The Crab Ride is a transitional position that has become very popular in high level Jiu-Jitsu in recent years. Athletes such as Rafa Mendes, Mickey Musumeci, and the Miyao brothers have all successfully used this technique to win some of the biggest competitions in the sport.
The position is achieved by securing hooks behind the knee of the opponent which prevents them from recovering guard or even turning to face you. From here the attacker will then use the position to elevate their opponent so that they can transition to the exposed back. If the attempted back take fails there is a good chance that the attacker will scramble to the top thereby sweeping their opponent. In BJJ it is typically used in a sequence with other sweep attacks from the De La Riva position including the Berimbolo.
The position is originally a freestyle wrestling position and is typically utilized when the attacker is seated behind their opponent with seat belt control.
Crab Ride in Wrestling
The crab ride is a leg riding position that is typically done when the attacker has secured the back. It is also frequently seen when the attacker is sitting behind the opponent while in a ‘sit-out’. In this position the attacker’s legs are stretched forward to create control of the opponent’s hips and legs.
A number of wrestlers are famous for their use of the technique. Folk-style wrestler David Taylor is probably the best known current athlete who uses the position frequently in his game.
Use in Jiu-Jitsu
In terms of BJJ history the Berimbolo is still a relatively new position. This can also be said of the Crab Ride which seems to be evolving alongside the Berimbolo.
In BJJ the crab ride is typically seen in a sequence that usually starts with a DLR and a Berimbolo attack. In a Berimbolo attempt the attacker will often find themselves inverted underneath their opponent. The crab ride is a natural transition from here and allows the attacker greater control over the direction of their opponents movements.
The crab ride can also be used in isolation. It is effectively a reverse butterfly and can often be found while playing open guard.
In sport BJJ the position seems to be favored by lighter weight athletes. Rafa Mendes, Miyao brothers, and Gianni Grippo . In the last few years Mickey Musumeci has proven himself to be the king of the crab ride and has used the Berimbolo/Crab ride combination to win two world championships in succession.
Up and coming BJJ stars Levi Jones O’Leary and Thalison Soares are another two athletes who have mastered the position.