Ashi Garami Position

Ashi garami

In grappling, leg locks are being practiced now more than ever before. One of the best leg entanglements that you need to know is the effective ashi garami position.

Here is everything that you need to know about the ashi garami leg position in grappling. Going over how to get into the leg entanglement, executes different leg locks, and how to defend against it.

What is the Ashi Garami Position

Ashi garami is a leg entanglement that was first developed within Judo. Later on other forms of grappling like BJJ and MMA adopted the position.

The goal of obtaining this position is to attack your opponent’s feet with a type of leg attack. Whether it be with ankle locks, toe holds, or heel hooks.

There are different variations of ashi garami, but the original position involves triangling your legs around your opponent’s leg. Your foot goes on your opponent’s hip, while your other foot hooks under their knee. 

Then to lock on the position, you aim to connect your knee to your foot to lock in ashi garami.

This creates a powerful entanglement that can be used to off-balance the opponent and set up submissions such as heel hooks or ankle locks.

Ashi garami can be used both offensively and defensively. Offensively, the person in the position can attack their opponent with various leg attacks. Defensively, they can use it to prevent their opponent from passing their guard or escaping from other positions.

Since the rise in popularity of professional No-Gi grappling, leg locks have become more widely used. The entanglement that most of the most popular athletes like Gordon Ryan and Garry Tonon use is ashi garami.

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This is why many leg lock experts choose to use variations of this leg position to attack their opponent. If you’re serious about learning leg locks, the ashi garami is one of the best leg entanglements to use.

How to Hold Ashi Garami

Let’s go over how to properly hold the ashi garmi leg position. You have to remember the three points of control when doing any leg entanglement. Control your opponent’s hip, above their knee, and their foot.

For this position, your outside foot needs to be pressed against your opponent’s hip. Then your inside knee needs to be folded and closed above your opponent’s knee.

Putting your knee and foot in these positions creates a triangle around your opponent’s leg. Limiting your opponent’s movement and giving your different attack options.

Inside vs. Outside Ashi Garami

There are various types of ashi garami, but they basically fall into two categories. Inside and outside, which are pretty self explanatory.

The inside version has the opponent’s foot placed against your inside hip. Then the outside variation has the opponent’s foot against your outside hip.

What Attacks Are Available From Ashi Garami?

There’s a wide variety of attacks open from this leg entanglement, which makes it popular for leg lockers.

You have everything from:

Entries Into Outside Ashi Garami

There’s a wide variety of different ashi garami entries. Check out a few of the best entries that you should consider using.

The Slide-In

The slide-in is probably the most basic entry into the position that you should learn first. It starts from standing and you can start the entry like you’re either hitting an arm drag or a single leg.

Match your opponent and place the same foot that they have in front. You’re then going to level change down and cup behind your opponent’s knee as you sit down.

Next, pull your opponent towards you as your outside leg goes between your opponent’s legs. Hooking around their leg and placing your foot on their hip.

Then after you place your foot on your opponent’s hip, attach your knee above your opponent’s knee. Be sure to use a butterfly hook on your opponent’s other leg as you place your knee above their knee. This will prevent them from being able to step back.

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To get your opponent to the mat, you’re going to use a false heel hook grip. As you get heel exposure, use your grip to turn your opponent as you kick your leg down.

Getting your opponent to the ground and opening the door to hit your heel hook.

Butterfly Guard To Ashi

This is another easy entry that you should drill starts from the butterfly guard with your opponent standing(or on a knee). As you hand fight with your opponent, grab the outside of their leg above their knee.

Use that grip to pull yourself into them and start your leg positioning for the entanglement. Your outside leg slides between your opponent’s legs and comes around the outside of the leg you’re attacking.

Keep your foot pointed outwards on their heel and close your knee above your opponent’s knee.

Butterfly Sweep to Cross Ashi

Butterfly sweeps can put you right into ashi positions and there’s a really slick one to put you into cross ashi. It’s great to use at tournaments, where you’re not allowed to heel hook and get two points.

From butterfly guard, grip your opponent’s tricep and the back of their head. Use these grips to try and pull them forward. When you do this, they will most likely resist being pulled forward.

As you lift up your opponent, take off one of your hooks and they fall right into the cross ashi position.

De La Riva Knee Bump Ashi Entry

Another great entry that you can use is a knee bump from the De La Riva guard. For this entry, you’re going to hold a modified DLR.

Take your inside leg and lock it on top of your DLR hook. Tilt your legs to the outside to knock your opponent off balance. 

Once they try to regain their balance, this is your queue to pummel your legs and go into ashi. 

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How to Defend Against the Ashi Garami

Even if you don’t like attacking legs, more grapplers use them more than ever and you must know the defenses. Here are some methods that you can implement to defend against the ashi garami position.

Defense From Standing

The first defense that you should go to is to open your opponent’s legs. Grab your opponent’s heel with one hand and their knee with the other.

Use these grips, open their lock and immediately step forward to attempt to take the mount on your opponent.

Defense On the Ground

Being stuck in an ashi variation on the ground is more dangerous due to your opponent being closer to an attack. This means that you have to act fast.

You’re going to do the same defense as you did from standing. Grab hold of your opponent’s knee and heel to open their control step forward.

Important Tips to Remember for Holding the Ashi Garami Position

Using the ashi garami gives you optimal control over your opponent, but you have to use it correctly. Here are some important tips that you need to remember for holding the ashi garami position.

  • Remember The Rule of Leg Control: Remember the three points of leg control when going into any type of leg entanglement. Control the hip, above the knee, and foot of your opponent.
  • Point Foot Outwards: Keep your outside foot on your opponent’s heel pointed outwards. If you point it inwards, your opponent can attack your foot or easily escape.
  • No Space: You cannot give up any space when you do this leg entanglement or any other type. Any open space gives your opponent the opening to escape the position.
  • Make A Triangle: Your legs have to be in the shape of a triangle with the ashi garami position. Try to attach your inside knee to your outside foot around your opponent’s leg.
  • Foot To Hip: Keep your outside foot connected to your opponent’s hip.
  • Close Your Knee: Always close your inside knee above your opponent’s knee. This limits the movement of your opponent.