Today we are going to see a calf lock from x-guard by Mike Cusi. He is a black belt under Roy Harris. He currently trains under Cobrinha. I just gave a seminar here at Stronghold Jiu-jitsu Academy in East Lake, San Diego.

A calf lock is a compression lock that involves pressing the calf of your opponent into your leg. The direction of your shin against your opponent’s leg acts as a fulcrum and determines where the pressure goes. This is a dangerous position so only advanced grapplers should use it. The calf lock is an illegal technique for the lower belt levels at most jiu-jitsu tournaments.

I know about calf locks from other positions but I had never seen this technique from x-guard. It’s a little complicated. However, once you get into this position then you can see how this submission is available.

Let’s see how he does it.

He starts in the x-guard. His opponent is on one knee and has one leg up. He can either have his opponent’s leg in the foot lock position or over his shoulder.

When he is rolling with heavier people he likes to put one foot on the inside of his opponent’s belly. This allows Mike to control the distance and push his opponent away when he is applying pressure.

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He also controls and pulls down on his opponent’s collar. This helps lighten his leg. By lightening his leg, it’s easier for Mike to slide one foot under his opponent’s ankle. Once he has done this he is able to grab his opponent’s foot and slide his leg all the way through. Now he is in the calf lock position.

It’s important that he drives his knee to the outside of his opponent’s knee. This creates more pressure on his knee. Mike also steps on his own ankle to help protect his knee and prevent a stronger opponent from driving in and bending his knee into an uncomfortable position.

Once he has this control he can play with his opponent’s balance and maybe sweep him. However, he usually reaches back and swings his opponent’s leg that is on his shoulder to the other side. He over-hooks this leg with his arm. Now he can release this leg and use both hands to climb and grip his opponent’s belt.

He uses some momentum and sweeps his opponent over. He can now post with one hand to help him come up to his knees. From here he can drive in and finish the calf lock or transition into the leg drag position.

This is a very cool position because he can get the sweep, submission, or the pass. There are many options from this position. I like the technique because when I tried to put pressure on Mike he easily controlled my balance by pushing with his foot on my belly. Then when Mike fished his foot under my foot I was completely off balance because he forced all my weight onto my knee.

When he stretched his leg all the way through into the calf lock position I felt in big trouble. Then when he came up he had many options and I felt there wasn’t much I could do to defend.

This is probably not a technique that you will apply right away. However, if you become familiar with the x-guard you will see the possibilities of this technique.

Here is the breakdown of the key points for a calf lock from x-guard by Mike Cusi:

  1. He starts in the x-guard with one foot on his opponent’s belly. He also controls and pulls down on his collar.
  2. This helps lighten his opponent’s leg so that Mike can slide one foot under his ankle.
  3. When, he grabs his opponent’s foot this enables him to slide his leg all the way through. Now he is in the calf lock position.
  4. He drives his knee to the outside of his opponent’s knee and he steps on his own ankle to keep his knee from bending.
  5. Then he reaches back and swings his opponent’s leg to the other side. Now he over-hooks the leg.
  6. He grips his opponent’s belt and climbs up. Then he sweeps his opponent over and posts his hand to come up.
  7. Lastly, he can now apply the calf lock or transition into the leg drag position.

I hope you enjoyed this video. Oss.

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