The Most Common Ankle Lock Mistake

Let’s talk about the basic ankle lock (also known as the ‘Achilles lock’ or the ‘straight foot lock’) today. When I see people trying ankle locks in sparring and in competition the most common error I see is targetting, by which I mean where they are placing their forearms on their opponent’s ankle.

Quite often I see people trying to apply the ankle lock by putting pressure far too high up the leg, sometimes as high as mid-calf. While this might work for some people it isn’t the most efficient method to use.

The place where you want to put your forearm is right at the bottom of the leg, just above the heel bone. Try this: extend your toes and foot away from you like you are going to round kick someone with your instep. Now look at the back of your ankle – you should see a bunch of horizontal wrinkles in the skin. This is where you want to place your forearm.

Another way to figure out where your forearm should go is to take a very loose ankle lock on your practise partner. Slide your forearms down his leg until they get stopped by his foot. Take a good look at the position of your arms relative to his leg, and make a mental note of how far down his leg your arms have come.

By placing your fulcrum (your bottom forearm) at this position on the foot you will have a very powerful submission. You will be applying maximum pressure to his achilles tendon and achieving maximum leverage against the top of his foot.

Happy foot locking!

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