Inside Sankaku

Inside Sankaku: A Complete Guide to the Leg Triangle

Inside Sankaku is a grappling position that involves using one’s legs to form a triangle around the opponent’s body, specifically targeting the head and arm. It is also commonly referred to as the “Leg Triangle.” 

This position is highly significant in grappling arts, such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and submission wrestling, due to its effectiveness in controlling the opponent, creating submission opportunities, and providing options for sweeps and reversals.

This article provides a complete guide to understanding and mastering Inside Sankaku, offering valuable insights into its techniques, setups, and applications. We will explore the fundamental principles and mechanics of Inside Sankaku, providing a solid foundation for practitioners to build upon. 

Inside Sankaku is a dynamic grappling position that involves using the legs to create a triangle around the opponent’s head and arm, exerting control and pressure. The primary objective is immobilizing the opponent’s upper body while applying various submissions or transitioning to advantageous positions.

The mechanics rely on the effective use of angles, leverage, and control. A tight triangular configuration is formed by positioning one leg across the opponent’s neck and the other leg under the opponent’s armpit, restricting the opponent’s mobility and limiting their options for escape

Inside Sankaku

Importance of Leg Positioning, Angles, and Pressure in Inside Sankaku

Leg positioning is pivotal in Inside Sankaku, as it determines the effectiveness of control and submission opportunities. Placing the leg across the opponent’s neck helps to secure the head and isolate it from the rest of the body. 

The other leg, positioned under the opponent’s armpit, enhances control by preventing the opponent from posturing up or creating space.

Angles are crucial as they allow practitioners to optimize leverage and apply pressure effectively. By creating diagonal angles with the legs, practitioners can generate torque, increase pressure on the opponent’s neck and shoulder, and disrupt their base and balance.

Maintaining constant pressure is vital. By squeezing the legs together and actively engaging the hips, practitioners create a vice-like grip around the opponent’s upper body. This pressure limits the opponent’s breathing, weakens defenses, and increases the likelihood of successful submissions.

Applications of Inside Sankaku

Sankaku offers a range of offensive and defensive applications in grappling. Let’s explore two key aspects: control and submissions from the Sankaku position and countering and escaping when caught in the Leg Triangle.

Control and Submissions from Inside Sankaku Position

Sankaku provides exceptional control over opponents, allowing practitioners to limit their movements and create submission opportunities. Here are some offensive applications:



Neck and Shoulder Control: With the legs forming a tight triangle around the opponent’s head and arm, practitioners can exert pressure on the neck and shoulder, restricting their mobility and making it difficult for them to escape or defend.


Transition to Upper Body Submissions: Inside Sankaku sets the stage for various upper body submissions. Practitioners can leverage the position to execute submissions such as the Armbar, Kimura, Omoplata, or Shoulder Lock, capitalizing on the control established by the Leg Triangle.


Lower Body Attacks: While Sankaku is primarily associated with upper body submissions, practitioners can also exploit openings for lower body attacks. Ankle locks, calf slicers, and kneebar submissions can be initiated by applying additional pressure and manipulating the opponent’s legs.


Countering and Escaping from Inside Sankaku

When caught in the Inside Sankaku position, it is crucial to have effective strategies for countering and escaping to avoid being submitted. Here are some defensive applications:


Posture Management: Maintaining good posture and preventing the opponent from breaking your posture is vital to defending against Inside Sankaku. By keeping your spine aligned and your head up, you can resist the pressure applied by the Leg Triangle.


Hand Fighting and Grip Breaks: Attacking the opponent’s grips and breaking their control is essential for escaping Sankaku. Employ hand-fighting techniques to strip their grips and create space to maneuver.


Leg Positioning and Hip Movement: Proper leg positioning and hip movement are crucial for escaping Sankaku. By recognizing opportunities to create angles and generate space, you can free your trapped limbs and work towards running the position.


Countering with Leg Locks: Skilled practitioners may counter the Inside Sankaku position by transitioning into leg locks of their own. By capitalizing on the positioning and leverage available, you can turn the tables on your opponent and threaten them with a submission.

Inside Sankaku

Transitions and Advanced Techniques

Inside Sankaku offers opportunities for seamless transitions to other dominant positions, enabling practitioners to maintain control and continue their attack. Let’s explore two common transitions from Sankaku:

Transition to Mount or Back Control

From Inside Sankaku, transitioning to mount or back control can solidify your dominant position and provide additional submission opportunities. Here’s an overview of these transitions:


Transition to Mount: To transition to mount, release the triangle lock by uncrossing your legs while maintaining control over the opponent’s upper body. Slide your leg across their neck and position it across their chest, transitioning into a mounted position. Maintain control over their arms and posture up to establish a strong mount.


Transition to Back Control: From Inside Sankaku, release the triangle lock and slide your leg across their neck towards their back. Simultaneously, extend your other leg to create a hook behind the knee, securing back control. 


Establish control over their upper body, maintain hooks with your legs, and work towards achieving a dominant rear-naked choke or other submissions.

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Inside Sankaku, also known as the Leg Triangle, is a versatile and effective technique in grappling. Throughout this comprehensive guide, we have explored the various aspects of Inside Sankaku, including its definition, mechanics, setups, applications, transitions, advanced techniques, common mistakes, and troubleshooting tips.

Understanding the concept and principles of Sankaku is crucial for harnessing its full potential. Proper leg positioning, angles, and pressure play a significant role in successfully applying Sankaku and maintaining control over your opponent. Mastering these fundamental elements, you can set the stage for various offensive and defensive opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Inside Sankaku, and why is it essential in grappling?

A. Inside Sankaku, also known as the Leg Triangle, is a submission technique in grappling where one leg is positioned across the opponent’s neck. In contrast, the other leg applies pressure by crossing over. It is crucial in grappling because it offers control over the opponent, creates opportunities for various submissions, and can be used defensively to neutralize an opponent’s attacks.

Q. Can anyone learn and apply Inside Sankaku, or is it only suitable for advanced practitioners?

A. Inside Sankaku can be learned and applied by practitioners of various skill levels. While it may require some practice to master the technique and its intricacies, practitioners of all levels can benefit from incorporating Sankaku into their grappling repertoire. It is essential to start with proper instruction, gradually develop the necessary flexibility, and focus on technique to ensure safe and effective execution.

Q. What are some common mistakes to avoid when applying Inside Sankaku?

A. Some common mistakes to avoid when applying Sankaku include failing to secure a tight leg triangle lock, improper hip and leg positioning, and ineffective grip control. These mistakes can compromise control over the opponent and reduce the effectiveness of submissions. It is essential to focus on proper technique, leg positioning, and grip control to maximize the effectiveness of Sankaku.

Q. Can Inside Sankaku be used in a self-defense situation?

A. While Inside Sankaku is primarily associated with grappling and sport martial arts, some elements of Inside Sankaku, such as controlling an opponent and restricting their movements, can be applied in a self-defense situation. 

However, it is essential to consider the context and legality of self-defense scenarios and prioritize personal safety above all else.

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