Dan Faggella is a No Gi Pan Am Champion at 130 pounds, and recognized expert in the area of Leg Locks in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Dan writes or Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, MMA Sports Mag, and more – and his FREE ‘7 Best Competition Leg Locks’ Training Manual can be found online at: http://www.bjjleglocks.com/7bestlegsv1
It’s safe to say that submitting a larger opponent is not the easiest task in the world. With the attribute of strength probably not being on your side in this situation, you have to rely on other things. There is definitely a certain philosophy when it comes to submitting giants. The overall and very broad philosophy is this: Play to your strengths, prey on their weaknesses, and use a lot of you against the little parts of them.
We must fight to attain and complete the concept of the “small target” submission which is attacking the smallest part of a limb or extremity, whether it is a tendon or ligament or an entire joint, while using the strongest parts of your own body. In simple terms, it’s using a lot of your body against a small part of their body. Along with the concept of initial snugness, this concept is very important. A great example of this would be the toe hold submission.
The Toe Hold
The toe hold involves attacking the small ligament that runs along the anterior lateral side of the foot, connecting the fibula to the smaller talus bones in the foot. Not to get super anatomical and nerdy on you guys, but the ligament is
called the anterior talofibular ligament. We can check out how to execute the toe hold in the video below.
So, as you can see, this is why the toe hold is the perfect example of a “small target” submission. We are targeting the small ligament in the foot while using the largest and strongest muscles of our upper body. I won my most famous match, Dan Faggella vs. the Giant, using the toe hold which you can check out the whole match breakdown here!
The Importance of Leg Locks
Lower body attacks are excellent against bigger opponents because most of them are indeed small target submissions, and involve using a lot of you against a little bit of them. We used the toe hold as an example above in the small target submission section, because it involves attacking a very small part of the foot with some of the strongest muscle groups in the body. As far as lower body attacks, the order is this, from most likely to submit to least likely: Heel hooks, toe holds, straight achilles lock, knee bars, calf crush. Out of these lower body submissions, sticking to the toe holds and heel hooks will give you the greatest chance of finishing because they involve using your strongest muscles against a small part of their body. Achilles locks will sometimes work, but just like with kneebars, you might face an opponent who is able to boot their leg through your grip and just eat the submission until they can fully escape.
I released my book BJJ Techniques for Beating Bigger, Stronger Opponents which has become an Amazon best seller. The book entails different stratagies, techniques, and drilling patterns that will turn you into a giant killer. If you are interested in learning more about the course check out this review on Science of Skill.com!