I am going to be reprinting some old classic entries from my previous blog called The Angry Grappler. It will chronicle the evolution in my understanding of martial arts.
05 January 2007 @ 06:52 pmAbout the Author:
I feel traditional open guard is dead. Ever since people became leg lock happy, the typical ankle around the hips, just chilling, waiting to work their way up high to an armbar or a triangle is over. If your closed guard opens, your feet have to either be on his hips, butterfly, sit up, shin to shin, or have a good control of his arm and head with like an overhook grip or a rubber guardish kind of grip. When you do that, it makes leg locks harder but guard passing easier. For the top guy then, he has to keep threatening with leg locks or guard passes. So leg locks had a short stint where really good guys were getting caught with them, now the balance is in order again with the chokes and armbars.
Look at MMA, people on the forums always ask why they don't see leg locks and how leg lock guys would kill in ADCC. Well the reason leg locks aren't so popular in MMA and high level competition is because of one reason I can think of. My old school Hayastan is one of the best leg lock schools around, both Shamrocks, Bas, and Oleg Taktarov all trained there. One of the guys there whos been around the game for a while told me something. People tap to leg locks in training, but they won't tap to it for money. WOW what an idea? Because your legs are dangly its easy to catch in a submission, but the flip side is, because it is dangly its easy to squirm out and spaz out of leg locks. You will either escape and get top which usually happens, or you will get your leg torn and still escape, or you will tap.
The best leg lock guy I've seen in MMA is Joe Stevenson and I haven't seen him catch anyone with it yet. Karo Parysian is actually better at leg locks than he is at throws, but you don't see him catching it in competition either.
I think submissions always is evolving and you can't have a passive open guard. Guards like Marcello Garcia, Shawn Williams, Shinya Aoki, Jeff Glover, Ryan Hall, Roger Gracie, those guards excite me. Using the leg locks as a threat to make positions open, that excites me. Old school Royce Gracie guard doesn't excite me. Old school Ken Shamrock leg locks don't excite me. There's a reason they keep losing. And its not just that they are old fighters, they have old moves. Thing I like about Roger is he's kind of retro in that he uses classic moves, but in new and inventive ways. Game keeps evolving whether people like it or not. I hate when people see a new move and say thats been around for ages bla bla bla. Then I guess jiu jitsu hasn't changed at all since the Gracies invented it... Uh huh. That's plain illogical. You evolve martial arts, and now you expect it to stop?
Sam Y. is a Master Personal Trainer, Certified Nutritionist, Coach, Performance Enhancement Specialist, Corrective Enhancement Specialist, Yoga and Pilates instructor, and holds multiple certifications. He is also an avid Martial Artist, training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing, Boxing, and MMA. He is also the author of the popular fitness blog All Out Effort as well as the popular martial arts blog Inner BJJ. You can find him in the Los Angeles area personal training his clients, or at home annoying his wife, or on Facebook at his personal fitness page.