The crucifix is an often overlooked or neglected position that has the potential to be very effective if known and practiced. Eduardo encourages his students to use the crucifix since it often takes opponents by surprise when they are expecting a more common attack, and it offers a large degree of control and strong finishes.
“Hey, this isn’t the crucifix!”
A common confusion exists around the name “crucifix” which is cleared up in A Confusion of Crucifixes. In short, this isn’t the neck crank by the same name.
The technique Eduardo teaches below shows one of the easiest (and most common) situations where the crucifix can be taken, the fundamentals of maintaining the position, and a simple yet effective choke.
Thanks to Lee for helping with the demonstration.
He’s making a major mistake by trying to do the single leg with his head on the outside. In this situation, many make the mistake of trying to spin and take the back while their leg is still being held. Even if they get their hook in, their other leg is still trapped so they just get taken down anyway. It’s easier to just take the crucifix since he’s practically giving it to you (not to mention guillotine chokes and crossfacing, but that’s for another day).
Reach your left hand through his armpit and get a one-on-one (one hand grabbing one wrist) to control his far arm. You can turn his arm in towards his body to break him down.
If he’s still clasping his hands together around your leg, drop your hips and do a “sprawl” of sorts to break his grip, but (like always) don’t give him enough space to pull his arm out.
When you roll, you always want to go over the shoulder that’s nearest to his hips. Rolling over the other shoulder is awkward and difficult, and makes him do a nasty flip on the back of his neck.
Your left hand grabs the back of your head to trap his left arm, and you cross your legs and pinch your knees to keep his right arm trapped.