Jake Mackenzie Talks European Open, Teaches Half-Guard Technique

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Jacob bateu Ed Ramos e deu o ouro para a GFTeam. Foto: Gustavo Aragão.

Jacob Mackenzie on Ed Ramos’s back during Brazilian Team Nationals in Rio (Photo by Gustavo Aragão/GRACIEMAG)

Canadian black belt Jake Mackenzie is another one of the aces confirmed for combat at the European Jiu-Jitsu Championship to take place Jan. 24-27 in Lisbon, Portugal.

The middleweight, who is now training in London alongside Vinícius Marinho and Gabriel Ratinho at GFTeam England, spoke with GRACIEMAG.com about what he expects to find in Portugal.

“The European Open is always a fun tournament. I’m really excited about competing there at the end of the month,” said Jake, before offering his breakdown of his weight division. “I just moved to middleweight at the end of last year, so I haven’t had a chance to compete against all the top guys in the division yet. I know the competition in Portugal is going to be really stiff. That’s why I’m anxious to test myself out against everyone in the weight class.”

Known for his versatile half-guard game, the Canadian taught us an intricate back attack.

“In half-guard the game has to be really aggressive, with a series of variations; otherwise the guy will pass. It’s vital that you have a bunch of options so you’ll be able to confuse your opponent,” said Jake.

With the help of the decorated black belt Roberto Cyborg, Jake first pummels an underhook (minute 0.50) under Cyborg’s arm and loops his other arm around his buddy’s leg. Next he grabs the lapel and passes it under his opponent (minute 0.54). The trick is to be careful when lifting your body, because the opponent may roll out (minute 1.15). Upon pulling the lapel, make sure to unbalance the opponent (1:46 min), to next do the final roll (1:58 min) and make it to the back.

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