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Tips On Using The Lapel With Jake Mackenzie

Tips On Using The Lapel With Jake Mackenzie



Jiu-Jitsu has seen many evolutions happen over a relatively short period, at least in terms of official competitions. The “Meta”, as the cool kids call it, shifts continuously. One major strategy that has seen more implementation is the usage of the Lapel. Although this is obviously reserved to Gi specific aspects of Jiu-Jitsu, it’s SO powerful that it’s tough to ignore if you happen to enjoy the Gi.

 A good starting point to learning how to use the lapel can be from closed guard. Employing closed guard for your lapel tactics can be beneficial because you can control your partner with your legs while using your upper body to manipulate the lapel. Understanding how to use the lapel to your advantage from the closed guard can make the transition to other Lapel positions more viable. Jake Mackenzie is a fan of utilizing the lapel from closed guard. Let's check out how he uses it to set up a slick sweep from closed guard! 

Getting a good, usable grip on the lapel is KEY to the success of this technique. Jake starts by using a thumb down grip to pull his partner’s lapel free from the belt. He then threads it through, outside of his partner’s elbow. Overtime there will be plenty of options for how you start to obtain this grip. When beginning though it’s nice to acknowledge the fact that a guard passer will likely put their hands on your hips to control you from breaking their posture. This allows an opportunity to attack the lapel instead. Once the grip is threaded through, Mackenzie wraps it over his partner’s elbow forcing it to Jake's torso. 

Ready to update you Closed Guard for COMPETITION!? Click Learn More!


Jake explores multiple options here covered in his Competition Closed Guard instructional. To pull off the sweep he starts to threaten with a cross choke grip. This grip starts to control their posture, and can also assist in an armbar. From here Jake shifts his hips out from under his partner’s base, almost in an arm drag like fashion. This shifting allows for a better reach when going around your partners head to obtain the threaded lapel grip. Jake also points out the importance of keeping the elbow tucked so the head can remain trapped. Now it’s time to sweep!

To finish this beauty of a technique, Mackenzie is able to use his free arm to pull himself further underneath of his partner’s base. By hooking the partner’s leg it allows Mackenzie to uncross his feet  and generate the momentum needed to perform the sweep. The lapel grip is also a crucial factor in the sweeping motion because it traps the posting arm of the opponent. This allows a smooth roll through to the mount while maintaining the dominate lapel configuration on your opponent. 

Overall this technique is the merging of two separate “Meta Strategies” that are being discussed more and more. You’ll hear about the closed guard making a comeback, or how “once the lapel is wrapped in, it’s over”, and considering what Jake Mackenzie demonstrated here it’s hard to disagree. By using two ultra controlling strategies in closed guard, and the lapel you will be able to control your opponent while simultaneously laying traps for their demise!

Competition Closed Guard By Jake Mackenzie is the refinement of YEARS of competition at the HIGHEST LEVEL in Jiu-Jitsu. Closed Guard is coming back in a BIG way. As they say “The Classics are the Classics for a reason!”. Closed Guard can allow you to control, and dominate your opponent while reducing the risk of their attacks! If you are looking for a way to slow your opponent down and find a way to submit them, Competition Closed Guard By Jake Mackenzie is for you!



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