Sergio ‘Babu’ Gasparelli Breaks Down How You Can Hit The Calf Slicer In A Live Match!

In the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world, there are certain things we as grapplers tend to favor in terms of passes, sweeps, takedowns, submissions, etc.  I, myself, LOVE me some leg locks!  While I understand that they can be met with some criticism, I feel as if they are a super effective way you can end a match.

One submission hold that has gained some steam over the past year or so has been the calf slicer.  Not long ago the move was in a UFC match by a Brazilian fighter by the name of Charles Oliveira.  The man they call “Do Bronx” sent the casual MMA world abuzz with this move, and many have been dying to learn it ever since.

Luckily, today I’m here to share a great breakdown of the technique by the iconic Sergio ‘Babu’ Gasparelli.  A coach to the who’s-who in the BJJ & MMA world, Babu is arguably one of the most knowledgeable grapplers in the world. He has released a course of his top moves called the “Mastermind Series”, check out my full review of the course here and the actual course itself here!

Don’t believe me?  Just ask some of his students such as Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, Rashad Evans & Frank Mir.  But we’re not here for name dropping; we’re here for some calf slicers!

Easily Executing The Back Take

Before you can hop on the mat and begin attacking the legs of our foes, we must first understand the proper setup.  As opposed to most leg locks in which you can pull guard to begin your attack; you must first obtain the back for the calf slicer to work.

Let’s take a look at our setup:

  • As we began working our ground game, our opponent turned up to their knees.
  • To keep them in place, we then want to align our leg with their leg.
  • Taking our leg we are posting on, we want to replace it with the current leg in place, and make sure that one leg on the back of the knee, and the other goes to the ankle.
  • While we obtain a grip on their neck, we want to make sure that everything is nice and snug.
  • With the end in sight, you’ll want to roll over so that your back is on the mat.
  • From here, their leg should be trapped in the hold, and all you have to do is apply pressure for the submission.

How To Defend Against The Calf Slicer

It’s always good to play the “what if” game with submissions holds, such as, “what if your opponent goes for the calf

Calf slicers are a devastating leg lock

Calf slicers are a devastating leg lock

slicer?!”  Well, Babu has a quick calf slicer defense tip for you!

  • Make sure you stay firm with your leg; don’t let them control it!
  • As they look to step over and control your leg, open your hips up…almost like the equivalent to the sprawl.
  • This should lead to them losing their grip.
  • Be patient and wait for your opening to escape.

If you’re still a little unsure, take a look at the video and watch it yourself!

Dan Faggella

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