So, as readers (and especially training partners) know, I am especially intrigued by the leg lock game. As a happy accident--and silver lining in an otherwise ominous cloud--it turns out I can still work on leg locks even with a neck that's now fused at three of five levels. In this sense, leg locks have really helped keep me active in jiu jitsu (or sport grappling if you insist--given my aforementioned preference for leg locks). So, I am going to start a new series of posts entitled, "Get a Leg Up"--with each focusing on a particular so-called "leg locker." Luckily for me, despite my status as a lowly four stripe purple belt, I have nevertheless spent a fair amount of time thinking about and learning the principles behind the leg lock game. The recent success of John Danaher's so-called "death squad" using leg locks in high level grappling tournaments has generated quite the buzz (see here and here for more on Danaher).
My own response: It's about fucking time. See here for more of my writing and thinking about leg locks. Rather than grumbling and complaining about having to learn how to defend them--a common theme among some traditionalists, conservatives, and old farts--I say, "Come one, come all and jump on this train--which is neither a passing fad nor a fashionable bandwagon." No, it's just learning how to attack the other half of the body, stupid, and it is here to stay! Catch wrestlers and judokas were using these techniques ( see here) before the Gracie's had even begun weaving their own legend. It's just that jiujiteiros and jiujiteiras have been slow to embrace all that leg locks have to offer.
Having (a) spent hours with my training partner Jeff, John, Michael, and others working and drilling knee bars, ankle locks, heel hooks, etc., (b) done a private with Dean Lister (which was amazing--we even had a few beers afterwards), and (c) spent time watching all of the DVDs I could get on leg locks (from catch wrestling, jiu jitsu and sambo), it's clear I am just now getting my feet wet (pun intended). But I am nevertheless already a devote (and advocate) of this aspect of grappling. Simply put: It is another world in itself on the ground when ankles and knees are fair game. So, I am going to give the tradition of leg locking the hespect it deserves by scouring the web for as much useful material as I can find (which I will catalog here for others who happen to be similarly interested).
First up, I thought I would start cataloging all of the recent matches by Eddie Cummings (see here and here)--one of the top leg lockers in grappling today. In a series of separate posts, I will try to offer some analyses and commentary on these matches (as well as available matches by Garry Tonon, Dean Lister, Mazakazu Imanari, Roli Delgado, Reilly Bodycomb, Gokor Chivichyan, Erik Paulson, and others from catch wrestling, jiu jitsu, and sambo). The goal is to have a repository of matches and instructional videos (old and new) for those interested in seeing leg locks in action and who find too much clutter on Youtube.
That said, here are some matches by Cummings. Keep in mind, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery--so, watch how experts use techniques and emulate them. Practice may not make perfect, but it will make one better in the end (which is all that can be asked for in grappling). That said, there will be a follow up post in a few days with videos of Cummings explaining his system and techniques. So, stay tuned! For now, I wanted to focus on Cummings in action on the mat--where all techniques are battle tested these days.
The matches can all be found below the fold!