Newer Female Grapplers, Learn Leg Locks, Defeat Superior Opponents, Andrea Piacquadio photo

June 17, 2022,

Sometimes it is the last resort. Thus far, these submission attempts have been thwarted.

The headlock.


Rear naked choke.

Guillotine choke.

Body scissors.


When all else fails, consider the leg lock. Or joint lock if you prefer.

Your opponent doesn’t have muscles on her ankles so if the two of your heads are on opposite ends of your struggle, learn how to use a leg and ankle lock.

We have seen the lesser skilled female grappler score a number of submissions doing it this way, utilizing the above, where the other grappler may be stronger or higher skilled than her.

A leg lock is a joint lock that is directed at joints of the leg such as the ankle, knee or hip joint.

An appropriate and effective application of locks on any of the three could get you what you desire.

A tap out.

A leg lock which is directed at joints in the foot, is sometimes referred to as a foot lock and a lock at the hip as a hip lock.

Not sure this is what Foot Locker had in mind when they came up with their brand name and logo.

Leg locks are featured, with various levels of restrictions, in combat sports and martial arts such as Sambo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, catch wrestling, mixed martial arts, Shoot wrestling and female submission wrestling.

The painful technique has been seen across a wide range of different combat sports and is reportedly over 2,500 years old, having been seen in the lost art of Pankration in the original Olympic Games.

As with other joint locks, leg locks are more effective with full body leverage.,

Some female MMA grapplers attack the large joints of the knee or hip and involve utilizing leverage to counteract the larger muscle groups, while others directly attack ligaments in the knee or the smaller joint of the ankle.

Pick whatever works best for you.

We’ve seen that the ankle lock is the easiest to catch your opponent off guard with and apply.

She may think you are locking up her legs to prevent her from scissoring you and before she knows it, you are applying a painful ankle lock.

An ankle lock, occasionally referred to as a shin lock, is a leg lock that is applied to any of the joints in the ankle, typically by hyperextending the talocrural joint through plantar hyperflexion.

Ankle locks are often applied in a manner which simultaneously causes a compression lock to the achilles tendon, and sometimes also to the calf muscle.

Leg locks can involve control positions such as the inside leg triangle or leg knot to maintain control while applying the attack or transitioning between two attacks.

Some other leg lock control positions have been adopted into modern BJJ and submission grappling competitions as “guards” such as the snake guard, one-legged X-guard, and 50/50 Guard, where they are used for both leg locks and to reverse into dominant positions from the bottom.

Very important. In training or sparring, leg locks are applied in a slow and controlled manner, and are often not hyperextended such as in the case of the comparatively dangerous heel hook.

Always remember, in competitive female submission wrestling, especially in an industry where most of know one another, your goal is to gain the tap out and absolutely not injure your opponent.

The more you practice the techniques and not apply them recklessly, the better for all involved.

Excessive force leg locks can cause muscle, tendon and ligament damage, even dislocation or bone fractures.

Those were our thoughts.

Let’s turn to some experts.

We love suggestions and directions in book form. You can review them over and over again.

Vital Leglocks: 65 leglocks for jujitsu, judo, sambo and mixed martial arts Paperback

By Steve Scott (Author)

“Learn to apply 65 essential leg locks for jujitsu, judo, sambo and mixed martial arts. Coach Steve Scott teaches you the keys to successfully applying lower body submission techniques and getting your opponent to tap out.

Vital leg locks is divided into the three major categories of lower body submission skills: ankle and foot locks, knee locks and hip/upper leg locks. Learn to successfully use ankle locks, toe holds, heel hooks, knee locks and bars and knee cranks in a variety of grappling situations, including as counters to common holds.

In addition to learning how to set-up and apply fundamental leg locks, Coach Scott shows you how to defend against common lower body attacks, master the concept of leg wrestling, actively control the match and use leg locks strategically to get the win.

Leg locks in Vital Leg locks include: Straight Ankle Lock, Gator Roll Ankle Lock, North-South Ankle Lock, Scissors Ankle Lock, Standing Heel Hook, Saylor Heel Hook, Rolling Heel Hook, Ankle Crush Toehold, Bent Knee Lock, Straight Knee Lock, Cross-body Knee Lock, Rolling Knee Lock, Outside Knee Jam, Double Leg Knee Jam, Bent Knee Crank, Banana Split, Boston Crab, Grapevine…”

Exceptional. Very good to know.

Let’s look at one more from a visiting writer.

Encyclopedia of Leglocks: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (Encyclopedia of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) Paperback – October 25, 2006,

By Rigan Machado

A world Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion and trainer of many top Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighters, Rigan Machado reveals the techniques, training, and strategy for dominating and submitting your opponent with leglocks.

Time-tested in real competition, Rigan’s book is considered by many experts as the ultimate guide to leg lock submissions, and a “must read” for all Submission fighters. It includes hundreds of photos and comprehensive information that will vastly improve the practitioner’s ability to finish the opponent with devastating leg locks. This unbeatable volume is the only book you’ll ever need to learn the leg locks submissions for Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu…

Well there you have it.

It is not a complicated hold to learn.

We are certain that adding the often surprising leg, ankle and shin lock will up your submission game substantially. It will increase your ability to stay in a match with a female grappler who has higher skills in other submission techniques.

Always remember, she has no muscles down there.

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OPENING PHOTO, Andrea Piacquadio photo