Innovative Craig Jones Saddle Set Up

Recently my training partner Tim Coon from Dodgy Collective and myself have been getting back into leg locks. Since I had stopped studying leg locks there has been a lot of innovation and creativity coming out so I decided to do some research about what is currently trending.  As I searched for new leg lock entries one name kept coming up that I didn’t recognize. Craig Jones is a black belt from Australia that has exploded onto the competition team.  Craig has competed in several of the biggest tournaments and won using his system of leg locks. Today I wanted to look at a very innovative set up that Jones uses from a modified X Guard to get to the saddle.

After playing around with this set up, it seems that the key to this move is to position your legs correctly in the modified X Guard before you transition to the saddle. It is important to make sure that your inside leg is on the bottom of the X. The bottom leg is the leg that you will shoot out and eventually hook behind your opponent’s knee. If your inside leg is on top of the outside leg you will not be able to use your butterfly hook to pick your opponent up and transition to the saddle. 

The hardest part of this move is the leg transition after you lift up your opponent. In the gif below Jones goes inverted for a brief second before curling his leg in. When I drilled this I found that you have to be fast with this movement. I personally do not like to go inverted but if you are fast with your legs you will only be inverted for a second or two. It is also very important to create a tight clamp around the leg you are attacking. If you do not clamp tightly on the leg your opponent may be able to kick out of your butterfly.  A tight clamp during this step will also ensure that you have proper positioning when you land. Shockingly the “toss” portion of this transition is pretty easy when you have control of the leg. Your strong control will keep your opponent from basing out on the leg and stalling you while you are inverted.

If you are looking to incorporate unique leg lock set ups into your game I recommend checking out Craig Jones’ videos on YouTube. He also has a dvd series that I personally have not yet watched but have heard great things about. If you are in the San Fernando Valley area and are interested in learning more about this set up and some of the other leg lock fun fill out my contact form to connect with me.

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