When I first started training Jiu Jitsu around 2012, leg locks were used only by a few grapplers. In fact, many schools prohibited the use of many leg attacks, especially the heel hook, claiming that it is too dangerous for ordinary use in the gym. Although my gym didn’t prohibit any submissions, the heel hook remained elusive mostly because no one understood it.
Learn the secrets of the leg lock game from the legendary Craig Jones!
Fast forward a few years and we began seeing a Garry Tonon dominate the competitive circuits, finishing some of the best grapplers in the world with the heel hook. Not long after Garry’s rise to fame we witnessed Gordon Ryan do the same thing. Ever since then, the grappling world has added leg locks, and heel hooks specifically, into the curriculum so that no one is missing out on this important submission.
In the following video, Australian black belt Craig Jones illustrates how to enter one of the best leg locking positions from butterfly guard. Check out the entry below:
When doing this entry, it is very helpful to reach for the top player’s leg to ensure that they don’t sprawl. If they sprawl, it will be impossible to elevate them and get to the cross ashi position. Furthermore, its necessary to tuck the chin in to prevent cross faces which can be used to flatten you out.
It is very tempting to cross the legs into a triangle after shooting the leg through. This is dangerous though because it limits your ability to move your opponent around, which is obviously important. Instead, keep the legs open use them to move your opponent wherever you need to.
A common mistake I made frequently when trying this entry is that I made it obvious what I was trying to do. When setting up entries like this from butterfly guard, you have to sell the sweep. In fact, the sweep should be your primary attack and if your opponent defends it, you can then transition to the entry.
After finishing, it is easy to end up in a spot where you can begin attacking the submission. One tip I learned over the years is that you need to be patient when attacking the legs. Ensure that you have total control of the position before finishing the sub.
Craig Jones has a secret weapon in Jiu Jitsu… his leg lock system. Check out Craig’s widely popular Down Under Leg Attacks to change your game forever.