Estima Lock – The Fastest, Most Brutal Leglock In BJJ

The Estima Lock is one of those submissions that are in the grey area of legality under IBJJF rules. It is a devastating twisting leg lock that is legal at all belt levels. The Estima lock is a fairly new move, one courtesy of the Estima brothers.  the best setup is from the top, although there are numerous setups and variations. The beauty of the move is that it works in both Gi and No-Gi and is highly effective at all levels.

Along with the first rising starts of the modern leg lock game in BJJ, two grapplers of the old school came up with a move to rival even the tightest heel hook. What’s even more impressive, they devised such a cunning move, that it is legal. Yup, white belts can also do it, despite it clearly being a very dangerous twisting submission. An Estima lock is close to the toehold in mechanics, but far more powerful.

The Estima Lock is the very brutal foot lock developed by two fo the most famous competitors in Jiu-Jitsu. The Estima brothers are Gracie Barra black belts and standouts of the organization, both as competitors and coaches. Their names are Victor and Braulio, the latter being the older of the two. The Estima lock is mostly attributed to Victor, although Braulio had a lot to do with it as well. They brought it to the attention fo the grappling world in 2011. Victor won all his fights via the Estima lock at the No-Gi worlds that year. After that, it was fair game, especially as competitors discovered the IBJJF rules loophole.

The Birth Of The Estima Lock

During the late 2000’s Victor and Braulio Estima somehow ended up discovering the Estima lock. They’re not really famous for their love of leg locks, so this one came as a surprise to everyone. The manner in which they came up with the move though, is a very interesting one. Namely, during Braulio’s ADCC preparations, he annoyed his younger brother regularly with his inverted guard.

During one of their rolls, one of Braulio’s feet ended up stuck in in Victor’s midsection. Instinct guided Victor to wrap a figure four with his arms around the trapped foot. It turned out to be a painful submission, one that was hiding in plain sight until then.  From that moment on it was all about perfecting their newfound submission. They did so marvelously, as proven at the 2011 No-Gi Worlds.

Apart from Victor’s success, Braulio also put the Estima lock to good use. He actually won the ADCC while relaying a lot on the Estima lock. he found particular success in his batted with another modern BJJ legend – Rafel Lovato Jr. This proved the position worked at the highest level in grappling. Nobody gave it much thought then leaving he brothers with enough time to battle test it and polish it. After Victor’s success at the Worlds, though, everyone saw the potential effectiveness and brutality of the Estima lock.

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The Mechanics Of The Estima Lock

The Estima lock is basically a very quick and just as painful foot lock. The basic position is just as the one we described before. The foot of the opponent needs to be on your belly. Imagine that your opponent has you in a lasso guard, but their foot is across your belly, fingers pointing to one side. What you need to do is grab the foot with a figure four grip, just like in a rear naked choke. The first arm needs to go under the inside of the opponent’s ankle and grab the inside of the elbow on your other arm. The second arm completes the figure four.

Estima LockFinishing the movie has an unexpected detail to it. When you have everything set up, you’ll need to squeeze your arms and turn your body. You’ll need to turn towards the inside of the leg you are attacking. The fine detail here is to also engage your belly as you twist. Try and extend your belly into the opponent’s foot as much as possible while squeezing and twisting. The break is fast and brutal, so be careful when training.

The Estima lock is a great option to quickly deal with a lasso guard or a reverse De la Riva guard, for example. In scenarios like these, your opponent’s are going to place their feet on your belly by themselves. All you need to do is know how to get the most out of it.

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Estima Lock Attacks

Estima LockThe Estima lock is arguably the best foot lock to go for from the top position. That said, one very common setup for it is the reverse De La Riva Guard. Whenever you’re attempting to pass this guard, just make sure your center of gravity is low. As soon s you feel the outside foot of the opponent on your hi, it’s time to pounce.  Lock up the figure four grip as tight as possible and engage your abdomen. This traps the foot without any manner of escaping.  To finish, turn your body inwards and compress the ankle by raising the opponent’s heel upwards. The tap is going to come lightning quick.

As with all other submissions, the entry is more than half of the puzzle. Also, despite to offering extreme control, there’s is a positional value to the Estima lock. The lack of control though is not as important because of the speed of the submission. However, attempting to submit from a distance is going to be pointless. That’s why you need the correct entry. This means getting as close to your opponent as possible so that your twist and crunch have maximal effect.

Estima LockOn a different note, the Estima lock is ten perfect way to finish off an opponent’s reaction. One of the most basic guard pass counters it swing the opposite leg over. This is especially the case when the opponent is defending a half guard pass. What this provides is a perfect opportunity to go for the Estima lock. Once the leg touches your hips it all about getting the grip. Why even bother passing when you can get a brutal foot lock right then and there and stay fresh for your next match.

Is There A Defense To The Estima Lock?

In terms of defense and counters to teh Estima lock, there are some options out there. The trouble is, that contrary to most submissions, this foot lock comes on really fast! That means that you’ll barely have time to react if the opponent knows how to perform the Estima lock. A logical way to defend is to try and push with your trapped foot and attempt to invert in between the opponent’s legs. This is going to work if the lock is not tight since it unravels the grip mechanics.  However, the reaction time you’ll need is close to impossible, in the case of a properly set lock.

In summary, there’s no counter or defense that works 100%. Actually, there’s no option that goes even near that number. The Estima brothers have a true gem here, one that they proved works at the highest levels. So, if you’re ever caught in a tight Estima lock, make sure you go for the only 100 % defense there is – tap.

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