Jake Mackenzie was born and reared in Nova Scotia, Canada and was first exposed to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu when he was 14 years old. Over the next few years, he cross paths with the likes of Marcia Feitosa and eventually began traveling back and forth to Brazil quite regularly.
After a number to Brazil to live, train and learn the language. During that time he also became exposed to a great many high level teachers and competitors, going so far as to spend any and all extra money to take privates with them to fill perceived gaps in his game. This practice helped him develop his half guard system as he spent a large chunk of his time specifically studying the half guard games of the highest level teachers he could work with.
After a trip to Rio, he connected with Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu who took Jake under his wing and invited him to his new school in Miami where Jake trained for a number of years. He spent the period between purple belt and eventually black belt studying directly with Cyborg.
After earning his black belt, he traveled back to Rio and connected with the GFTeam and continues to rep them, while maintaining loyal to Cyborg in his heart because of the time and mentorship he invested in the young Jake and especially due to receiving his black belt from Cyborg in 2010.
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Jake Mackenzie is most known for his dynamic and powerful half guard game.
The techniques below will give just a glimpse of what is available at BJJ Fanatics in his two Half Guard instructional DVDs.
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Half Guard Basic Positioning
In this video, Jake outlines his basic half guard body placement, where he puts his hands feet and how he comports his hips. He's not too reliant on the knee shield for his particular brand of half guard. His use of a belt grip to control the engagement of his opponent is particularly noteworthy.
Entry Into Knee Twist Half Guard
In this variation of Jake's half guard he addresses the opponent who is trying to knee slice through his half guard by controlling and then forcing misdirection with the shin that sets up a unique variation that is somewhat related to deep half. You will have to check it out.
Countering the Underhook
The under hook from the top is the bane of the bottom player's existence. This allows the opponent to flatten you and make progress. This unique counter will set up an entry to a deep half position.
Elbow Lock Roll
This unique sweep catches the opponent when they're back stepping and puts them in a very painful smash pass position. You're going to love it.
Arm Drag to Back Take
Jake is well-known for his back takes from half guard. This is a great counter to the whizzer from the top opponent. The back take from this position will have your opponent's guessing as to how you did that.
Below are a few of the fight or match videos that are available on YouTube for Jake Mackenzie.
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