screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-13-43-54What is it? Footlock Mastery is a Digitsu digital download that you can view online via a web browser or the Digitsu app on your iPhone or iPad or on Android.

How much does it cost? About £24/$35/E32, although they occasionally have some sort of discount offer going on.

Will it make me a master of footlocks, like the title suggests? No.

Wait, what? The only footlock covered here is the IBJJF-friendly straight ankle lock.

What, no heel hook? No toe hold? No Russian leg knot? Nope.

Eddie Cummings isn’t going to be happy. No, he’s not, and it’s also done in a Gi too.

Garry Tonon is starting to look bored. He may be, but if he didn’t get this just because it only covered the straight ankle lock and was done in a Gi then he’d miss a great little instructional on ‘how to get the straight ankle lock from the bottom position in BJJ using the single leg X, and transitioning to 50/50 and Overhook X Guard if that doesn’t work out‘.

I can see why Ollie went with ‘Footlock mastery’ as a title instead… Yep.

So, I should get it? Yes, absolutely.

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Why? Well, as an example of an app that follows a particular route – getting the straight ankle lock from the bottom position – it’s not bad at all.

So, it’s not perfect? No. Annoyingly the information is presented backwards – he starts with how to finish the ankle lock and gradually works backwards to the set up to making it happen, covering all the possibilities along the way, which is why he covers 50/50 guard and X Guard too. Also, he calls things by names you might not recognise. For example, Ollie’s “Footlock position” is what most people call “Single Leg X” – if he used more standard names then it might make it more obvious what’s on offer here.

I’ll probably get it then. Good – you should. The information is really nicely presented. Ollie has a very clear and accessible presentation style. I really liked the distinction he made between how to get the ankle lock by attacking the joint and not attacking the Achilles tendon, which hurts more, but wouldn’t break the joint if applied fully. His advice on creating a ‘shell’ to protect the footlock while you work is also very useful. I would have liked to have seen a few more ‘rough around the edges’ sections where he worked against resistance and showed how he dealt with that, but you can’t fault the quality of the teaching. The camera work is also first class, offering close ups where necessary. On the iPad you can choose to download each chapter separately, for offline viewing, or stream them over WiFi and save space on your iPad, which is a really nice, flexible option that all Digitsu products have.

What else should I get? If you’re getting this one then I’d also recommend Giani Grippo’s Single Leg X so that you’ve got a wider understanding of the Single Leg X position.

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Full contents listing:

  1. Introduction
  2. Ankle Lock As Position
  3. Importance Of The Shell
  4. Ankle Lock Finishing Theory
  5. Ankle Lock Turning To The Knees Finish
  6. Turning To The Knees to Top Position
  7. Ankle Lock To Crossover To Leg Drag
  8. Advantages Of the Straight Ankle Lock
  9. Outside Hook Ankle Lock Theory And Basic Finish
  10. Outside Hook Ankle Lock Turning To The Knees
  11. 50/50 Theory And Use
  12. Breaking The Defensive 50/50 – Knee Push
  13. 50/50 Basic Ankle Lock Finish
  14. 50/50 Calf Crush
  15. 50/50 Reverse Grip Finish
  16. 50/50 Outside Leg Finish
  17. Standing Ankle Lock Control Theory
  18. Standing Ankle Lock Cross Sweep
  19. Standing Ankle Lock Double Ankle Sweep
  20. Standing Outside Hook Tripod Sweep
  21. Standing Outside Hook Overhead Sweep
  22. Overhook X Guard – Transition Theory
  23. Overhook X Guard – Angle Change To Ankle Lock Topple
  24. Overhook X Guard – Tripod Sweep
  25. Overhook X Guard – Waiter Sweep
  26. Overhook X Guard – Getting The Near Sleeve
  27. Overhook X Guard – Near Sleeve Single Leg Stand Up
  28. Overhook X Guard – Near Sleeve Overhead Sweep
  29. Overhook X Guard – Far Sleeve Drag Down Sweep
  30. Entering The Footlock From The Knees
  31. Entering The Footlock From Shin To Shin Guard
  32. Entering The Footlock From Half-Guard / 93 Guard
  33. Entering The Footlock From Spider Guard
  34. Entering The FootLock Leandro Lo Sweep From Spider Guard
  35. Entering The FootLock Basic Entry From Top
  36. Ankle Lock Defence – Moving To Top Position
  37. Ankle Lock Defence – The Scoot
  38. Standing Ankle Lock Defence – Back Step To Side
  39. Credits