WATCH: Heel hook ends a skirmish in broad daylight

If you find yourself compromised out there in the world, what martial art would you choose to defend yourself?

Some people may choose striking arts like boxing or Muay Thai, while others may prefer grappling arts like wrestling or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Although BJJ might not be the most glamorous way to engage in this type of a scenario, it has proven to be effective one-on-one.

Understanding the Importance of Context

Before we delve into the example of the heel hook finish, it is important to emphasize the importance of context when it comes to using BJJ in an unregulated situation. If you are faced with a physical confrontation your first priority should be to protect yourself and escape the situation safely.

Using BJJ techniques like heel hooks or any other leg locks might not be the best option if there are multiple attackers involved. In such cases, you should consider using techniques that can create distance between you and the other party or allow you to escape quickly.

The Example of the Heel Hook Finish

The example we will examine is a video recording that went viral on social media. The video shows two people engaged in a scuffle, with one of them clearly intent on grappling his way to victory.

The other person is heavier and throws several punches to the abdomen and ribs of the “grappler”. Eventually, the action goes to the ground, with the “grappler” getting in top half guard. He then decides to stand up and gets a heel hook grip on one leg as the bottom person tries some hook kick/up kick hybrid.

The “grappler” is now set to go for a heel hook finish, and he sits back, throwing a leg over to enter a double outside ashi, with an outside heel hook now pretty tight.

Although he is forced to roll once as the other guy preceded to kick him with the free leg, he eventually gets a cranking heel hook finish, as the onlookers urge the other guy to tap out.

The Importance of Knowing Leg Locks

This example shows the importance of knowing leg locks in BJJ, even in real life. Although heel hooks might not be the first choice in a self-defense situation, it is essential to know them because they can come in handy when grappling becomes the main form of engagement.

Even if your leg lock skills are not perfect, having some knowledge of them can give you an advantage over your opponent.


In conclusion, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be a valuable tool in a real life scenario. However, it is important to understand the context of the situation and choose the appropriate techniques accordingly.

The example of the heel hook finish demonstrates the effectiveness of BJJ in a one-on-one scenario, and the importance of knowing leg locks. So, if you find yourself in an alley at night, remember that knowing BJJ techniques can give you a significant advantage over your opponent.