwing instead of rolling around on the ground. According to "legend" Kano introduced newaza only because his Judoka got beaten by Mataemon Tanabe, who developed a nasty ground grappling system from watching snakes (In fact, I'm pretty sure it was Tanabe who broke the leg of the judoka utilizing the Ashi-garami). Anyways.....

When there is a focus on ground grappling, leg locking naturally arises from that practice, and those submissions tend to dominate other forms of submissions and even compromise standing grappling. This is currently happening in BJJ comps btw, where leg locking is becoming a very dominant form of submission. Why is seated Guard so popular? Because it's relatively easy to nail a standing opponent with a leg lock form that position. The "Ashi slide" (where you can slide into the ashi guard from standing position) is gaining in popularity as well.
 

Hanzou

Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
6,691
Reaction score
1,260
I think the biggest difference striking makes is it forces you to get the control position completely right. In pure grappling if your control position is a little off, then the danger is your opponent might escape or pass your guard or counter leg-lock you. In MMA if your control position isn't really good then you may be getting your face smashed and not even have great options for bailing into another position.

Ryan Hall recently released an updated version of his 50/50 instructional video which incorporates the lessons he's learned from MMA. I'm curious as to what he has changed, but I don't have the money to invest in his (very good but very expensive) videos right now.

I hope one of the lessons he learned was not to use the Imanari roll over and over again against an opponent who specifically trained to counter your game.
 

Hanzou

Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
6,691
Reaction score
1,260
Maybe....
If you take that argument then no one would be submitting anyone with leg locks at a high level, which is clearly not the case

That's a good point.

For me what is unproven to date is whether the addition of striking and gloves etc reduces the potency of leg locks. Personally I suspect the answer is "not much"

I'm not sure you can strike your way out of a well applied leg lock.

The glove thing though is interesting. I would imagine that gripping sweaty legs and feet could be a factor as well.
 

dunc

Purple Belt
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Messages
368
Reaction score
235
I'm not sure you can strike your way out of a well applied leg lock.

The glove thing though is interesting. I would imagine that gripping sweaty legs and feet could be a factor as well.
I suspect that striking will make the set ups for leg locks more difficult
The only risk I can see to the person with leg control will be kicks from an uncontrolled 2nd leg, but I think thats probably manageable
 

Hanzou

Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
6,691
Reaction score
1,260
I suspect that striking will make the set ups for leg locks more difficult
The only risk I can see to the person with leg control will be kicks from an uncontrolled 2nd leg, but I think thats probably manageable

Well here's one of Danaher's boys pulling off a near perfect leg lock in MMA;


Here's a great article that actually talks about this;


Since the leg lock game is evolving rapidly, we may see a surge take place in MMA if more BJJ stylists enter MMA. The problem is that sport BJJ is lucrative if you're an elite BJJ exponent like Gordon Ryan, Lachlan Giles, Craig Jones, Kron Gracie, Ryan Hall, Keenan Cornelius, Garry Tonon, etc. so you might not want to even bother with MMA if you're bringing in loads of cash just doing BJJ. I'm starting to think that Hall and Tonon are the exceptions, not the rule.
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
28,032
Reaction score
9,165
Location
Hendersonville, NC
've only seen a small percentage of "self-defense" oriented schools which have attempted to keep the self-defense portion of the curriculum evolving and improving in the way the sport competition curriculum has.
This is always tough to do. Within competition, it's easy to catalog what is changing, which leads to a catalog of changes worth making. You also get to test out small changes regularly to see if they seem useful. For self-defense use, it's usually unclear where small changes should happen, and so there's usually a stasis lag until there's an apparent need for bigger changes (see all the places that have added some sort of takedown defense or groundwork to their curriculum over the last decade or two).

The base problem is that there's no clear catalog of what you'll be up against. If I want to train for a BJJ competition, I can go watch a few and see what I need to be prepared for. It'll be a reasonably recognizable body of work (obviously, while preparing, I'll have to keep watching what's going, because of the constant change). If you watch 1,000 different self-defense situations on video, you'll see a small number of overlapping bits, and a large variety around them. What's withing that small core doesn't really change much. But the wider range around it changes in ways that are hard to track.
 

Hanzou

Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
6,691
Reaction score
1,260
This is always tough to do. Within competition, it's easy to catalog what is changing, which leads to a catalog of changes worth making. You also get to test out small changes regularly to see if they seem useful. For self-defense use, it's usually unclear where small changes should happen, and so there's usually a stasis lag until there's an apparent need for bigger changes (see all the places that have added some sort of takedown defense or groundwork to their curriculum over the last decade or two).

The base problem is that there's no clear catalog of what you'll be up against. If I want to train for a BJJ competition, I can go watch a few and see what I need to be prepared for. It'll be a reasonably recognizable body of work (obviously, while preparing, I'll have to keep watching what's going, because of the constant change). If you watch 1,000 different self-defense situations on video, you'll see a small number of overlapping bits, and a large variety around them. What's withing that small core doesn't really change much. But the wider range around it changes in ways that are hard to track.

I do find it interesting the sheer rise in groundwork and takedowns being added to the curriculums in various MA styles. Before I got hurt, I was invited to teach BJJ in quite a few TMA schools as an additional class for their students to take. I did take up one of the offers and I did it for a few months. It was a fun experience, and I think the students (in that case Karate) got a lot out of it.

I believe that getting a BJJ instructor is the best way to go about it. I don't think it's a good idea to watch BJJ on YT and make up stuff.

Example;

I want to take a moment and laugh at the fact that the first "street-oriented" thing they do in this video is teach how to (badly) defend against a (bad) arm bar. Because yeah, the thug on the street is going to go for an arm bar instead of simply pound you in the face.
 
Last edited:

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
28,032
Reaction score
9,165
Location
Hendersonville, NC
I do find it interesting the sheer rise in groundwork and takedowns being added to the curriculums in various MA styles. Before I got hurt, I was invited to teach BJJ in quite a few TMA schools as an additional class for their students to take. I did take up one of the offers and I did it for a few months. It was a fun experience, and I think the students (in that case Karate) got a lot out of it.

I believe that getting a BJJ instructor is the best way to go about it. I don't think it's a good idea to watch BJJ on YT and make up stuff.

Example;
Even places that had a bit of kinda-viable groundwork have taken to doing BJJ seminars. For those with the right foundation, a seminar a year with some solid content can make a significant difference. I was fortunate to have some Judo groundwork waaaaaay back, and ran into a smattering of BJJ/MMA (the latter mostly BJJ in the groundwork at the time) over time to keep me working on bits. With a little foundation, just rolling goes a long way.

My experience was that NGA had a few usable techniques for groundwork (including a couple of escapes from mount), but that the foundation for some of them was missing. So the technique was there, but done......not well. One of my friends actually went and added BJJ to his school (started with seminars, got himself trained up to purple to start teaching it - I think he's now black), somewhere in Ryron and Rener's branch, I think. They're not as hardcore as some BJJ places, but the groundwork there is significantly better than any other NGA school.
 

Hanzou

Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
6,691
Reaction score
1,260
Even places that had a bit of kinda-viable groundwork have taken to doing BJJ seminars. For those with the right foundation, a seminar a year with some solid content can make a significant difference. I was fortunate to have some Judo groundwork waaaaaay back, and ran into a smattering of BJJ/MMA (the latter mostly BJJ in the groundwork at the time) over time to keep me working on bits. With a little foundation, just rolling goes a long way.

Yeah, it really doesn't take much to get the fundamentals of ground fighting down. Once you reach blue belt, you should be fine in most situations, unless you're simply dealing with an extremely good grappler. Obviously you need to keep your practice up and refresh your fundamentals from time to time. However, you can do that on your own with a dedicated partner.

My experience was that NGA had a few usable techniques for groundwork (including a couple of escapes from mount), but that the foundation for some of them was missing. So the technique was there, but done......not well. One of my friends actually went and added BJJ to his school (started with seminars, got himself trained up to purple to start teaching it - I think he's now black), somewhere in Ryron and Rener's branch, I think. They're not as hardcore as some BJJ places, but the groundwork there is significantly better than any other NGA school.

Ryron and Rener's branch is more self-defense oriented, so if you're looking for less sport-oriented stuff, and want more old school Gracie-based JJ, you're in good hands.

Of course, even GJJ is pressured by the economic need to be competitive, so I think that even in that environment you're going to get some sport-based stuff. I know that in my days with Relson Gracie JJ, they wanted to be more self-defense based, but they had to have a dedicated competition class on a multi-day basis to make sure to cater to those who wanted to compete. Frankly, a lot of people preferred the competition class to the base class, because the techniques shown in the former were more flashy and interesting.
 
Top