Should white belts learn leg attacks?
Let’s cut to the chase, it’s 2021, we know leglocks work at all levels of competition, the IBJJF has lifted the reaping ban for no-gi Brown/Black Belts, and it’s no longer cool to ignore 50% of the human body. Why are schools still so adamant about hiding leg locks from White Belts?
‘White Belts are spazzy and will hurt themselves by defending wrong!’
‘They need to learn how to pass guard first!’
While both these are valid points, I believe that these should be reasons FOR White Belts to learn about leglocks. If a White Belt never gets their legs attacked and makes their way to Blue or even Purple Belt, are they magically going to know the proper defensive reactions to leg attacks? You’ll never hear people argue against Kimuras because white belts can potentially spaz out and break each other’s shoulders with it. As with all students, isn’t it part of the Professor’s job to ensure that everyone under his/her watch performs all techniques in a safe, controlled manner anyway? What’s one more torsional lock?
Despite what many old school Jiu Jitsu players will have you believe, the leg game is a very deep and intricate game with lots of details and nuances. As such, wouldn’t it benefit students in the long run to get a head start on learning the leg game sooner rather than later? It’d be real embarrassing to churn out Purple Belts with White Belt-level leg defense…
Look, the 5 most common submissions at the highest level are Arm Bars, Triangle Chokes, Guillotines, Rear Naked Chokes, and Heel Hooks. The latter 4 are considered core, fundamental techniques that are taught even to White Belts. Nobody complains about White Belts being too inept to know not to crank the Arm Bar, but are instead guided on the safe way to perform them.
Should heel hooks be considered a fundamental technique? We believe professors should consider opening the door to exposing these techniques earlier than later for a more solid, well rounded game.
Truly Yours, Anonymous White Belt