Beginning the Week of Leg Locks with a Bang!

Friday, April 25, 2008

I just had the pleasure of watching Stephan Kesting's "High Percentage Leg Locks".

I've said this before, but it bears saying again, Kesting, much like his Jeet Kune Do brethren is an analytical master.

It's guys like Kesting that while I may never meet in person, let alone train with, take my game to a new level with each professionally produced instructional.

So, enough hero worship, let's get down to business.

Much like every DVD from the production quality is top notch, menus are clean and well laid out, content is organized and very easy to navigate, and the video is clearly filmed with professional grade equipment.

The content? Consider this a tour-de-force on Leg Locks broken down as follows:

Introduction and Principles

Just like it sounds, a very well laid out introduction to leg locks. Kesting outlines the mechanics, positions, mistakes, and even spells out some of the potential dangers inherent to Leg Locks (in particular Heel Hooks).

Interestingly, one of the knocks on Stephan is his often times monotone voice and methodical delivery, in this section he shows a bit of his humorous side while covering some very serious topics. It's clear to me he's become very comfortable teaching to the camera.

Lastly, Kesting covers a common argument in the submission grappling and BJJ world, Leg Locks vs Guard Passing. While I won't spoil the experience by filling you in on his opinion, I think he sums it up very well.

Anklelock and Heel Hook Entries

Very interesting section, most of the Anklelock and Heel Hook entries I've ever seen have come from Guard Passing, however, Kesting puts together a more varied collection of entries here, including Side Mount, Escape from Mount, and Standing Clinch. While I will mention it again later, this section truly matches up with the content in "Dynamic Kneebars" perfectly. You could build a very effective leg lock game by blending and using entries from both DVDs.

Anklelock and Heel Hook Counters

This section is full of counters and re-counters. Let's take the most basic Anklelock escape, the hip hop. Kesting breaks down the hip hop counter, then provides three nice re-counters to the hip hop. It's material like this that really makes the DVD shine. If you've ever watched some of the old school Roy Harris VHS BJJ tapes (Hint: BJJ 101 Vol 3 - Leg Locks is coming up next), you'll notice how Kesting continues Harris's tradition of teaching in lock flows. This is something I wish more instructors would do, while techniques are nice, watching them in semi-live flows is extremely valuable.

I recommend watching this section a few times, you'll appreciate it.

Bonus Section: ToeHolds

Wow! This is a bonus section? I'd guess it's practically 1/4 of the DVD! That's a lot of material for a bonus section, and frankly worth every "bonus" penny. The Toehold seems to be gaining momentum in last few years in submission grappling circles and Kesting breaks down the ToeHold mechanics, then gives you 11 Entries and 5 Counters. Most of the entries are based off the ever useful rolling Toehold. I can attest to effectiveness of the rolling style entry, I've personally won more than a few sparing matches with that submission.


After watching this DVD I felt an immense need to go straight out to the gym, grab Harvey (The Grappling Dummy) and get to work. Good thing Harv's knees, ankles, and legs are made of heavy padding!

So, we've officially started the "Week of Leg Locks" with a bang, Kesting's DVD is just that good, perhaps he'll offer a package deal and sell "High Percentage LegLocks" with "Dynamic Kneebars", the two go together like peanut butter and jelly.

With those two DVDs under your belt you'll have an impressive array of lower body submission options.

Next up, we'll dust off the VHS Player for an oldie but goodie..

Until then, Train Smart and learn some leg locks!


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The Desert of the Real?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wow, this is truly a first for me.

Tonight I was walking into the class and I'll admit there was this guy giving me what I thought at the time was "the stink eye". First off I'm thinking.. hmm, do I know this guy? Did I injure him in a roll (not likely, he was 30+ lbs heavier than me) Is he just one of those people that doesn't like you for one reason or another? Who knows.

At least he didn't open with this gem.

Well then it got weird. He walked right up and said. "Hey, you write that blog right.. WhitecollarBJJ?"

I damn near fell over.

A READER! Hot Damn! This is amazing.

So we started talking, turns out he's a damn cool guy (which makes sense since he is a WhiteCollarBJJ reader!) he was impressed with the blog and we discussed the Week Of Leg Locks coming up.

So here it is, lesson for us all, the real world and the "digital" world do collide, and it's always nice when they do and bring solid stand-up people together.

Anyway, working up that Leg Lock material, keep posted, until then go train!


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When life takes priority...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hey guys and girls, wow, it's been a very full last few weeks.

I've been painting, putting down hardwood, and doing a handful of other home improvements, precious little time left for blog posts and training.

But, I do have a few things on the plate for the coming weeks.

I've been scouring the Internet to expand my book and DVD shelf for new Leg Lock material.

I do so love the leg locks.

So, look for a summary of the "good" materials here soon.

Thanks for being patient.


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Training Partner Appreciation Day?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Now here's an idea that crossed my mind today..

What about a Training Partner appreciation day?

Think about all those guys (and girls) that you have trained with over your career..

Some of them have pushed you to evolve your game, try new submissions, new escapes, new transitions.

Others have grown your conditioning by leaps and bounds through intensity and fierce competition.

I don't know what this is, but it looks like good conditioning.

Still others have gotten you to tap (perhaps frequently) and shown you that yes.. you are human and can lose.

Been there buddy, been there.

So, perhaps it's time to say "Thanks!" to all those who have helped make your game what it is today.

I hereby decree that April 4th is "Training Partner Appreciation day".

Next time you wrap up rolling or drilling, be sure to thank your partner, they deserve it.

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