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Can’t Get the Back, Its Okay, Get The Crucifix

Can’t Get the Back, Its Okay, Get The Crucifix


All to often we find ourselves attacking the turtle position and we are so adamant about getting to to the back that we overlook simple attacks.  One of these simple positions that we often over look is the crucifix.  The turtle position is very common, especially in the IBJJF circuit, but why?  If someone is about to get their guard passed and they are able to turtle their opponent will not be awarded points.

If you get to the back and do a body triangle or crucifix you better finish your opponent because you will not be awarded points for these positions.  Points are only awarded if you get both hooks in on your opponent.  This may be why so many people are so determined to get both hooks in.  Getting both hook is not necessarily the most dominant position.

We are going to take a look at the crucifix rollover attack today with Mike Palladino.  The crucifix can be an excellent option to attack the turtle.  This is because it presents itself very often.  One of the best competitors to ever compete, Marcelo Garcia was infamous for using the crucifx to attack his opponent’s.  Today we are going to take a look at a simple and effective entry to the crucifix and break it down.  Check out the entry below and then we will discuss.

Breakdown of the Rolling Crucifix from Turtle with Mike Palladino:

First off, let’s discuss why we would even go to crucifix.  Well, the simple fact of the matter is that sometimes the hooks can be very difficult to get to and over committing to try and establish back control can cost you position. The crucifix is something that is very simple to take advantage of and that will present itself.  This is because sometimes to defend the back our opponent leaves a whole in their arm.

Notice how in the video above with Mike he is just trying to find a gap between his opponent’s elbow and knee.  This is all you need to get to the crucifix.  Everything is very similar to a back take, he has a seatbelt grip and he is just trying to control him and find that gap.  Once he has seen the gap he is going to capitalize on the opportunity and he is going to shove his knee inside the gap.

One of the common mistakes that people make when attempting the crucifix is that they figure four their legs the wrong way and this will allow their opponent the opportunity they need to escape.  Notice that the leg near his opponent’s head is the one that is going to trap the arm.  The knee near his opponent’s knee is what creates the opening so that his opponent cannot get their arm back.

The fundamental mistake that is made all to often to defend the hook is that people who are in turtle leave their elbow away from their knee and this creates the hole.  Notice how Mike is actually going to do a simple shoulder roll to finish the position.  The shoulder roll is actually not necessary, and you can have an effective crucifix from top. 

Some people, like Mike, prefer to have the crucifix control from the bottom.  This is because it will allow them to have more hip movement and potential attacks.  The way that Mike gets hear is that when he controls the arm he will use his legs and a shoulder roll to carry his opponent weight with him.

One important detail to note here is the fact that Mike is going to use his hand to post and give him more momentum to do the shoulder roll.  This post makes it possible form Mike to really swing and his opponent is going to follow and end up on top of him but in a crucifix position.  There are so many attacks from this position that you can do.  There are choke, triangles, arm bars, wrist locks, Kimuras and more.  It is one of the most dominant positions if you know what you are doing.  If you don’t have attacks this position can be useless.

To learn more Killer Turtle Attacks and Crucifix attacks check out Mike Palladino’s new DVD set all about attacking the turtle and you can even download it digitally below.


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