App Review: Legal Leg Locks by Roli Delgado

App Review: Legal Leg Locks by Roli Delgado

What do Rodrigo Cavaca, Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, and Roberto Cyborg Abreu have in common?  Other than the World titles, ADCC wins and Pan Ams medals?  They all trained foot locks with the same person: Roli Delgado.  Roli is a 2nd degree BB (Denilson Pimenta), student of Billy Robinson, and level 5 instructor of Hayastan (Max Bishop).  Legal Leg Locks for BJJ is about 90 minutes long and focuses primarily on straight ankle locks and toe holds.

Roli’s approach to teaching is very similar to Ryan Hall.  The app begins with a focus on applying the submission correctly with sound fundamentals.  Roli then delves into the concepts that you’ll need to make the most of these attacks.  The final few sections are details on how to adjust when the sub doesn’t work, how to escape when you’re the one in trouble and finally how to counter attack.  As always there is a PDF of the study guide available for download at the end of the article.  There’s also a video at the end of Roli teaching some attacks from the 50/50.


Technical Details:
The app is available from iTunes HERE for $29.99 and the Android App store HERE.  Audio and video are solid and comparable to most other newer video apps.  The techniques are taught from a single angle and when needed, Roli will move to show it to you from a different perspective.  Each chapter is played as a distinct entity and there is not a play-thru option (you have to pick a new chapter once the one you’re watching ends).  One chapter is mislabeled; Knee Bar Escapes is actually Knee Bar Fundamentals 1.  The only other nit-picky detail is that the chapters end a little abruptly.  This doesn’t take away from the info but makes it a little less polished.

“Don’t chase the ankle, have discipline”
“You cannot live and die by leg locks”
“Have good passing and fundamentals.  Good passing means good leg locks.”

This app is intended to expand your game to include leg locks, primarily straight ankle and toe holds.  Roli repeatedly warns the viewer about becoming seduced by the quick sub.  It may work in the short-term but it will not replace fundamentally sound jiu jitsu.  Everyone please read that again.  We all train with people that know a few leg locks but can’t pass a guard to save their lives.  Don’t be that guy/gal!

legal leg locks 

The Fundamentals and 50/50 chapters are the heart and soul of this app.  In this chapter you’ll learn how to properly grip the foot (you’re probably not doing it this way), where your legs need to go for maximum effect, drills to get you comfortable and finally some technique chains to show how it’s done in real life.  I watched this section several times and was able to immediately put some of it into play on the mats.  With a little drilling this will change your approach to straight ankle locks.

50/50 and Cross Leg Attacks:
Pure gold.  I get into 50/50 a lot because of my style of guard play and I’ve always hated it.  Invariably I stall for a bit and then just ask my partner if he/she wants to start over.  I dislike it so much that I intentionally avoid it (even when it’s the right thing to do strategically).  This chapter is easily digested (about 15 minutes long) and very practical.  The night after watching it one of my training partners and I started each round in 50/50 to test the waters.  In two rounds of rolling I subbed him with straight ankle locks, toe holds and an armbar (he was worried about his feet).  We both had fun from there for the first time ever.

Sweeps to Set Ups:
Roli explains details and concepts on how best to catch someone with a foot lock while working a sweep and when your opponent re-guards.  The sweep example used is the basic 1-leg X-Guard sweep but there are also options from passing spider guard and concepts that apply in other scenarios.  Again Roli emphasizes that you need to have good passes and that they should be from standing if you really want to be effective with your leg locks.Closing Chapters:
So what do you do when your opponent catches you?  A handful of escapes and offensive counters are shown in the Defense and Counter Offense section.  The final section shows some fundamentals for the knee bar and calf slicer.  The instruction is pretty limited but gives you some nice variations on how to apply these submissions.

Wrapping It Up:
This app is a must for anyone that wants to add leg locks to their game.  Especially if you have enough sense and experience to realize that leg locks by themsleves are not a complete game.  At $29.99 you’re getting 90 minutes of clear, conceptual instruction that will not only teach you specific techniques but more importantly help you learn how to apply those techniques to situations that come up during live rolling.  To keep up with Roli see his Facebook and Website (a lot of good free videos here).

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