Figuring out how to do this is effectively trying to figure out how to get into Mantis Crawl from various stances, specifically so that you're not in Blind Mantis Crawl.
From Standing, Facing Opponent
- You mentioned not liking not liking "rolling around on the ground like a lunatic," but you can use
8 from Death Roll and be in the stance you want immediately. A quick transition to Death Roll from this position is
8[A+K], which is at least a vertical dodge. Not particularly ideal.
- My preferred move from this position is
[B+K] - it's a mid hit, followed by a transition directly into the stance you're looking for.
From Standing, Facing Away
- From here, you can use the normal Mantis Crawl stance move
- Another option in the same dodge vein as before is
From Lying Face Down, Facing Away and Lying Face Up, Facing Opponent
2B+K takes you directly into Mantis Crawl.
From Lying Face Up, Facing Away, Lying Face Down, Facing Toward, and Blind Death Roll
- Don't bother - figure out a good transition out of these stances and into the positions above, 'cause you're not going to get to non-blind Mantis Crawl from here.
Edit: After watching some of the recent WCG footage, it seems the more popular option for this is
1[K] for a kick (with stun!) that turns you around, into
2B+K (often following up with
1[K], 2B+K, K is a combo).