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With Sally Arsenault

Every year or two the local BJJ scene here in Nova Scotia, Canada, welcomes Jake Mackenzie home from Brazil. Jake started training Brazilian jiu jitsu in Nova Scotia when he was in his early teens. Eventually, his love for the sport led him to Florida to train with his friend Roberto “Cyborg” Abreau for many years, but now he resides in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with his wife Melissa. Both Jake and Melissa are members of the GF Team.

BJJ Heroes has a great article documenting Jake’s early success here: http://www.bjjheroes.com/bjj-fighters/jake-mackenzie

I don’t pay enough attention to the competition scene and Jake is so humble, I’ve never heard him talk about tournaments but in working with him on these videos, I realised he has had a very successful year. His accomplishments include:

-2015 IBJJF Rio Fall International No-Gi Open, 2nd place
-2015 IBJJF Zurich International No-Gi Open Champion
-2015 IBJJF Zurich No-Gi International Open Absolute Champion
-2015 IBJJF Rio International Winter Champion (closed bracket out with team mates)
-2015 IBJJF Southern Brazilian Champion, middle weight black belt
-2015 IBJJF São Paulo International Open, middle weight Champion
-2015 IBJJF São Paulo international Open No Gi, middle weight Champion
-2015 IBJJF Brasilia International Open, middle weight Champion
-2015 IBJJF Brasilia international Open No Gi, middle weight Champion

When Jake visits Nova Scotia, we love to hear his stories from the birthplace of our beloved sport and of course we want to learn all of the latest BJJ techniques. Over the past two months, my team has had the good fortune of having Jake come and teach us at my club, Titans MMA, regularly. We also hosted his seminar and I would say it was one of the best seminars I’ve ever attended. Jake broke down the techniques into small, easily learned blocks that built upon each other to create a very nice sweep series from half guard. He ensured that each student showed him the move correctly and then at the end of the day, he stayed an hour extra answering questions and helping students with other techniques they had questions about.

I wanted to share some of his knowledge with you so I asked him to do a video series demonstrating some of his most successful techniques. His wife Melissa is a very technical grappler and I have been training with her as much as possible while the pair have been in Nova Scotia. At the seminar, we added a submission to the end of the sweep Jake taught and it flows so well together, we wanted to share that with you, too.

In the first of the four videos, Jake shows a back take to counter the cut-through in half guard.

Option 1:

In the second video, Jake shows a counter to the cut-through when the opponent tries to back step. The opponent is swept and Jake ends in leg drag.

Option 2:

In the third video, Jake takes advantage of the opponent trying to back step after a foiled cut-through and sweeps to dope mount, or smash pass.

Option 3:

In the fourth video, Melissa demonstrates a sweep we learned at Jake’s seminar. It is also a counter to the cut-through, however instead of waiting for her opponent to back step, she forces the back step and then uses that to sweep into dope mount. She adds the key detail of getting her head under her opponent’s arm before going for the sweep so it will be in place to finish the arm triangle. We call this “The Melly”.

Option 4:

For the full playlist, click here.

I hope these videos will help you to obliterate the cut-through pass on all of your opponents and that the Melly will end many matches in your favour. If your club would like to book a seminar with Jake, you can contact him on Facebook. All of us at Titans wish Jake and Melissa success and safe travels as they head back to Brazil and thank them for all that they’ve shared with us.


March 21, 2016 — Jiu Jitsu Style