The Modern Leg Lock Game in MMA

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I saw a recent video clip of Eddie Bravo this morning.

In that clip, he talks about the current status of grappling in MMA…

… in relation to the modern leg lock game.

He brought up Ryan Hall and Garry Tonon as excellent examples of integrating high-level leg lock attacks in MMA.

The majority of MMA fighters may not know how to defend more complex leg locks. So, Eddie predicted that leg lockers would do well against those MMA fighters who aren’t prepared enough.

You can’t just do leg locks and win in MMA, as you would need to be reasonably good at everything else.

But the way Eddie talked about leg lockers made me think of how BJJ was in the early days of MMA…

… when BJJ black belts were still rare outside of certain places.

And this is happening within BJJ as well. Even some of the elite BJJ players who mostly compete under the IBJJF rules may not be fully aware of how the modern leg lock game works.

It would be interesting to see what happens when heel hooks are allowed for brown & black belts in the no-gi IBJJF ruleset from the next year.

I’m inclined to think that those elite BJJ players will probably catch up quickly enough, though. The same thing happened to moves like berimbolo, 50/50, worm guard, etc.

We all had to figure out how these moves work. They are becoming more common, and counters/escapes to these moves are becoming more established.

This is how our grappling sport evolves, after all.

You will always have opportunities to learn new things when you’re on this grappling journey.

Keep your mind open and keep learning.

p.s. Here‘s the Eddie Bravo video I mentioned in the beginning.