There’s no heel hook without a heel: A critical part of success in jiu jitsu is that of SEQUENCE. Most of the moves have preconditions without which the move simply will not work. As such, YOU MUST ALWAYS HAVE A CLEAR SENSE OF WHAT THOSE PREREQUISITES ARE AND HOW TO ATTAIN THEM. In the case of of my favorite moves, the heel hook, HEEL EXPOSURE is one of the critical prerequisites. If I cannot expose my opponent’s heel, any other leg locking skills I might have are worthless. As you deal with better opponents, they will also understand what the prerequisites to your favorite moves are; and they will fight to prevent you getting them. At this level, you will have to fight not only to the move you want, BUT EVERY PREREQUISITE STEP THAT MAKES THE MOVE POSSIBLE. Your journey to prepare yourself to win these battles will create depth in your jiu jitsu game. It will mark your rise from beginner to expert. No matter what your favorite moves are – research the preconditions that underlie them and make a serious study of those as well as the move itself. You will be rewarded with a move that you can upon even expert defense. Here, Garry Tonon opts to hook his opponent’s exposed heel even before he fully controls his opponent’s leg in an ashi garami – usually I prefer a tight first and work to expose the heel second, but reversing the order of operations can also be very effective in some cases, but in either case, KNOW WHAT YOU NEED IN ORDER TO GET WHAT YOU WANT.

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