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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Anonymous said...

Man, I’m on the fence about this dvd. Stephan is awesome, but my boss, um, I mean my wife will freak if I spend almost $60 (with shipping) on it. Crap.

BJJ Dummy said...

Your boss should be understanding...
And while your at it, why don't you include a dummy? (Your wife will probably kill you for the extra $500. lol)

Nice post anyway. I had been using that DVD for a while now.