Executing The Tricky Imanari Flying Leg Lock Attack

If you are familiar with the name Imanari, chances are high that you’re replaying some of his most infamous leg locks in your head as we speak.

Known for his brutal finishing ability, Imanari has made his name by becoming the king of leg locks in MMA!

With a wide range of submission finishes by way of leg locks, there are plenty of highlights to his career.  Today, I’ll take a closer look at one of his more unique—and challenging—leg lock setups.

The move calls for great coordination and finishing ability.  If you aren’t comfortable working for awkward positions and risking yourself by making challenging movements, this isn’t for you.

If you like awesome leg locks, then this is right up your alley!

Contorting Your Body For The Proper Setup

I won’t lie, this move is a very unique setup that calls for great focus and attention to detail.  One slight misstep can lead to issues, especially given the position that you be will landing in.  The setup—in real life—stemmed from a failed head kick attempt, but we’ll break it down assuming there was no kick attempted.

As we begin the setup, we’ll assume that our opponent isn’t in immediate striking distance.  Just a little further than an arm length away, our focal point of this attack is their lead leg.  The initial beginning to this move is to swing our back leg out in front of us, almost as if we are performing some sort of dance move.

This will cause our hips and upper body to rotate, beginning the spiraling motion we’ll soon be making towards the lead leg of our opponent.  As we do this, we’ll want to make sure that our right arm makes a corkscrew type of motion as well; as this will be the hand we grab the foot of our opponent with.

Once you land, you’ll be in an inverted position, with your body pressing up against the leg of your opponent.  This is exactly where you want to be!  To key here is to keep everything tight, and knock your opponent down to the mat.

Leg Lock Variations To End The Match With

Now that we have attacked and isolated the lead leg of our opponent and brought them to the mat, we’re firmly in the driver’s seat!  From this position, there are a couple of ways we can go about ending the match.

The most readily available leg lock submission will be the knee bar.  In fact, if done properly, you should have pretty much fallen right into it!  This will be your easiest option to execute, given the availability; however, it isn’t your only choice to go with.

If you want to apply a move that you know will end the match, then you can bypass the knee bar all together.

While maintaining the hold you have on the leg, by simply rotating your legs up towards the ceiling, you are now putting yourself in the position to go for a heel hook.  By rotating the hips, you are making sure that the leg is still in place without compromising the hold.

This movement will expose the heel, thus allowing you to apply the grip, and finish off the hold, and likely earn the submission victory! Want 2 Leg Locks that will absoultely crush your opponents? Check out this other blog post! 


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Dan Faggella

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