SEMINAR: Leao Marinho Footlock Seminar

I am fortunate enough to have Leao Marinho as my professor and train at Gracie Barra Preston. His Footlock Seminar was just another example of his knowledge of martial arts and ability to teach, passing on his skill and wisdom. To truly understand Footlocks you need to know more than just the correct setup and application of the submission but know the mechanics of the human foot, as well the knee and leg. How the foot normally moves and bends, how it rotates from the ankle, where it is most powerful and most fragile, and then the range of motion when you factor in the knees movements.

This may all seem like a lot to take in but Leao Marinho was able to walk the layman through the Footlock process, allowing me to attack the foot and subdue my opponent.

Leao Marinho first showed how easy it was to attack the foot simply by trapping it and curling it in on itself and applying pressure to the achilles, with very little force I might add. If you catch the toes in your armpit and hook under your opponents heel with the outside of your thumb you can apply a quick Footlock. I’m simplifying the specifics of what Leao Marinho showed the group, but this was just an example of the principle and the first step.

The foot and legs are powerful. In Jiu Jitsu we use them as supports, shields, weapons, to trip, to throw, and move ourselves or others. Leao Marinho was able to demonstrate that moving the foot in a way it does not natural wish to go removes its strength, resulting in your opponent losing his weapons, and how easy it is to turn that power into pain and a submission.

Moving forward we began to approach Footlocks in the way you would while sparring or in completion. You need to secure the leg and knee. Leao Marinho explained how controlling these would not just allow you to try for the submission but also to eliminate their movements to escape or defend. Trapping their knee and when applying the submission stopping their hip movements.

Attacking and defending are the two sides of the submission. Knowing both is vital to implementing both. Knowing the defence to a Footlock improves your ability to apply it, as you know what you’re up against. Leao Marinho explained this with such easy, in a way only a true martial artist and teacher could.

Then began the subtle techniques. The differences between good, great, and correct. This was the most fun part and satisfying. Application of a technique and knowing you’ve improved. Jiu Jitsu is fun and throwing your friends into Footlocks is most fun. Then you’re on the receiving end, less enjoyable but you see how effective these techniques are.

As the seminar progressed we began to link what we had been taught together. You would try linking the different verities of Footlocks attacks together, your partner trying to link there escapes and defences. Back and forth, drilling, all while enjoying what we had just learned and the environment of our gym.

This has always been one of my favourite seminars. Not only because of how useful it was and the benefit it has been to my Jiu Jitsu game but as a reminder of how great Gracie Barra Preston is. To have skilled black belts at your disposal and to be able to train in such a good environment. I’d recommend training at GB Preston to anyone who can and also, if you’re able to take a Leao Marhino seminar do not miss it.

Click here to see the photos from the seminar.

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