Leglock submissions are alive and kicking! It seems like lower body attacks will not go out of fashion soon and how else could it be, when time after time we witness their efficiency on the highest level in BJJ and submission grappling? Many practitioners have based their entire game on leglocks and try to enter heel hooks, knee bars, footlocks, etc. from everywhere! Today we are going to look at some of the grapplers who used leglocks successfully in recent competitions and even shook up the BJJ community with their submissions. Here is our Top 10 of leglockers in BJJ today:
10. Luis Panza
Panza is not your typical heavyweight. He implements the so called “small men game” in the higher weight classes as he tries to entangle everybody in 50/50 or some other leg engagement just to get the “Botinha”, a calf slicer, or a kneebar. More than 50% of his submission wins came of a leglock.
Panza trying to finish a belly down footlock at 2016 LA Grand Slam
9. Jon “Thor” Blank
We can’t do a leglock ranking without naming a 10th Planet representative. Jon Blank has brought a lot of attention to himself in 2019 with his unorthodox style and outstanding results. He managed to submit Adam Wardzinski, Rustam Chsiev, Roberto Jimenez with leglocks last year and he tested himself with the best -88kg. fighters at ADCC worlds.
Jon Blank finishing an inside heel hook on Rustam Chsiev at ADCC 2017, Photo:FloGrappling
8. Nicky Ryan
DDS`s youngest pro member is a fierce leg lock submission hunter who has scored some incredible victories with heel hooks and kneebars at submission only events and earned the respect of his opponents in last year`s ADCC Worlds. Nicky dives from leglocks from top when he is passing guard or uses leglocks for sweeping people, if he fails with getting the submission. He is just 18 years old and might be the very next big thing in grappling.
7. Aaron “Tex” Johnson
About 80% of the submissions of this American grappler are leglocks. Johnson is another example of a heavyweight fighter with a “small men game”and has been crushing his opposition in major IBJJF, submission only, and ADCC tournaments with heel hooks and straight footlocks. Felipe Pena, Jackson Sousa and Ben Hogkinson are just a few of the names he forced to tap with a leglock.
6. Ross Nicholls
The one and only European competitor in this ranking is Ross Nicholls. He is a black belt under Roger Gracie, but his game is not and Old School one. The brit is a skillful leglocker who combines multiple attacks at a time and sees the opportunity to get on a leg from everywhere. He made his way to ADCC Worlds with several heel hooks at ADCC European Trials 2018 and has proven himself at many submission only events on the Old Continent.
Ross Nicholls looking for a leglock entry against Gianni Grippo, Photo:Jay Chow/Figure 4 Promotions
5. Eddie “Wolverine” Cummings
Not really competing much, but definitely remembered with his technically sound and precise leg attacks is Eddie Cummings. He is a black belt under John Danaher (now representing Unity Jiu Jitsu) and one of the best featherweight submission only guys out there. He is 2x EBI champ, a Polaris Superfight winner and ADCC vet. Around 70% of his submissions are leglocks which makes the “Wolverine” one of the most feared leglock specialists today.
Eddie Cummings trying to enter a leg attack on Augusto mendes, Photo:Polaris
4. Garry Tonon
Garry Tonon has proved himself as an excellent leglocker not only in grappling, but also in MMA. This fearless grappler has executed various leglocks on the most elite level and has traded leg attacks even with Rousimar Palhares himself! Risking it all just to get the leglock, Tonon has found a lot of success and has won an ADCC bronze medal and numerous victories at submission only events.
3. Gordon Ryan
The 3x ADCC gold medalist may be the best heavyweight leglocker ever. His cross ashi garami entry is exquisite and he has found the path to many victories with kneebars and heel hooks from there against high level opposition. About 30% of his submissions are leglocks and King Ryan has found a way to use them not only to get the finish, but to set up sweeps or initiate a scramble and get to the back.
2. Craig Jones
Craig Jones has been on a tear lately and has been dominating his opposition with all sorts of leglocks. The Australian born grappler reached the final of ADCC 2019 and won numerous submission only battles with relentless leg attacks. More than 50% of his submissions are lower body ones and he has managed to submit big names with his heel hooks, toe holds, kneebars and Caio Terra footlocks. Just a week ago he used an inside heel hook to break Vinny Maghalaes`s leg who has been living and dying by the “Leglocks don’t work” motto.
Another Australian grappler is our number one! Lachlan Giles won a bronze medal in the absolute division at ADCC 2019, but might very well be the biggest winner of the entire competition! He submitted three heavyweight fighters in one day (Mahammed Aly, Patrick Gaudio and Kaynan Duarte) and made the crowd roar with his Rocky style performances. Being outweighed by more than 20 kilograms he proved once again that smaller guys can beat bigger guys by using proper techniques. His massive success made him a superstar and now he is selling a lot of DVD instructionals and is doing seminars all over the world. Giles really has a lot to show and has a deep understanding of 50/50 attacks and defence and even in his fight Gordon Ryan backed away from leg entanglements in their fight at ADCC.
The Leg Lock Anthology: 50/50 by Lachlan Giles.
- Learn the never before seen submission system that shocked the world at The ADCC 2019.
- ADCC Absolute Medalist Lachlan Giles teaches the full leg lock system behind one of grappling’s most legendary performances.