Basics win fights! Sound familiar? This time let’s focus our efforts on the basic straight ankle lock (also known as the “achilles lock” or the “straight foot lock”). When attempting ankle locks in sparring and competition the most common error is targetting; in other words where the practitioner is placing the fulcrum (in this case the forearm) in relation to the opponent’s ankle.
Quite often people try to apply the ankle lock by putting pressure way too high up the leg; sometimes as high as mid-calf. While this might cause some beginner’s pain it will not work against the more seasoned practitioner and certainly isn’t the most efficient method of use! The best place to put your forearm (the fulcrum of the lock) is at the bottom of the leg just above the heel bone. Here is where you find the Achilles Tendon (hence why sometimes this is refrred to as an Achilles lock)!
When practicing in sparring or using it in competition you may want to try locking up a loose ankle lock then slide your submission down the leg until you are stopped by the opponents heel bone. By placing the fulcrum at this position you will have a very powerful submission because you will be applying maximum pressure to his achilles tendon and achieving maximum leverage against the top of his foot. Now tighten it up, apply the leverage, and get that tap!