Learn Nicky Rod’s Cartwheel Pass!
Nicky Rodriguez was the big story this year at the ADCC World Championships. He showcased his incredible athleticism, mixed with his wrestling pedigree, and endless gas tank, in one of the greatest performances the ADCC crowd has ever had the pleasure of witnessing. All eyes were on Rodriguez as he cut through his bracket with unrivaled aggression, explosiveness, and incredible fortitude. He was only stopped by Kaynan Duarte in the final, in a very exciting match. Rodriquez bested some of the worlds greatest competitors and earned himself a silver medal in the Olympics of grappling. All of this, with just over a year of training under his belt.
You could say that Rodriguez was the perfect candidate to win ADCC and whit this career still in its very early stages, the prospect of ADCC gold is certainly within his grasp. I’m certain we’ll see an even more determined, seasoned and more technically proficient Rodriguez in 2021.
Rodriguez is a physical specimen and there’s no doubt his athleticism played a great role in his victories, but let’s be honest, his technique was also on point. Rodriguez wasn’t just out there pushing people around with his muscles. His takedowns were flawless and his ability to navigate the body in grappling scenarios on the ground looked just as good as those with 10 times the experience.
We haven’t received much in the way of formal instruction from Rodriguez on his approach to competition. He’s kept pretty quiet so far on that front, but we have something special here for you to check out! If you haven’t already noticed, Rodriguez has one hell of a cartwheel pass. The technique has made many competitive appearances and its definitely a strong part of his passing toolbox. And why not? It works at the highest levels and it looks damn good too. Here’s Rodriguez himself to break it down for you!
When you hear, cartwheel pass, you may think flashy, reckless, acrobatic passing. But the fact is there is a correct and methodical way of doing everything. IF the pass works at the highest levels of competition, surely, it can work for anyone at any levels. While Rodriguez’s athleticism and timing surely helps, this isn’t some inaccessible move that requires you to be in peak physical condition or incredibly agile. Keep an open mind!
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Lets also keep in mind, that back takes and finishes from the back are king in competition settings. These types of progression score big points and with someone like Rodriguez on your back, your chances of escaping are very minimal. The back can be a tough thing to acquire. May back takes are hard fought and require incredible persistence. With the cartwheel pass, if you can time the technique just right right, your one quick movement away from a solid back take and possibly the subsequent finish.
Rodriguez begins by acquiring wrist control. This could happen in a variety of ways. Here, his partner reaches and Rodriguez simply grips the same side wrist. He then looks to step his same side foot up the middle of his partners guard. Positioning his head on his partner’s shoulder, right next to the head, Rodriguez then begins his cartwheel movement. He uses his back leg to begin to drive his body upward. As he does this, he posts his right hand on the shoulder to stabilize his movement and performs a cartwheel over to the backside of his partner. Very cool.
With the wrist already controlled, Rodriguez lands squarely in a favorable position and immediately connects a seatbelt grip. Depending on his partners reaction, Rodriguez finds the quickest route to securing the back and begins to hunt for the choke. Its cool to see this technique broken down, by someone that performs it so well. This is easy to follow and its something that could immediately be added to your arsenal.
With some closing thoughts on the possibility of transitioning to MMA, Rodriguez alludes to the fact that he’s having way too much fun in grappling right now to make a switch anytime soon. To me, this is welcome news. Selfishly, I’m excited to watch Rodriguez’s progression as a grappler, and the heights he’ll reach in the sport. I keep having to remind myself that this young man is just getting started. Already hanging with the best in the world, we’ve only just begun this interesting journey with Rodriguez.
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