Escaping Turtle with Henry Cejudo
How many times have you been in turtle position with no way out?
Henry Cejudo has two options for you to try, the first being a “fat man” stand up into a single leg, the second being a rolling reversal he calls the Kendal Cross Cartwheel (named after the 1996 Olympic Gold wrestler).
Starting in a turtle position, Henry is on his hands and knees and his opponent locks a seat belt grip around Cejudo’s body. Henry explains that he does not like to stand straight up with his opponent on his side because he is off balance and can be taken down, instead Cejudo will look to angle his hips so when he steps up he is facing the same direction as his opponent. Because he is facing the same direction Henry can prop his weight up against his opponent and use it to help stand up, driving off his opponent and the floor. While Cejudo is standing, he is looking to control the top grip of his opponent.
Controlling that grip will help protect his neck from a rear naked choke. Once stood up, Cejudo then looks to either break his opponents grip or as he shows, he can easily slip out under his opponents armpit with a level change and drop right into his own single leg attack. Henry then gives a tip that everybody can benefit from, Cejudo says that you should look to master 2 or 3 moves in every area rather than knowing tons of techniques but not truly understanding them. This stand up, is one of those techniques he says.
When done effectively, wrestling forces our opponents down to the ground in inferior positions relative to the ones they would establish if they pull guard. Also, maintaining the top position is easier than defending guard pass, so why not get the top position?
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The second technique is more advanced compared to the stand up. Henry learned it from training with Olympic gold medalist Kendal Cross. Like the stand up Cejudo will look to step up his outside leg, but unlike the last technique he will not shift his hips to face the same direction as his opponent, instead he will continue to face the same direction he was facing in turtle. Keeping strong posture, Henry looks to control his opponents elbow with the same side arm as the leg he stood up on. He grabs above the elbow and pulls in tight to lock it to his body.
Once connecting his opponent to him, Henry looks to make some space by stepping away from his opponent, making an angle and almost facing him simultaneously Cejudo gets a palm up grip around his opponents thigh, holding him tight with his forearm. To finish his reversal, Henry uses the leg he is still posting on to drive him over and roll his opponent. Once reversed Henry shows the most basic option is to then face your opponents hips and turn over to side control.
Next time you are stuck in the turtle position see if you can work the “fat man” stand up and if you want to reverse them right away, try out the Kendal Cross Cartwheel!
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