Double Ankle Control Position for Footlocks

Today’s topic is a slightly unusual control position for footlocks. Control positions are methods of positioning your legs while you are attempting a leglock. The purpose of a control position is to control your opponent’s legs and body while you set up and execute your leglock. First check out the below (taken at Grapplemania Seattle. January 29th 2005, by Jermiah Armstrong).

In this photo I am trying to leglock my opponent. I have chosen to use a control position where I hold BOTH his ankles. This is a great control position: it is very difficult for him to stand up because he can’t get one leg back behind himself to push up with.

From here I will discuss 3 options:
1 – Submit him :Obviously this is your best option. Typically you will eventually have to let go of one of his ankles to actually finalize the lock. When you sense that the time is right release one of his legs and switch a more conventional leglock position with your arms and legs

2 – Stand back up: Iif you don’t think the leglock is going to work you can get back to your own feet fairly easily. Use the instep between his legs to lift his butt off the floor a little bit: he thinks that he will get back to his feet and will usually lift up a little bit more. Then drop his butt to the floor and use his momentum to pull yourself back up to a standing position.

3 – X guard: You also have the option to let him stand up and put him in the X guard and sweep him immediately. This is exactly what I did after the photo was taken. This is one of my favorite entries into the X guard and I have used it twice in competition (readers who own Dynamic Guard Sweeps Vol. 1 have seen this technique in action already). For more information on the X guard please visit the Dynamic Guard Sweeps Info Page

Here is what I suggest you do if the double ankle grab control position is something you want to develop. When you are in your sparring partner’s open guard grab BOTH his ankles and sit back. Try to clamp your legs tightly around his leg, with one foot behind his butt and the other pushing his hip. Now just hold this position; don’t let him A) stand up, or B) pull his foot out. Don’t even worry about the submission at first – just try to hold him here as long as you can, following his movement.

This drill will develop the sensitivity and pressure required to control his legs and hips. Once you can hold him in the double ankle grip position indefinitely then start playing around with trying to finish the leglock and/or getting back to the top position in his guard.

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