If you missed UFC middleweight Alan “The Talent” Belcher’s webinar on leglock defense last Thursday, don’t fret. FightLine.com was present to take notes and share Alan’s main points to our readers who value healthy knees.
Other than his qualifications as a pro fighter, Alan earned a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Helio Soneca, and in case you’ve been living under a rock, “The Talent” recently defeated leglock specialist, Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares via TKO, after successfully defending an onslaught of heel hook and kneebar attacks from the stocky Brazilian.
Before opening it up for questions, Belcher detailed to the webinar attendees the system he and his team, who included the likes of grappling wizard, Robert Drysdale, and three-time ADCC Submission Wrestling World Champion, Dean Lister, came up with for his fight with “Toquinho.”
While most of the seminar focused on the grappling position in which both combatants are susceptible to leg attacks, the 50/50, according to Belcher, the most important tip of his online seminar, was turning one’s own heel into the ribs of the opponent as he or she attempts to heel hook, regardless of the position.
A heel hook attempts to turn the heel away from the body in order to turn the knee and complete the submission; Belcher says turning the hip over, which in turn causes the heel to shift inwards towards the opponents rib, is a key point in the UFC Middleweight’s leglock defense system.
When I asked Mr. Belcher personally to summarize his entire leglock system, he told me the number one priority is to fight the hands of your opponent while staying close, so they cannot get a solid grip on your ankle or foot, therefore ending the risk of a leg submission right there. Distance is your enemy, as heel hooks and knee bars require space to extend the joint and maintain proper leverage.
While fighting the hands and staying close, one should work on keeping weight on the leg that is being attacked and simultaneously turning the heel in towards the opponent’s ribs to keep the risk of a heel hook low.
Finally, once the opponent’s grip on your foot is broken and the heel is turned inwards towards the ribs, either figure-four your own legs from the 50/50 position (as this hides your own feet and makes them less vulnerable to follow up attacks), or use the other foot to push off and escape.
As it currently stands, the “Talent” has uploaded some short clips on leglock defense to his personal YouTube channel. Alan also promised webinar attendees that a full video of the online seminar should be made available soon, for all to see.
For now, this clip will have to do, but be sure to keep checking Alan Belcher’s YouTube account for more seminars and instructional videos.