Understanding Heel Hooks

Arguably the most damaging submission hold across all grappling styles, the heel hook works by isolating your opponent’s femur and rotating the tibia beyond its normal range of motion. In addition to attacking the ligaments in the knee, certain variations of the heel hook also attack the ligaments in the ankle. Biomechanics of the heel …

Understanding Shoulder Locks

The shoulder, or glenohumeral joint, is the most mobile joint in the human body which may explain why it is an ideal joint to attack for offensive joint locks. There are a variety of submissions that attack the vulnerable joint: kimura, americana and omoplata. It is crucial to understand the kinesiology of the shoulder joint …

Biomechanics of the Toe Hold

A toe hold is a leg lock that attacks the ankle. The submission involves torque force combining plantarflexion and inversion motion to the ankle which often results in ligament sprain. With sufficient force ligament rupture and ankle dislocation can occur. This leg lock primarily attacks two joints simultaneously that make up the ankle. 1. Talocrural …

Kneebars Explained

A kneebar works primarily by causing hyperextension of the knee (tibiofemoral joint). The average person will have around 5-10 degrees of extension and any more motion will challenge the soft tissue and ligamentous structures. Secondary mechanism of injury from a kneebar is posterior translation of the tibia on the femur. Structures that limit hyperextension: Ligaments: …

Grappler’s Guide to Knee Reaping

Knee reaping is a very controversial topic in the jiu jitsu community and is illegal in many BJJ tournaments, such as IBJJF. What is knee reaping? Knee reaping is a control position where the attacker’s foot crosses the hip/midline during a leg entanglement. The reason that this position is illegal is it can cause the …

Kinesiology of the Armbar

The armbar, arguably the most iconic technique in grappling, is a submission that involves hyperextension of the elbow joint (humeroulnar joint). While there are two other joints around the elbow region: 1. humeroradial 2. radioulnar joint After years of grappling many martial artists may lose a bit of range, but the average person should have …