The straight ankle lock is one of the first leg locks that most of us learn. It’s relatively safe, easy, and legal for all skill and belt levels in most competitions. However, it can be hard to land on people with flexible ankles or good escape skills.
Luckily, the master of leg locks, Dean Lister, is happy to help you change that.
Lister has won dozens of fights via straight ankle lock, so it’s safe to say he knows what he’s doing. He recently came all the way to Pennsylvania to show some leglock-hungry students what he knows, and if you weren’t sure before, it immediately became clear that giving him any kind of access to your feet was the worst life choice you could possibly make. In this video, he teams up with Pride Lands BJJ Pittsburgh professor Lou Armezzani to demonstrate a couple of small details that could completely change your straight ankle lock game.
The best part about these tiny changes is that they’re all IBJJF-legal at all levels. In other words, you don’t have to reap the knee or do any twisting to get the other person tapping out within seconds. Even if you’re a white belt with very little leg lock experience, you can use this technique both at practice and in competition without having to worry about destroying your partner or opponent’s knee. Be aware, though, that a solid straight ankle lock can break your opponent’s foot, so if you’re on the receiving end of one of these, make sure you’re tapping in time.
Check out Lister’s fine-tuning on this popular submission, then try it out for yourself.