“Never cross your ankles when you’re in back mount!” This rule is often taught as gospel to BJJ beginners.
Truly, it’s not a bad rule of thumb to start with. But there are exceptions to every rule, and that’s what this article is all about…
The back mount is one of the very best positions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. From the back you can submit your opponent with some very powerful submissions like the rear naked choke, the bow and arrow choke, and the twister.
And when you’re on someone’s back they very limited options to submit you. So you’re safe… mostly!
But even though he’s in a terrible position there’s still a sneaky way your opponent can tap you out when you’ve got him in back mount, and that’s with the crossed ankle lock.
If you’re on someone’s back and screw up by crossing your ankles incorrectly (or allow him to cross your ankles for you) then he can catch you in a painful submission by crossing his ankles over yours. And it’s this submission that has resulted in the general rule of “Never cross your ankles in back mount.”
Fortunately there’s a very simple adjustment you can make when you cross your ankles that’ll protect you from getting caught by this leglock in the first place…
And there’s another very simple adjustment that you can use to relieve the pressure should you get caught in it.
In the 5 minute video below you’ll learn
- When you can use crossed ankles in back mount
- How to do the crossed ankle lock
- The adjustment that prevents this leglock
- A simple escape for the crossed ankle lock if you get caught in it
P.S. I filmed this video with my friend Rob Biernacki, who is better than anyone else I know at identifying the underlying body mechanics of BJJ techniques. Click here to listen to the podcast interview I did with Rob.