The Leo Viera Back Take

Sometimes the most enjoyable techniques are those that are both fun and functional. The Leo Vieira roll (for lack of a better name) is one of those techniques. It’s not the most complex move to pull off, but there are a few points of which anyone attempting this transition to the rear mount should be aware.

First, let’s take a look at a clip from a Leo Vieira highlight that demonstrates this technique. While I edited this down for easy viewing I highly encourage everyone to check on the full video on the Youtubes, as it is easily my favourite jiu-jitsu highlight video. Now here’s the clip:

How does the CheckMat legend pull off this seemingly flashy technique? Here’s what I’ve learned through much successful (and a few unsuccessful) attempts in sparring:

  1. The trigger position for this technique is on top of your opponent’s turtle. Often your opponent will turtle to avoid giving up guard pass points, allowing you to control from the top position (also getting an advantage in most competitions).
  2. From here, it is optimal to attack chokes and conventional back takes first. However, if your opponent is too tight, or you feel that they are over-committing their weight forward, this is the time to try the forward roll.
  3. The hand position is vital here. I feel you need both arms underhooking around the body. When I attack with the Marcelo seatbelt grip (over-under control) I don’t feel like my roll is balanced, and I feel I may slip off.
  4. With double underhooks, you can roll forward. However, to really bring their weight off of their hips, a few extra side to side jumps can help initiate the roll. With your hands firmly clasped, jump to one side of your opponent’s body balancing on your head as if to do a head stand. Bounce back to the other side this time to lean over your head slightly. Finally, you can roll forward leading with your legs.
  5. As soon as you initiate the roll, be prepared to land both hooks in the rear mount position. Sometime you will only get one hook, so you’ll need to use the rear half mount to stabilize the position. Either way, now you’ve opened up your opponent and are ready to aggressively attack his neck.

Think, “What would Leo Vieira do?” and you’ll get the roll and choke every time (and look good doing it)!

This Article was original featured on The Jiu-Jitsu Laboratory and has been reposted with permission of the owner

About the author


Richard Presley

A purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Richard is the owner and primary writer of Attack The back. Check out my About Me Page to learn more!

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