Maintaining Leg Control


Maintaining Leg Control

By: Dan Faggella is a BJJ Academy Owner, No Gi Pan Am Champion at 130 pounds, and recognized expert in the area of leg locks. Dan writes for Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, MMA Sports Mag, and more – find more of his leg lock articles and resources

Now that we have spent some time reviewing various leg locks, we should stop and ask ourselves: how does one get into a good position to obtain these leg submissions? Your knowledge of leg submissions is only as good as your ability to control and isolate the leg. In this section we will review the art of “Maintaining Leg Control”.

In the video Reilly tells us that our main goal is to control the leg and force the knee to face away from yourself. Ultimately, you want both of your feet under the leg in which you are not attacking. This will tie your opponent up, making standing and defending the submission impossible to do before they are forced to tap. If you are stopped by your opponent from getting to this position, simply turn him to his other side, work your leg under, and turn him back. Be sure to grab the ankle of your opponent’s free leg before turning to your other side, otherwise your opponent can simply stand up. Keeping them on the ground is key. From a standing position, your opponent will try to get both of your legs in front of him –this is bad news for you! There are too many leg attacks available to your opponent from here, so avoid this. Work to get both of your feet under your opponent’s free leg while on the ground and keep your limbs safe.


If you can feel that your opponent is pulling your legs to the front of his body while you are on the ground, and you are unable to get your feet under his free leg, simply roll towards the trapped leg, so that you are now on your stomach and finish with the Knee Bar.


In the video, Reilly also discusses what to do if your opponent gets up on his free shin. They may think they have alleviated some pressure, when in fact they have only dug themselves in deeper. As mentioned earlier in this article, one of your ultimate goals when attempting leg submissions is to get your opponent’s knee to face away from yourself. When they pop up to their shin, they are putting their leg into that position for you, making your job easier. Once his opponent is up on his shin, Reilly turns inward so that he is up on his knees with his head on the mat and his legs still isolating his opponent’s leg. He then posts one arm out and finishes the submission. If your opponent rolls you over again, so that you are both on your backs, you are simply right back where you started –trying to get both feet under his free leg.


Spend some time and work with these techniques; repetition will cause them to become second nature. Remember, your knowledge of leg locks is only as good as your ability to control the leg.

–Dan “Micro” Faggella

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