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Back Off: The Crucifix Rollout

Back Off: The Crucifix Rollout


In Jiu Jitsu, it’s never a good thing if a teammate has your back.  Fortunately, Jake Mackenzie is back to show us how to get our teammates to back off.  (Should I back off of the back puns?)

Okay, let’s get back (last one!) to Mackenzie’s Crucifix Rollout.  In the video below, Mackenzie starts off in his teammate’s back control.  His teammate has a seat belt grip with one hook already set into Mackenzie’s leg.

Mackenzie begins his rollout by pulling on the arm his opponent is draping over Mackenzie’s shoulder.  As he pulls that arm downward and toward his own hips, Mackenzie tucks his right arm inside his opponent’s knee.  (He uses his right arm because his teammate’s arm is draped over his right shoulder; if the seat belt crossed over his left shoulder, he would use his left arm).

In this position, Mackenzie can bring his shoulder to the floor.  

Now, the key to this rollout and the intriguing details are in Mackenzie’s footwork.  He begins by pulling his left leg up tightly toward his butt. From here, he can hook his opponent’s right foot (0:36).

Mackenzie emphasizes that we need to keep up on our toes when attempting this rollout.  We can’t simply lie on the mat. Mackenzie uses the hook on his opponent’s right foot to bring that foot to the floor.  Then, as a space opens between his left leg and his opponent’s right leg, Mackenzie begins to thread the needle, slipping his right knee between his leg and his teammate’s (0:43).

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At this point, Mackenzie usually expects his teammate to attempt to hook him with his other (in this case, left) foot.  Mackenzie prepares for this possibility by placing his left hand against his upper thigh, as though he was reaching into the front pocket of his pants (1:05).  

This places his hand in position to capture his opponent’s left leg if/when it comes over.  In the meantime, Mackenzie walks his legs over his opponent’s right leg (1:06).

Just as before, Mackenzie keeps himself off the floor, elevating his hips off the floor and keeping his head heavy against his teammate’s chest.

While Mackenzie has now escaped his opponent’s legs, this is a precarious moment because he could soon be vulnerable to the crucifix if he is not careful.  However, Mackenzie tells us that we don’t need to worry about our left arm until our opponent has established a strong seat belt grip across our torso.

Before this can happen, Mackenzie rotates his body, pulls his arm out from his teammate’s leg, and closes the space between them (1:33).

Review Mackenzie’s lesson below, and roll it out the next time one of your teammates has your back:


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