2 Amazing Techniques from Craig Jones
In the world of grappling, one of the most successful and accomplished active competitors is Craig Jones. Craig has taken the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community by storm, with a rapid rise to fame. Craig Jones is now a black belt under Lachlan Giles, fighting out of Australia for the Absolute MMA Academy. Craig is an AFBJJ Pan-Pacific Champion, an EBI Absolute Finalist, a UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro Bronze Medalist, a 3x ADCC Trials Winner and more. Craig is known for having vicious lower body attacks, and an aggressive style while maintaining a calm demeanor.
Today we are going to check out two of Craig Jones latest instructional videos from BJJ Fanatics. The first technique will be Craig’s Tricky Butterfly Guard To Heel Hook. Then we will explore his technique for Baiting an Opponent Into Z Guard. Craig Jones has used both the butterfly guard and the Z guard extensively in competition. Both positions offer a variety of sweeps, transitions, and submissions. Let’s check it out!
Submission only style of competition seems to suit Jones’ jiu jitsu best, as he possesses a high understanding of the leg attack game. In fact, seven of his 11 victories this year have come by way of heel hook. Known to pull guard rather than elect for top position, this strategy has allowed him to climb deep into several recent no-gi tournaments, including EBI and the prestigious ADCC Championship.
Tricky Butterfly Guard To Heel Hook by Craig Jones
Craig Jones is notorious for having a tricky bottom game. His ability to mix a variety of attacks while testing his opponent’s balance is what leads him to eventual sweeps or submissions. This butterfly guard to heel hook technique is a great example of Jones’ bottom game. Watch the video below to see what I mean.
As you can tell, this is pretty amazing stuff from Craig Jones. Pay attention to the initial set up. Jones builds his foundation by folding his legs into a reverse X style while posting on the mat with his rear arm. This allows Craig to apply forward pressure into his training partner’s base. The set up is extremely important to getting the rest of this technique correct, so watch is several times to make sure you get all the detail.
Jones uses an outside hooking grip to start his inversion, but he does not stay at this angle, otherwise he will get smashed. His primary goal is to get underneath of his training partner’s base. This provides Jones the angles he needs to use both of his legs to hit the sweep. It is the pendulum like movement with the outside leg that generates the momentum while the inside leg carries your opponent’s weight. Notice how this opens up all sorts of options for leg attacks, or alternatively, you could switch to passing reverse half guard. There are some really good details here for utilizing this technique at the highest levels of competition.
Craig Jones is a master of the half guard and foot lock attacks. His DVD the Z Guard Encyclopedia gives you a variety of different set ups and attacks from half guard to get the sweep or submission.
Baiting Opponent Into Z Guard by Craig Jones
If you love playing Z Guard, or are curious to learn more about it, then this technique is for you. Z Guard is a great guard for managing your training partner’s distance with greater efficiency than just using your hands and arms to frame. Check out the video below to see how Craig Jones’ baits in opponent into the Z Guard.
As you can probably tell, this is a really cool technique to bait an opponent into Z guard, and some great instruction on how to play Z guard efficiently. The best part about this technique is obviously the concept of attacking your opponent’s weaker side and forcing them to play in a position they are uncomfortable in. To do this, Jones hooks the inside of his training partner’s lead leg with his foot. By hooking inside the leg and behind the knee you can keep your training partner from being able to step inside and pass. Remember that when establishing your Z guard you want to get your knee on the inside, otherwise it will be too easy for your opponent to hit a knee cut pass. You can change your foot to the reverse De La Riva hook to stop your opponent from being able to move forward. That paired with the knee shield will prevent your opponent from pressuring you.
There is a lot to be said about Craig Jones’ methodology, but his brilliance really shines in these two instructional videos. So play around with these techniques the next time you are in a live roll. The more versatile your guard play is the more options you have for sweeping or submitting your opponent. Craig went from a garage in the middle of nowhere in Australia to superstardom on the podium of EBI, to The ADCC World Championships, and on to becoming the Polaris Middleweight Champion. You can reach his levels of success by learning as many of his techniques as possible!
Craig Jones has a secret weapon in jiu jitsu… his leg lock system. It Is a System Craig’s that is very easy to learn. There are some pieces to it, but he was able to go from a Purple Belt to one of the best Black Belts in the world in just 2 years. That isn’t to say that everyone who learns it will get as good as him, but they will surely be able to be a lot better than they are and submit a lot of upper belts – even black belts, if they learn it well enough. No one else trains this stuff.