Creating a leg system: When I first began work on leg locks it became clear that ashi garami Based locks were the most effective. Ashi garami is a generic term that simply means something like “entangled legs.” (An archaic version of it is even part of the old Kodokan Judo syllabus where is refers to one specific leg lock which is illegal in Judo competition) Really it refers to any where, at a minimum, TWO OF MY LEGS CONTROL ONE OF MY OPPONENTS LEGS. Because the the legs offer substantial means to control an opponent’s movement, they can be used as the basis of high percentage submissions. There were many different variations of ashi garami, each having its good and bad points. In time I came to believe that one of the most useful ways to help categorize and organize the was to make a division between three main versions of ashi garami that controlled the legs in ways that were importantly different.

– 1 Straight ashi garami
– 2 Cross ashi garami
– 3 ashi garami

Each of these three has a very different methodology of control and submission. As such, a big part of the ashi garami is to see that really it is three distinct but linked systems embedded within an overall leg system. Within each of the three main ashi garami systems there are many different variations of leg entanglement and of course, it is important that one should be able to transfer at any given time between the three. A big part of effective building comes from discerning the main methods of control and what directions they move towards. Then it is a matter of building infrastructure around those elements until you have effective solutions to the problems opponents create for you. Here, Gordon Ryan works on a variation of ashi garami that leads into very effective attacks on both legs.

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