Attn: Leglock experts; RE: Royler

(copied from the UG)

I'm curious to know the opinon or more appropriately an unbiased analysis of Royler's ankle lock attempts.
This is not a "who's better than who thread", but just a scientific observation. It could be fighter X and fighter Y for all I care. Look at the fight as two nameless fighters, and just provide some analysis of somethings that could have been done different.

For example, did you see any fundamental errors in terms of positioning or control?

Do any of you that are very proficient in ankle locks/leg locks think that Royler could have secured a lower extremity submission if he would have done some adjusting or perhaps had better control?

Of course in a MMA match--there are so many variables and I realize that anything can happen and strikes certainly change the game alot. I'm wondering though, if any of our resident ankle lock afficiandos could see any opportunites or strategy, positioning etc. that could have allowed Royler to secure the submission.


I just rewatched the video and here's some play-by-play on the ankle lock attempts. There were 4 legitimate attempts. Here's the first...

Attempt #1: Genki is in Royler's 1/2 butterfly guard. (Royler had shot in and then pulled back to guard, Genki lands in half-guard and Royler gets his left-hook inside to obtain the 1/2 butterfly). Royler initially has double underhooks and is holding Genki down and Genki's torso is postioned directly above Royler's torso.

Royler switches to an over/under hook combination--his left arm goes over Genki's right shoulder. At that exact moment, Genki capitalizes by posting with his right hand and raises up to a more erect posture.

Genki cups the back of Royler's head and pulls upward (can-opener style) and Royler reacts by raising up to a sit up position. He is up only for a fraction of a second and settles back down on his back while simultaneously overhooking Genkis' right calf/ankle with his own right arm.

As soon as Genki felt the overhook on his ankle, he immediately stands up. With space allowing now, Royler wraps his right leg around and over Genkis' left leg in an attempt to secure the leg. Genki completely stands up and spins around clockwise (to his right) while pulling his left leg free.

Both fighters spin counter clockwise and this skirmish ends with both fights back up on their feet.

This entire skirmish lasts exactly 11 seconds; from the 4:47 mark to 4:36, so everthing described above happended very quickly.

To continue on the tactical and technical theme. Tactically, Royler iniated this leg lock. I initially thought he was reacting to Genki pulling out, but after studying the clip dozen times it's clear to see that Royler actually was on the offensive. Genki was not throwing any punches at this point and Royler was relatively safe at the time of the attempted excecution.

Technical errors consisted of 1: Royler telegraphing his attempt by overhooking the ankle and 2: lack of positional control and going for the target of the submission first w/o having positional control that would allow for the isolation and immobilization of said target.

To say it simply, he went for submission over position.

As soon as Genki felt Royler overhook his ankle, he immediately reacted--he jumped up and spun around quickly, because he knew what was coming.

2nd attempt--coming up next.

Attempt #2:
Royler drops guard again and lands in Genki lands in the same position as in the first ground engagement. Royler has 1/2 butterfly guard and the double underhooks. Royler is holding Genki close, but Genki is in a semi-upright position.

Next, Royler will again initiate the ankle submission again--it is purely an offensive move--Genki is not throwing any punches or attempting any passes.

Royler pulls out his left arm and pushes Genkis chest to create a little space to adjust his left butterfly hook. Royler uses his left butterfly hook to push Genki away while also making him slightly rotate clockwise.

At the same time, Royler clears his own right leg around Genki's left leg. Royler posts his right foot on Genki's left hip--toes pointing up and out while keeping his left hook on the inside and back of Genki's right leg.

Royler drops back and overhooks the ankle, while Genki--sensing the attempt, posts on his right hand and stands up and slightly turned from Royler.

Royler begins to rotate the ankle and attempts the heel hook, but Genki rotates with him (still standing) and is able to pull away by posting both of his hands on the ground (he is now facing away from Royler) pulling himself free and then returns in the same direction face Royler.

Tactically, Royler was again on the offensive and definitely iniated the submission attempt. He was not under any fire nor in any danger when he initated his attempt.

Technically, I was able to find what I believe to be the biggest reason this attempt failed. Royler's knees were very far apart. Ankle locks and leg locks (like armbars), require you go squeeze your knees together and to immobilize your opponents knee.

By not doing this, Royler allowed for a very wide space from which, Genki could pull his leg free.

At one point, you can see that Roylers knees are open almost 45 degrees!

Another reason for the failed attempt, was that once Genki stood up, Royler did not adjust his left hook, to bring Genki down. It is very difficult to heel hook someone when they are standing up and you're on your back--especially in a MMA match.

If Royler would have pushed Genki's right leg out and from under him--he could have forced him to the ground and then recovered his hook position.

Overall, the biggest problem that I could see with the second ankle lock attempt, was the lack of control and immobilization of Genki's right knee--which allowed Genki the space to pull and spin away from Royler.

# 3 coming...

# 3 begins in almost the exact same position as the first two attempts. Royler has Genki in a 1/2 butterfly guard or 1/2 guard with 1 hook in.
For positional control of Genki's upper body, Royler is using and over/under hooking combination with his left hand over and right hand under.

Here's where things get interesting.

Royler uses the exact same setup everytime for ankle submission. 1/2 butterfly guard, adjusts left butterfly hook, overhooks ankle, swings right leg around and over etc.

Genki, at this point, is so well tuned to Royler's attack, that in this sequence, Genki times his escape so perfectly that Royler loses all control and position in less than a second.

Genki is up on his left knee and Royler is still overhooking Genki's right shoulder.

Royler then immediately overhooks Genki's left ankle and let's go of his own overhook. (same as in #2). Before Royler can push Genki with his left hand to create space--Genki explosively stands up and takes a small step out with his right leg and then clears his left leg from Royler's grasp.

This all happened extremely fast.

Tactically, I think this was Royler's first tactical error in regard of his ankle lock attempts. #3 seemed a little desperate and forced. There was never any legitimate danger to Genki, because no control was ever established.

Again, at this point, remember that this is the 3rd time that Royler has attempted the same exact submission, with the same exact setup and even on the same leg. Genki's sensory acuity is now at 100% regarding this particular setup. Genki is in no danger at all on attempt number 3.

Technically, the position or attempt never really materialized sufficiently to break down the bio-mechanics. The tactical error at this point prevented Royler from ever even getting close to making a successful attempt.

#4 next...

#4 was the "one of these kids is doing his own thing" ankle lock attempt of the match. (Remember sesame street?)
The #4 sequence begins right after Sudo jumps up and over Royler's legs in an attempt to clear them and pass guard.

Genki's right foot lands above Royler's left shoulder and Royler has an immediate UNDERHOOK of Genki's right ankle, calf area.

Royler has his right shin underneath Genki whith his right instep/shin hooking under Genki's right upper/inner thigh and groin area.

Genki starts to spin clockwise slightly and regains his balance. At the same time, he begins to raise up.

By the time Genkis stands up completely, Royler has an over/underhook combination on Genki's right leg. Royler's right arm is overhooking and palming Genki's right knee while Royler's left arm is underhooking the ankle, calf area.

Royler has figured 4'd his own legs around Genki's right leg. Genki is still in an upright position and Royler is on his neck and shoulders and is inverted upright.

Royler's figure 4 has his right leg on the outside of Genki's own right leg.

Genki throws a right punch directly down on Royler's face and Royler rotates clockwise. Genki throws another punch and Royler rotates slightly more. During the rotation, Royler uses some space to pass his head around Genkis's right leg and switches to an over hook grip on Genki's right leg with his right hand/arm.

After the rotation stops, Genki pushes down Royler's right leg which is across Genki's right leg.

Genki lands another punch and Royler looses the figure 4 grip, but re-crosses his legs immediately.

Royler again has his legs uncrossed and his right leg is extending far up on Genki's right side. Royler's left leg is pulled back slightly and is very loose--not really even making contact with Genki's leg.

At this point, Royler pulls his right leg back down and tries to hook it back inside of Genkis' right thigh. When he does this, his knees are so far apart, that Genkis literally just "soccer kicks" his own leg free.

From the momentum of the kick, Royler slightly rotates and Genki drops down to a side position on top of Royler.

Tactically, this attempt was definitely the reactionary one of the night. It all initiates with Genki jumping up and over onto Royler. The way Genki lands, Royler capitalizes by again trying to fight for a little positional control, but ultimately was unable to stabilize Genki.

Technical errors consisted of Royler again keeping his knees apart, at some points not even having contact with one leg and never being able to get Genki into a down position.

Again, the gap at the end was so wide that Genki was able to kick out of the position with relative ease.

In summary..

- # 2 was definitely the most legitimate and solid attempt.

- Royler was on the offensive and initated the sequence for 3 out of the 4 attempts.

- Technical errors consisted primarily of lack of control and not having a tight enough grip on Genki's target leg with Royler's own knees. The 2nd dominant technical error was allowing Genki to remain standing.

Keep in mind, this is just analysis of what happened and is not intened to judge anyone. This is an analysis of the bio-mechanics of the skirmishes.

Obviously, Genki and Royler are both world class, elite level atheletes and deserve respect for training so hard and competing at such an elite level.

Royler's attempts were basic and solid. but Sudo is a technical grappler and he had the position and skill to escape.

He could have gotten caught, but he didn't. Royler could have blocked the knee but he didn't.

shit happens. a fight is chaotic.

BIC, thanks for your feedback.

Yes, a MMA match has more factors involved for sure. Eating some leather can certainly change up your game.

I went through the skirmishes over and over again and what I was looking for specifically was what went wrong bio-mechanically?

I was hoping some of the Sambo guys on the board who saw the match could give some feedback on whether they saw any other strategical or technical errors that caused the failure of securing the submission.

I would love to comment but, don't have the video.

Steve: Email me

paradigmer: That was a very good and detailed review! Thanks for taking the time to write that.

Thanks Jonpal! It was very fun and educational to go through it like that.

There should still be a link on the UG for anyone who wants to watch it.

i just think it's a bad idea for a bjjer to go for leg locks on well rounded fighters, or japanese fighters, as they are usually good at leg locks. It never seems to work.