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Monday, July 4, 2022
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Heel Hook – BJJ Submission


Hakhake is now more common than ever in Jiu Jitsu. Although this was not the case for decades, as they were strictly forbidden from competition.

In recent years, times have changed and the once banned submission is now allowed in very large tournaments.

Here is our outline of the heel hook. We will go through when it is developed and wrestle the mechanics behind one of the most dangerous movements. Then we go over various setups in the submission and give important tips and details to include it.

When were heel hooks developed?

Hakhake was long before Jiu Jitsu was developed. Within Jiu Jitsu, the move was rejected and was not allowed in most academies for decades.

Where it was developed along with most other bone locks was within Sambo, a martial art that historically trained bone locks and favored them when BJJ rejected them.

Bone locks like the heel hook have actually been used in Jiu Jitsu competitions only since the early 2000s. Predominantly in ADCC rules and later in EBI rules.

Grapplers of Dean Lister, Gary Tonon, Eddie Cummings and Gordon Ryan are the ones most credited with their popularity.

As Jiu Jitsu continues to progress, heel hooks will continue to be a game changer in competitions.

The mechanics of the hook

The name is heel hook, but this submission does not actually attack the heel. What it does is turn your opponent’s knee and will tear ligaments in moments if they do not tap.

You use your legs like a screw to lock your opponent’s leg in place and work to insulate their heel. Then you sit their leg diagonally and loosen their heel.

From there, all you need is a slight twist to close the pressure. Your opponent should type immediately or risk a serious knee injury.

Basics outside heel hook

For the first technique, we will focus more on the steps to get the outside hook rather than the entries. We will focus on those in the other techniques.

Let’s say you hooked your outer leg over the leg you are attacking and hooked under your opponent’s farthest leg. Both of your legs are controlled and you are ready to go in your outside hook.

Before you go for the hook, first make sure you control above your opponent’s knee so they can not escape. Second, use your upper leg to bend your opponent’s leg to create a corner before attacking it.

Now the first step is to get the heel hook i to turn in the foot you are attacking to insulate the heel. You isolate their heel by hooking your tricep / armpit on top of your opponent’s foot to hold it in place.

It insulates their heel and now you are ready to put on your hook. Attach your hook by twisting in their heel and catching it with the blade of your wrist.

Once the heel is hooked, hold your hands and twist with your body, which will immediately put the pressure. Make sure you do not just turn with your arms, otherwise your opponent’s heel slips out.

The Inner Hook

Opposite the outer hook is the inner hook. The difference is that with the outside hook, you attack their leg on your outside hip. An inner hook is of course done to your inner hip.

An inner hook also arrives much faster, so be aware of this when drilling with a partner.

From the saddle position similar to the first technique, you are going to turn your legs triangular and. You are also going to fall to your outer hip, so your elbow does not stop you from getting your grip.

Once you fall to your hip outside, pull your opponent’s knee to bend his leg and expose the heel.

Then grasp the top of their foot with your armpit / triceps and hook their heel with the blade of your wrist. As soon as you clap your hands together and twist your body, the pressure comes on.

50/50 hook

The 50/50 is one of the first leg control positions you learn that is really easy to remember. You have a leg and your opponent has a leg, but it is also dangerous because your opponent has a leg.

So remember to keep your feet tightly crossed so that you are not submitted when you go for a submission.

Start by lifting your hips and bring your opponent’s foot to your inner hip. If they are defending by crossing your legs, there is an easy method to separate their legs.

Place your outside hand on your opponent’s and push it while pushing your hip out to break the cross. Now go free with their heel to isolate your opponent’s heel and lock your grip.

Hook their heel with the blade of your wrist, connect your hands, elbows in, and twist your body.

Single leg X-hook

Hooks are easy to get from ankle x. Before we show how to get the heel hook, we will explain how to hold the ankle x position.

Hold ankle x by your outer leg to hook your opponent’s leg and place your foot on their hip. Your other leg hooks under your opponent’s other leg.

Move your opponent’s knee and push it in to expose their heel. Once uncovered, go through the normal rounding sequence to hook your opponent’s heel for the rounding.

Hook knee shield counter

When you’re in your opponent’s half guard and they have a knee pad, you can easily get a heel hook. Head behind your opponent’s knee and fall back to your outside hip.

Once you fall to your side, your opponent’s heel is exposed. Wrap your body in your opponent’s heel, get your grip and go to the finish line.

Backstop hook

Taking a step back is a normal way to counter a guard like De La Riva. It’s also a great way to get in the hook.

Begin the technique by stepping between their legs and squeezing your opponent’s head. With their head controlled, take a step back with your hind foot.

Bring your knee under your opponent’s leg and fold behind their knee while sitting backwards. When you bake and pull your opponent’s knee, it opens their heel.

Hook their heel and get your grip to finish your heel hook.

Half guard to ashi-garami hook

When you have a knee brace on your opponent, one option you have is to go for a heel hook. With your hands on the block, use them with your shield to push your opponent to make space.

Bring the foot of your shield bone between your opponent’s legs. Then grab behind your opponent’s arm and knee and pull yourself into their leg.

As you enter, hook your leg around your opponent’s leg to bend it and expose their foot. From here, you have three submission options. Ankle lock, toe hook and heel hook.

For the heel hook, go through the normal process of hooking the heel and finishing it.

Details and tips for doing a hook hook

A heel hook comes on quickly, but it can all fall apart if you miss a detail. Here are important details and tips to do a hook hook.

  • Turn in the heel: To get the heel hook, you must first wrap your body in your opponent’s foot. In doing so, isolate their foot and open your way to grab their heel.
  • Step on the top of the opponent’s foot: When going for your hook, make sure you catch the top of your opponent’s foot with your armpit / triceps.
  • Leg control: As with all leg locks, you must control your opponent’s leg above their knee. If you do not do this, you have no control over their legs.
  • Hip alignment: Your hips should stay in line with your opponent for the heel hook to work.
  • Bend opponent’s leg: For heel hooks, ankle locks and toes, bend your opponent’s leg at an angle. Without their leg bent, you can not make a heel hook.
  • The hook: When hooking your opponent’s heel, use the blade of your wrist to hook their heel. Place the blade of your wrist right in their Achilles tendon.
  • Turn with your body: Turn with your whole body and not just your arms when applying the pressure. Your grip will slip off if you just turn with your arms.



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