Getting in Touch with My Inner Sambo Leg Lock Specialist

I was born in the former Soviet Union and lived half my life there. I’m thoroughly “Americanized” at this point, but obviously all the stereotypical Russian qualities must still be deeply a part of my genetics. All I have to do is unlock them, no pun intended. Surely, that includes the intrinsic knowledge of leg locks which are a central element of Sambo (a martial art of Russian origin).

In all seriousness, my knowledge of leg locks is nearly non-existent, and I feel that this is simply unacceptable for anyone looking to compete in high level no-gi events. I know a few fundamentals of defending leg locks, but am not at all comfortable doing so. Bottom line is it’s a big hole in my no-gi game and as a leg lock specialist (and facebook friend of mine), Reilly Bodycomb, says in this excellent interview, it’s a hole that should not be there.

For this reason, it was very cool when Sharon taught a calf slicer in Tuesday’s class. It was something like this:


I had a lot of trouble wrapping my mind around the technique at first. Given my advancing age, I sometimes have trouble figuring this youngster trickery out, but it eventually started clicking. I think that this attack could be effectively used on the way to taking the back with something like a rolling back take (that Ryan Hall, for example, likes to do).

0 thoughts on “Getting in Touch with My Inner Sambo Leg Lock Specialist

  1. Matt Canning

    I believe you’re referring to the drill for which we were partnered up. I agree — after over three years of training, my leg attack arsenal is embarrassingly empty. I also had a bit of difficulty grasping the smaller details, but I truly want to begin using it — it’s a creative way out of a turtle when a shin-across-the-calf prevents any rolling escapes.

  2. Eric Silverman

    Just oberserving the pic you choose for you leg lock post was one of someone getting thrown on their head. Perhaps the man in red is planning to follow up his throw with the dreaded “ankle lock on the unconsious man with a broken neck”?

    1. Lex Post author

      Your insightful critique always cuts to the core of whatever B.S. I put up on here. Thanks Eric for keeping me honest (you sob 😉 )

      I actually didn’t find a sambo leg lock picture to my liking. All the good ones were either from MMA or ADCC (no gi grappling).

      1. Eric Silverman

        O come on now, let’s be honest. I think your Inner Russian Judoka is fighting to the surface. Which reminds me, I phoned the mother country and told them your primary technique is Ippon Seio Nage (Koga style). Temenov is boarding a plane first thing in the morning.


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