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I have been messing around a bit with the Eddie Bravo twister "banana split" and calf slicer, and the majority of the time I attempt the calf slicer, I come across the same problem . I have everything locked in correctly, but when I pull down on their leg down, it actually hurts me more than it hurts my opponent. The reason for this is that since my legs are figure-foured, I am actually applying the calf slicer on myself.

I asked this same question to Kristian Woodmansee at one of his clinics. His answer was to "pretend that their leg is like the lever on a nut cracker". I have tried this, but it doesn't solve my problem. I have seen other people have this same problem, so I assume that there is an easy solution.

  • What part of your leg are you putting in the crook of your opponent's knee, and where does it hurt you? – ukemi Mar 24 at 17:28
  • @ukemi - I think I am putting my upper calf in the crook of their knee. The part that hurts is actually where I figure-4 my legs, it's almost like I am calf-slicing myself. – LemmyX Mar 24 at 17:35
  • Is there any particular reason you are using your upper calf as opposed to your shin/ankle? The figure four is (as I understand it) to stabilise the position of your shin in the crook of their knee, and keep it flush with it. You shouldn't need to squeeze the life out of your own leg (and depending on your position, you can simply push with your other foot as opposed to figure 4-ing). Another possible tip - if you are grabbing and pulling their ankle, try holding/pulling from their toes - it will require less strength to apply the lock. – ukemi Mar 24 at 17:40
  • @ukemi - I meant to say shin, not calf. I halve already tried pulling the toes, figure-fouring my legs, and hipping up all at the same time. I find this is like a 50% success rate, but it always is extremely uncomfortable. – LemmyX Mar 24 at 17:48
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While the nutcracker analogy is useful, there is a subtle difference:

  • with a nutcracker, the stress is applied to the nut
  • with a compression lock, the 'nut' (limb you are using as a fulcrum) is supposed to sustain the stress and redirect it to the 'axle' (the opponent's joint)

Some basic newtonian concepts for improving the efficiency of your compression lock:

  • Push your limb as far into the crook of their joint as possible
  • Use the bony part of your lower shin/ankle (will sustain stress better than the fleshy part of your calf)
  • Hold as far up their limb as possible when pulling down and applying the pressure (i.e. pull on the toes, not the ankle)

Depending on your position, if the pain is coming from the figure-4 leg position, you may instead press down on your foot with your other foot to maintain pressure in the crook of the knee:

Calf Slicer / Calf Crusher / Leg Slicer | MMA Submissions

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  • Is there also a roadblock for fighting people with way longer legs than you? That's usually the case for me. Now that I think about it, it does work better against people who are <= my size. – LemmyX Mar 24 at 17:51

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