BJJ Black Belt Leigh Remedios has created a BJJ tutorial aimed at those who are new to leg locks and want a very easy to understand gentle guide to heel hooks. To help illustrate the techniques, he has enrolled his wife Sam, who has never trained heel hooks before and has very little jiu jitsu experience. My video review above talks in more detail about the tutorial.
You can get Leigh’s tutorial at the Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood website here.
When you buy the video, you receive a single 40 minute long file. There are no chapter listings so I’ve taken the time to write them down for you here:
00:00 – Introduction
00:42 – What is a heel hook? Leigh explains you need to lock upper leg and rotate the lower leg which rotates the knee joint – the knee only hinges. Importance of knee line.
02:05 – Defending the heel hook – knowing the defence helps you improve the attack. Rollout, heel slip, toe slip, pummel & extract
04:20 – Inside vs Outside heel hook, this is where Sam has her first attempt at heel hooking – demonstrates that inside heel hook is easier to secure. Leigh uses a simple principle – to lock his legs to the same side that heel hook is being placed. Hence, outside heel hook uses outside ashi, inside HH uses inside sankaku. He shows how outside HH offers weaker defence when uke stands up in base compared to inside HH. I like the text bullet points.
09:39 – hand wrist & elbow positioning – grips! Sam’s feedback is very interesting to hear, you can see first hand why we prefer to do certain things over others. For example, positioning on the forearm, Sam tells us which grip variation feels best and tighter and less liable for Leigh to escape.
14:59 – Breaking Mechanics. Leigh’s three point plan on how the HH works when placing your legs and arms around their leg to make the break effective. Sam gets to try it – safely ie without hooking the heel – this is good drill to practice the other parts of the submission’s position. She still shows how effective it is once you dial in the other components.
18:38 – Heel Exosure (3 methods) – Leigh covers double trouble, elevating the far leg, Head post to turtle (ish) and roll back.
22:43 – Leigh suggests these entries single Leg X from the top and from the bottom are the best ones for complete beginners to start with. At this stage Sam tries everything shown so far and attacks Leigh starting from the top to SLX and getting the HH.
28:33 – Safely training HH. Leigh encourages catch and release once secured for the attacker. And of course reminding defender to tap once they understand that HH is secured.
30:59 – Advanced Entries. Sam disappears for this one as Leigh introduces the segment on getting HHs from a kneebar.
32:05 – Kneebar entry from the bottom. Leigh does this from half guard bottom, using a frame below uke’s armpit.
33:44 – Kneebar entry from the top. From top half guard, Leigh briefly mentions the Sakuraba version but the one he likes is the back step. Leigh doesn’t show the kneebar, he assumes you know how to do it already, and therefore doesn’t go into detail on how to shift your body position between kneebar and saddle.
34:55 – Reverse X to saddle. Leigh talks about his backstep concept [see his FB video]. Once you understand that the backstep applies to all sorts of other scenarios, it makes the reverse X easier to understand. It’s the best I’ve seen taught online (show how Craig or other teaches it).
37:39 – 50/50 into backside 50/50.
40:00 – False Reap. A good example of Leigh’s backstep concept in action. He shows Polaris clip.
I like the way the tutorial is set up with Leigh’s partner Sam, who is brand new to heel hooks, attempting to learn the technique and the concepts that Leigh is teaching. This way, we viewers get to learn the techniques along with Sam. It’s a clever way to receive new information without the repetitive nature of a single person dispensing visual and verbal instruction.
I like that the latter chapters have more advanced techniques which gives the learner something to aspire to as they develop their leglock game.
If you’re new to leg locks then Leigh’s tutorial is a great introduction. I also highly recommend the following introductory tutorials that present wider aspects of the leg lock ‘meta’: