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Black Belt Breakdown of MC Chapter 6

September 13, 2011

The following review by Royce Gracie Black Belt, Luke Beston, will give you an idea of what to expect from Chapter 6.

"The latest chapter in the Gracie University Master Cycle covers the fundamental leg lock attacks and defenses. I was particularly anticipating Ryron and Rener's take on this subject as although leg locks are considered "taboo" in some academies, the brothers are well known for their ankle locks which they have used to win many high profile matches. Lesson 42, Straight Foot Locks begins with an overview of the topic of leg locks including how leg locks fit into the overall philosophy of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu today and in the past, the general mindset and how to train them, safety and injury prevention, and even a quick anatomy lesson. The Professors start showing the correct mechanics to achieve the foot lock including the brother's "secret" detail to maximizing leverage. As with all the other entries later in this chapter, Ryron and Rener tie in the foot lock entry with the guard passing strategies from the Guard Chapter so that our leg lock attacks aid our passing and visa versa.

Lesson 43, Defense against the Straight Foot Lock shows us several options on how to defend the leg attack from the previous lesson. One thing I really appreciated with the techniques presented is that all the escapes taught in this chapter do not rely on the kimono, which is precisely when we are most vulnerable to these attacks.

Lessons 44 and 45 cover the Standard Toe Hold and the technical defense. Anyone who watched last years Black Belt division of the World Championships would have seen many examples of this type of foot lock used in elite competition, and having watched the Professors break this move down will have a far greater appreciation of the technical nature of this devastating submission. Students will also have a knowledge of the most reliable escapes should they find themselves caught in this hold.

In Lessons 46 and 47 we learn the Reverse Drop to Knee Lock and the defense. Again, each entry integrates with the existing guard passing structure taught to us in the Blue Belt Stripe 1 Guard Chapter and in particular with the reverse drop entry we learn an attack which will add a totally new dimension to our guard passing strategy. Lesson 46 includes an ingenious counter to the common problem when the opponent defends their endangered leg with other leg and this detail alone is worth the price of the entire chapter. Rapid mastery contains some great theory on how to blend the different leg locks presented thus far into your overall passing strategy. As with previous lessons in this chapter, we learn defenses that will work with or without the kimono.

The Stripe 1 Leg Lock chapter is rounded off with Lessons 48 and 49, the Heel Hook and its defense. Although this is one of the most dangerous leg locks in terms of the damage it causes, the brothers teach it in a progression that allows new students to introduce it safely into their training program. Typical of the brothers' passion for sharing the full depth of their knowledge to the students of Gracie University, Professor Rener tells us, "It's better to learn it too early and perfect it in the long run than learn it too late." There is an overlap between the defense taught here and what we were taught lesson 45, which is part of the genius of Ryron and Rener's program design. Rather than teaching us a large number of unrelated techniques in a bid to entertain us, they are showing us their favorite techniques from the very beginning.

As much as any other chapter, in Chapter 6 the Professors show their commitment to giving the Gracie University student everything possible to help their progression in the art!"

Luke Beston
Royce Gracie Black Belt