Ethan Crelinsten Shows How To Defend The False Reap

How To Defend the False Reap by Ethan Crelinsten
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Leg lock expert and B-team top competitor Ethan Crelinsten demonstrates how to defend and counter one of B-team leader Craig Jones’ best moves – the false reap.

What Is The False Reap?

The false reap is a guard position that allows for several different entries into the dreaded Inside Sankaku position. The reason it is so dangerous is that it lures people into a knee cut pass which is never really going to work. At least not in the way the passer envisioned it.

The guard player “trapped” in a knee cut position places the top leg in a reap position, over the near leg, and inside the crotch. The main detail in the false reap is the grip, which is a palm-to-palm grip behind the knee of the leg pressing for the knee cut.

The moment the passer tries to pass, the bottom leg slips back, opening inversions and shovel-unders that lead straight into the world of leg locks.

How To Defend The False Reap

Ethan has likely suffered a lot of false reap submissions at the hands of Craig, and more to less, most of the B-team. His defense is two-fold: going for a pass vs. the false reap, or rolling into a back take.

Passing The Guard

According to Crelinsten’s instructions, when you’re looking to defuse the danger of the false reap, you need to follow several steps in order to succeed:

1. Turning To The Correct Side

Despite what instinct might suggest, you need to make sure you’re turning your chest and hips away from the person that has a false reap, instead of toward them.

2. Weight Distribution

As you turn in the knee cut direction,  you’ll need to shift your weight forward. Ethan posts his arm behind the opponent’s back and leans all his weight into the reaping leg with his hip.

3. Sticky Hooks & Backstep

A very important step in ensuring all the attacking directions are shut off is to make sure the bottom leg can’t slip behind your trapped leg. Ethan does this by placing both his feet behind the bottom leg.

Once secure, Crelinsten backsteps and immediately brings the leg back into the sticky hook position.

  1. Underhook & Sprawl

To finish the pass, Ethan underhooks the opponent’s top leg, which is no longer in a false reap position. This puts him into a great passing position, as long as he can break the grip behind the knee.

Breaking the grip is easy, according to Ethan, as long as you have everything else – you just need to sprawl your hips and you’re out and past the guard.

Taking The Back

An alternative way to deal with the false reap is to repeat the first three steps, ensuring you still have the correct angle, weight distribution, and sticky hooks. Instead of doing a backstep and going for a pass, Ethan reaches for the neck with his far arm.

A powerful hip switch enables him to break the grip and he goes for a rolling back take, by walking his shoulder as close to the opponent’s hip as possible. The way the legs are positioned helps Ethan force the opponent straight to back control.

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