Scouring the internet for some brand new instructionals, I came by a title by Tarik Hopstock. As far as Tarik goes, two things are certain with his BJJ DVDs: you get brand new stuff and you get lots and lots of submissions. Tarik Hopstock is one of those grapplers that have already changed Jiu-Jitsu, and there’s a lot more to come in the future. So, whenever I see an instructional with his name on it, I’m bound to linger and check out what it is all about. It didn’t take a lot of convincing with this one, though. The name itself “Belly Down Foot Locks” sent me scouring for the “add to basket” button. Noticing that it was also mostly about the single leg X guard might have had something to do with it as well. Never mind that, here’s the review of what I got.
ON SALE HERE:
Tarik Hopstock – Belly Down Footlocks
Belly Down Foot Locks. I learned all about them the hard way – by almost having my ankle torn off by a huge grappler in my academy. I never made the mistake of thinking I can get out of one of those again. Better yet, I started looking into them. I already had a solid knowledge of leglocks (or so I thought) and this fit perfectly in my area. To be completely honest to this day I still use bell down leg locks, mostly ankle locks, as the last resort when someone’s trying to escape my straight Ashi Garami. However, my options are limited to just two variations I’ve come across during the years. So, this Tarik Hopstock DVD came with perfect timing for me. I loved it, and now I’ll tell you exactly why.
Tarikoplatas And Foot Locks
In case you didn’t know, Tarik Hopstock is the crazy guy behind an even crazier submission that took the grappling world by storm. His Tarikoplata arm lock is one of the most effective new submissions that end up tapping even grapplers of the highest level. That said the submission hold is still in its infancy. Who knows where it will end up in a few years. Well, it is prudent to say that Tarik is not just a one-trick pony, relying on his signature armlock until the end of time. Quite the contrary, he is one mean, well-rounded, submission machine. Oh, and he is still a brown belt.
Tarik Hopstock is a Norwegian grappler training in Oslo, at the notorious Frontline Academy. He has won everything there is at the European level and is now slowly conquering the world stage as well. He is proficient in both the Gi and No-Gi and is one submission-oriented grappler. Tarik is a top-level competitor who is extremely active in every competition circuit. That makes him the perfect man to share submission tricks about moves that borderline on the legal but won’t get you in trouble. Moreover, he is just as mean (if not more) with his leglocks as he is with these Tarikoplatas.
In terms of leglocks, Tarik is extremely efficient with them, and particularly with the IBJJF approved stuff. He has a huge number of submission wins by leg locks. In fact, he is an authority when it comes to leg locking grapplers that wear kimonos. Of course, since I train in a predominantly Gi academy, I wanted to see what his leg locking game is all about. And, even though the bell Down Foot Locks DVD shows only a glimpse of his game, I got to say, I’m now more of a Tarik fan than ever before.
The Original Tripod Ankle Lock
When it comes o belly don submissions, people often fringe. The belly-down armbar has a lot to do with that impression, given how easy it is to break someone’s elbow from there. Even unintentionally. Well, worry not, belly-down foot locks require a bit more for you to get a beak. That said they’re just as tight and hard to get out of as belly-down armbars. However, speaking of belly-down foot locks, I never knew there were so many variations until now. The one I knew and always resorted to was the tripod ankle lock.
This one is actually really easy. In most cases, you patiently wait and look in amusement as your opponent tries desperately to get out of your straight Ashi Garami. AS they peel your foot off their hip, you simply turn to your belly. Now you have both your knees and your head making a tripod. A simple hipe extension from there yield tons of pressure on an opponents’ ankle, getting you quick and reliable taps. Then, Tarik Hosptock comes in, bringing a whole wealth of follow-ups and options in his latest DVD. Perfect!
REVIEW: Tarik Hopstock “Belly Down Foot Lock” DVD
First of all, this is a simple, two-volume DVD. It is not for those that are looking for elaborate schemes and new ways of doing JIu-Jitsu. It is a DVD for specialists, or those aiming to be one. As such, it is a BJJ instructional with the Gi. Still, most of the techniques inside are also very doable without one. For those that enjoy grappling with the Gi, this is one DVD that won’t disappoint. There’s lots of lapel and collar inclusion in both holding and switching positions, and finishing leg locks. Tarik is easy to follow as he is concise and doesn’t stray away from the subject. Plus, even as a brown belt, he has a crazy amount of knowledge on the subject of leg locking in particular.
As I mentioned there are two parts to this BJJ instructional. Part one contains some introductory chapters, like some essential drills and information on foot lock mechanics. The second one goes deeper into how to play and control the single leg X guard, and always have belly down foot locks ready to hit during transitions. It is a masterful gathering of different techniques that’s not quite a complete system. But this is exactly what makes it perfect. You have the chance to fill in the blanks, or simply use bits and pieces of it to help your game. At the very least, it is what I’ve been doing since I got my hands on this DVD. I have to say, it works for me so far, but I still have a lot of stuff to try and implement.
Tarik starts easy, like explaining to someone that has never done leg locks before. In other words,s this is the perfect DVD for people who are completely new to leg locks. After a short intro, he goes into several leg lock drills which seem really useful. I haven’t had a chance to test the most personally, but I will as soon as I find a willing partner. However, his chapter on foot locking mechanics is really something to behold. He has some finishing details that really help clarify things and make foot locks even simpler than they are if that’s possible.
Keeping ins line with his methodical approach, Tarik Hopstock then moves on to explain how to acquire the Single leg X guard and stay in it, of course. Entry options include modern open guards like the Lapel Reverse De la Riva, for example. Moreover, he teaches a few different sweeps, which are precursors to belly-down foot locks. The idea is that whenever one of the sweeps fails, or you choose to, you can turn it into a devastating belly down ankle lock. And, to keep things versatile, I guess, he also has a kneebar and calf slicer options. Both start in the shin to shin guard. Belly down variations, of course.
In the second, and final portion of the Belly Down Foot Locks DVD, Tarik Hopstock turns his complete attention to the Single leg X guard. However, he does so from a different perspective, relying a lot on the lapel Single Leg X. He demonstrates a few introductory attacks like back takes and a very interesting “worm roll”. From there on, it’s time for leg locks yet again.
I have to say, this is where the DVD starts becoming a bit more advanced. The single-leg X with the lapel is complicated enough on its own. However, introducing reactions to your opponent’s movements, like sitting down or rolling forward, that end up with tight leg locks is taking it to a whole new level. Still, all of the work and they’re actually not hard to execute once you get the hang of them. Moreover, a couple of toe hold and kneebar finishes also feature. Finally, a swift ankle lock variation wraps this great DVD up.
Tarik Hopstock is, by all means, a top-shelf grappler. Moreover, he is a great teacher, as well as a competitor and he’s not even a black belt. Of course, at the highest levels, the belt doesn’t really matter as much as what a grappler does with his/her knowledge. And Tariki s certainly making the most out of it. Issuing the “Belly Down Foot Locks” DVD just proves how comfortable he is with sharing his game with others. I might not have adored the Tariokoplata DVD, although I do use it from time to time. However I’m completely in love with this instructional, and I’ll certainly be on the lookout for more of Tarik’s stuff.
ON SALE HERE:
Tarik Hopstock – Belly Down Footlocks