Placido Santos, the man who took an enormous amount of torture as John Danhaher’s uke in many of his instructional DVDs, has suffered a really serious injury. The brown belt competed in an event and ended up reaching the finals, only to get his leg torn in two by a very powerful Estima lock applied by a Tom DeBlass brown belt.
The Brutality Of The Estima Lock
In case you do not know what the Estima lock is, it is one of the most devastating leg locks in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It used to be legal at all belt levels until a few years ago, even though it is by mechanics a toe hold. The move is one of the best inventions of the Estima brothers who are known to come up with brutally effective submission holds.
The Estima Lock is a toe hold that you apply with the help of your torso and your arms, which is part of the reason why the move is so powerful. Basically, it is a trap submission, one which is extremely easy to set up. It works best when done from the top against guards which makes it even more dangerous and unexpected.
To set up the lock, all you need is an opponent’s foot on your belly, like for example from half guard. The moment the side of the foot is at your belt level, all you need to do is slap on a rear-naked choke on the leg. Everything becomes extremely tight right then and there, but if you apply a bit of torque and squeeze, then you end up with a very brutal finish that can literally tear a foot off. Unfortunately, that is what happened to everyone’s favorite uke, Placido Santos.
The Estima brothers came up with the move by accident when preparing for the 2009 ADCC, which Braulio ended up winning, mostly due to that particular lock.
What Happened To Placido Santos?
So, what exactly happened to Placido Santos? Well, he took place in the Enigma Jiu-Jitsu Academy invitational tournament yesterday. The event featured a host of awesome up and coming grapplers who took part in a host of different matches, ranging from combat Jiu-Jitsu to sub-only EBI rules 15-minute matches. Placido was one of the favorites and managed to reach the finals. In the final match, he squared against Calvin Tacey, a brown belt under Tom DeBlass, and apparently, a very efficient leg locker.
As you can see from the video below, Placido ended up getting caught extremely fast, and barely had time to tap. that is exactly why the Estima Lock is so dangerous – when done right, it comes on immediately, and whoever is on the receiving end barely has time to tap. Calvin did everything perfectly and the result was gruesome as Placido’s foot pretty much tore off from the rest of his leg for a split second. Moreover, it seems like he also sustained some damage to the shinbone in the process as well.
Later on, Placido Santos wrote on his Instagram account “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose….and sometimes you lose while getting your foot torn off. The latter was my unfortunate situation tonight.”
Tom DeBlass, Calvin’s coach also sounded off, saying “The Estima lock is a lock that must be applied quickly and aggressively, as the knee line is not controlled. If it is applied gently, then the opponent will simply invert out of it.” He also offered Placido comfort, writing “Heal fast champ, just a bump in the road.”
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Any Hope Of Defending The Estima Lock?
Basically, like Tom DeBlass says, the Estima Lock is not too difficult to get out of because there is no actual control over the hip and the knee line. That makes it possible to sneak out of, but only if the person doing it doesn’t get it correct straight away. That means that defense is basically a race, one in which the person hunting the hold has all the advantage.
To be honest, inversions seem to work against Estima Locks, or at least they did. As the move became popular, Victor Estima elaborated on it, solving most of the common defenses and making it a very high-percentage submission. Currently, under IBJJF rules, the hold is only legal for brown and black belts.
We certainly hope Placido Santos makes a quick recovery. The extent of his injury is currently unknown, but it doesn’t seem like it was one of those you just shake off. It was a legit submission though, and an impressive finish against a very high-level grappler. Keep an eye out for Calvin Tacey though!