GB Technique : IBJJF Legal Leg Locks

This week on Gracie Barra Blog we are looking at some leg lock techniques and strategies that are legal in the IBJJF competition rule set.


Leg locks have become increasingly popular with jiu-jitsu and grappling competitors with more no-gi submission only events in the last several years.


It is important to understand that each competition has its own rule set and leg locks that are allowed under one rule set may be prohibited under a different rule set.


For gi competition, the IBJJF is the predominant rule set and heel hooks are illegal (at all belt levels) with straight foot locks, knee bars and toe holds allowed at different belt levels.


If you compete, it is your duty to understand what is legal and what could get you disqualified before stepping onto the mats!



Let’s take a look at some more advanced variations of IBJJF Legal Leg Locks as demonstrated by some of the best Gracie Barra black belt instructors.


1) One Leg X To X Guard Footlock 
This entry to the legs through the Single X by Prof. Dave Weber is a great way to attack the straight footlock from the bottom position.

2) Opponent’s Closed Guard Straight Footlock / Chave De Pé Na Guarda Fechada
Prof. Carlos Liberi shows how to enter into the footlock by surprising your opponent with a quick step over into the submission without even breaking the closed guard.

3) X-Guard to Kneebar / Transição da Guarda-X para a Chave de Joelho
In this setup, your opponent attempts to escape the X-Guard hooks by turning away and exposes their leg to the knee bar entry.

4) Knee bar and Straight Footlock From Guard
The Estima brothers – Braulio and Vitor Estima share some variations on knee bar and straight footlock. Note the different leg configuration that Prof. Victor uses that is different than the normal ashi-garami but is still IBJJF reaping-rule legal.

5) Knee Shield To Toe Hold
The toe hold is seen in the upper belt categories and combines well with other leg attacks when the opponent attempts to counter by twisting or turning out.

See also on Gracie Barra : 5 Must Know Guard Passes




Credits: Mark Mullen

Gracie Barra Black belt based in Asia

Instagram: markmullen.bjj