Leg locks are among the trickiest subjects in BJJ. There are many BJJ professors that forbid their use due to the fact that they can be dangerous. But then again, there are many professors that actively promote their use. The fact is that they can be a devastatingly effective weapon if you learn how to use them properly. One of the most effective moves in this sense is the Estima lock. This lock was originally created by Victor Estima, one of the biggest names in the world of BJJ. So, it goes without saying that this is a highly effective move. Below you will find out some more information about how you can execute this move properly and effectively.
Setting up the Estima Lock
There aren’t many positions that come naturally when it comes to executing the Estima lock. You can do it while drilling your BJJ moves but in a real sparring or a real match, you may find it difficult to get it. The most widely used positions to perform this move from are the top half-guard, the position when your opponent is in reverse De La Riva, and the 50/50 position. These are the main positions from which you can execute this move – but this is not to say that you won’t be able to perform this move in other ways. It’s vital that you keep your eyes opponent while you wage battle in BJJ so that you can find ways to implement various moves effectively.
Performing the Estima lock
In order to do this lock, you will need to grab your opponent’s foot near your belly. Again – this is the main reason as to why the 50/50, reverse De La Riva position, and the top half-guard positions are so effective for this move.
If you find your opponent’s foot pushing your hip for any reason, your first instinct should be to grab it with your arms. And the way to grab it is to put a rear naked choke on the foot. By doing this move you will have all you need in order to perform the move. The rest is a matter of technique and leverage.
Even though the foot is very vulnerable when you’re performing this move – it doesn’t mean that you should get sloppy with it. There are many ways to get it wrong. The most common fault that BJJ practitioners have when doing this move is that they try to “yank” the opponent’s foot out. They try to lift it up. This is not the way you should perform this move.
What you should do instead is raise your outside elbow while using your belly to push down on the foot. At the same time, you need to use your arm to pull – do this without moving your entire body. The Estima lock should work with your upper and lower body being completely stationary. If you do it properly, it will result in an inevitable tap out.
A good way to learn more about this move is to see the master at work. Check the video of Victor Estima performing this move in the video below
Caution against overzealousness with the Estima lock
Whatever it is that you do, do not try and do this move all the way. Especially while sparring and drilling. Of course, it’s your opponent’s responsibility to tap out in time if he feels pain. But you will see that there are many BJJ practitioners that really don’t want to tap out no matter what – until it’s too late. The Estima lock is definitely not a joke. If you perform it properly and all the way, you will put your opponent’s foot under a tremendous strain.
This is very much different from the straight foot lock, for an example. While it’s true that the straight foot lock can also result in a bad injury – the straight foot lock works by overextending the foot in a direction where it’s “supposed” to move. Well, the Estima lock doesn’t care much for this, really. It bends the foot in a direction it really isn’t supposed to move, and this is what makes this move very dangerous.
So, no matter where you perform this move, always make sure to perform it with caution. Don’t test your opponent’s limits. Terrible things may happen if you do to this move to the very end.
Estima lock is a very effective move to add to your arsenal
The Estima lock is a very dangerous move that can be devastatingly effective if you perform it right. However, this is not a move that can be executed from many positions that come around often while you grapple. However, we still think that it can hold a valuable place in your BJJ arsenal. Make sure that you give it a try (with full caution) and see if it’s a move that you think can work out for you.
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- Toe Hold in BJJ: How to do, defend and why it can be dangerous
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