Leglocks and Jiujitsu

Editor’s Note: Like a gentleman, the only time I ever touch feet is when I’m giving Marcellus Wallace a foot massage. But my good friend Lt. Col. Toehold goes for your feet like a submission-focused Rex Ryan. (Actually, maybe Rex Ryan is submission focused. Let’s not think about that too closely). Anyway, enjoy this guest post, and thanks to Lt. Col. Toehold for writing it. 

ADCC 2015. Thirty-three matches ended in submission. Nine of those were lower body submissions including six heel hooks, two toeholds, and one kneebar. Polaris 2 this weekend saw two incredible battles in Tonon vs. Imanari and Cummings vs. Bodycomb. Both matches ended in heel hook. Ryan Hall just won his way onto the Ultimate Fighter house by an Imanari roll to inverted 50/50, followed by a heel hook. Eddie Cummings won the Eddie Bravo 3 tournament, submitting the entire field with heel hooks.

Without a doubt, leg locks are the fastest growing set of submissions in the sport. They can also be the most dangerous because they are often misunderstood and hence not immediately respected.

I wanted to take the time to share some thoughts on leg locks. First off, let me clarify something. I’m a purple belt. Which means a couple things. Most importantly I’m early on in the learning process. This is important to understand because I’m not preaching years of advice. Rather, I’m explaining the path that I’m on in my education of leg locks. Second, I’m not even allowed to do leg locks in competition. This means my sage advice hasn’t even been tested in IBJJF competitions.

So why should you read further? Because I’ve made many mistakes. I hope you don’t make the same. Continue reading

Margarida, the Forgotten Champion

Have you ever seen the amusing video of a black belt explaining how jiujitsu movements equate to taking off tight clubbing jeans? Don’t worry, I won’t make you use Mr. Google:

Funny video, right? But today I was having a conversation with Jake Whitfield, who is a Royce Gracie black belt with a passion for jiujitsu history, and Jake mused that if you know the name Fernando “Margarida” Pontes these days, it might be because of this hilarious snippet. And that’s a crime.

(Full disclosure: a lot of the information in this post I got straight from Jake. So if you’re near Goldsboro, NC, go train with him, OK?)

Generations change. Some names remain prominent while others fade, and not always based on merit or accomplishment. On the basis of accomplishments alone, Margarida’s record speaks for itself. He was the first black belt to earn double gold at the worlds, and at that time was also the youngest absolute champion in history. BJJ Heroes calls him “one of the most accomplished and exciting fighters to have walked the Earth.”

Besides the gold medals, consider what Margarida’s aggressive, attacking style earned him.  For one thing — and think about how many times you’ll read the following words in this order — he submitted the legendary Fabio Gurgel:

He also tapped Marcio “Pe de pano” Cruz and Saulo Ribeiro, both in their respective primes.

If you’re part of the crowd that just wants to see highlights, don’t you worry: Margarida had an exciting and flashy game. Watch him stick his hand in the collar and make it a constant threat:

If technique’s more your thing, watch him teach the baseball choke here:

You can search YouTube and find full matches with Terere, Saulo, Xande, Roger and more that I haven’t linked here. It’s up to you to decide how to use your time.

But however you use it: don’t watch one amusing minute and think that’s all you need to see from one of the best ever.