However, there are also situations in which the standard Achilles is just impossible to finish. That might have to do with your body geometry, your opponent’s will, or the accumulation of small technical slips that arise in a real scramble.
Never fear, though. Sometimes what is called for is just a little adjustment. So today we’re going to look at transitioning from the Achilles to the switch-grip Achilles. We’ve looked at that submission before, too, when we illustrated how to get to it from a kneebar attempt. Needless to say, the setup is a little different this time.
Achilles to Switch-Grip Achilles: The Movie
Here, Coach Dan demonstrates this transition on BDMMA student, Alec. Notice that Coach Dan can get the tap with just his grip. That’s the goal. The Achilles is simple enough, and, while the switch-grip is a little different, the strength of the submission is, as always, in the details. In the tutorial that follows, the nuances are what we’ll focus on.
The BDMMA Step-by-Step Guide
For instructional purposes, we’ll assume you and your partner are oriented the way Dan and Alec are, with you attacking your opponent’s left leg. Your starting position, in this case, will be the standard Achilles leglock, meaning that the leg you’re attacking begins on your bottom (right) side. Check out the Achilles technique page if you need a refresher.
- If your top-side (left) foot is inside your opponent’s hip, you’ll want to pop your foot back between his legs.
- Post on your bottom elbow. This is your “choking” arm in a standard Achilles, and it will be your “choking” arm again in the switch-grip.
- Shift you opponent’s shin to your top-side (left) armpit. Note: Pay attention to how Dan never leaves that leg unattended. It’s wrapped up in his right arm, then pinched to his chest by his left arm, then controlled by his left. Don’t lose the leg.
- As you switch the leg, sneak your botom arm back under your opponent’s ankle. As you’ll see in the next step, you’ll use your right arm to force the leg high in your armpit. Alignment-wise, you’ll want the bony thumb-side edge of your wrist driving into your opponent’s Achilles tendon.
- Close your top-side armpit around your opponent’s foot. Note: As usual, initial snugness is paramount. To get that grip extra tight, first reach your arm up over your head. Use your right wrist to push your opponent’s foot high into your armpit, then wind tension into his foot as you bring your tricep down.
- Lock in your grip. Plant your right hand on your left bicep and your left palm on your opponent’s trapped shin. When you’re drilling the Achilles, you want to make sure you can finish it using just that grip, so make sure it’s perfect.
- Adjust your legs as necessary. As with the regular Achilles, you want to ensure that your two knees are pointing the same direction as your opponent’s trapped knee. Also, you can replace your left foot on the inside of your opponent’s hip at this stage.
- Finish the submission. If, in competition, the grip alone isn’t tight enough to finish your opponent, you still have the massive power of your legs to fall back on. If you have the leg trapped properly, it shouldn’t take more than a slight kick off of your opponent’s hips and extension of your back in order to make him tap.
As compared to the normal Achilles, this submission is extra vicious. Since, in the regular version, you’re using the meaty inside of your elbow as the leverage point, you can deliver a huge amount of power, but the grip doesn’t feel as sharp as the switch-grip does.
To train with Coach Dan, Alec, and the rest of the BDMMA team, look us up in Peacedale, Rhode Island.