Mason Fowler Answers: How Do I Defend Leg Locks When Playing Guard?

by Team Digitsu
Updated: January 11, 2024
Mason Fowler Answers How to Defend Leg Locks When Playing Guard
Mason Fowler recently answered a question on ChampChat:

How do I prevent and defend leg locks when playing guard when the person on top is falling back to them?

The following are some of Mason's key pointers to prevent leg locks in guard.

1. Control Posture When Playing Guard to Prevent Leg Locks 

  You want to get into positions where your opponent can't fall back to leg lock you. For example, from closed guard, If you get chest-to-chest with your opponent, they'll never be able to ankle lock you.

Maintaining Chest-to-chest makes it impossible for your opponent to fallback to a leg lock

2. Heel Slip When They Overhook Your Ankle

When your opponent opens your closed guard, they might try to immediately to overhook your ankle.  They could try to finish standing or sit back from here to finish the ankle lock or transition to a different leg lock.

Immediately after they overhook your ankle, but before they sit back, Mason recommends:

  1. Immediately extend your hips off the mat to create space and relieve pressure.
  2. Rotate your knee externally to expose the heel.
  3. Pull your leg out to free the foot entirely.

Extend hips and externally rotate knee to free your ankle

3. Countering Once They Fall Back For the Leg Lock

Once your opponent falls back from the leg lock, Mason recommends immediately removing the foot off your hip.  This foot allows them to maintain the distance to finish the leg lock.  Once you clear their foot, lift your hips and bring your butt over that leg, making it much harder for them to finish.  Then you can continue to come out on top to pass or mount.

Clear the foot on your hip and hop over immediately

If they are going for a straight ankle lock, you should flex your foot at all times, making it much more difficult for them to finish the submission.

Flex your foot to make it harder for them to submit you straight ankle locks

Check out the full video answer below:

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