This Heel Hook Setup Will BLOW YOUR MIND!

no gi submission Dec 25, 2020

The Leglocks may be your new best friends in BJJ – they're just waiting for you to take them under your wing! For, indeed, you have learned a ton of submission holds for the upper body... But why not expand your offense with a couple of really effective lower-body attacks, right?
The Heelhook, in particular, is a particularly powerful technique. When you learn how to set it up, you'll gain an extraordinary amount of respect from your teammates and opponents alike.

And, honestly, there probably isn't a better person to learn Heelhooks from other than Rousimar "Toquinho "Palhares. Let's take a look at his demonstration of a rapid and effective Heelhook setup from Top Half Guard!



Now, if you're feeling a bit of aversion towards Heelhooks and Leglocks in general, don't freak out; it's completely natural. That is, it's seemingly much easier to attack the upper body. Most of the time is spent engaging with it by fighting for grips, the position, or the submission. Additionally, some BJJ academies choose not to teach their students (especially the white and blue belts) Leglock techniques. It's simply not a part of their curriculum.
And lastly, but very importantly, the upper body submissions also seem to possess many more attack variabilities. You can go for the opponent's neck, his shoulder, elbow, and even his wrist if you're a wristlocker!

All these perspectives are valid enough. But, while being good at upper body submissions is a must, the Leglocks shouldn't be disregarded either! They offer so much more than you may think and could turn you into an even better Jiujiteiro than you are right now.
Just imagine this scenario: You are about to roll or compete against an opponent that is bigger, stronger, more athletic, and more skilled than you are. What are your chances of success? Slim to none? This is where leg-locks become your only chance of turning the odds in your favor. 

The exciting world of Leglocks is full of opportunities, and once you enter, your game will never be the same again. All it requires a change in mindset, a new way of looking at how to approach. Jiu-Jitsu's traditional philosophy is to pass the legs and obtain upper body control either from the side, the mount, or the back. However, if you approach with a mindset focused on the legs, you don't even have to pass the guard! With an offensive leg lock game, even if your leg locks might not work against a more advanced opponent, he or she will be forced to pay attention to the legs, which in turn opens up for guard passing.  



If you've made that leap of faith into the Leglock world, then figuring out how to get the Heelhook from all sorts of positions should be one of your most important steps. For example, from Top Half Guard!

In the video above, Rousimar "Toquinho" Palhares explains a simple and effective setup for attacking a heel hook from the top half guard. First of all, there has to be some distance between you and the opponent to make it work. You should further enforce this distance by not allowing the opponent to get the under-hook on you... If they go for it, Toquinho advises you to push them back into the mats as firmly and as quickly as possible!

But here's the catch: the moment you push them back is the moment when you start going for your Heelhook!

Slide the bottom knee next to the opponent's hip, grab their knee on the outside, and pull their leg towards you. Use that motion to cross your other leg over at the same time. Plant your foot on the opponent's hip.

From here, to finish the technique, Toquinho explains that all you have to do is squeeze your knees tight and connect your hands with a Gable Grip.  With the opponent's heel deep inside your elbow, if you apply all of these points of pressure well – the foot on the hip, the knees, and the heel-grip – your tapping success rate will increase by tenfold!

Check out the heel hook setup from Rousimar "Toquinho" Palhares on the video above.


Visit the link below for more on Toquinho's Leglock submissions:


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