Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Chokes

by Rory Coughlan

Triangle Choke from Guard

IMGL0417The triangle choke is one of the signature submissions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It works from white belt all the way to the highest levels of mixed martial arts and international competition, both gi and no-gi.

The triangle choke teaches you how to use your legs to attack and choke your opponent. It is the primary threat from the bottom when you’re confronted with a larger, stronger opponent or a superior wrestler whom you are unable to reverse and obtain the top position.

The triangle choke is very versatile and can be set up many different ways from the different guards. First you’ll learn how to correctly perform the mechanics of the basic triangle choke and in the future, you will discover that many different roads lead there.

Attacking the triangle when the opponent has a strong posture. Posture is the best defence against the triangle and if you are attacking the triangle while your opponent has a strong defence then your success rate will be low.

Cross Collar Choke from Guard

The cross collar grip is the starting point for your sweeps and other attacks from the guard.

The basic collar and sleeve grip is how you base your closed guard strategy. It is the starting point for all of your other guard attack combinations, including the previous two techniques. It teaches you how to use your grip to control your opponent’s head and break their posture down.

This was Helio Gracie’s favourite attack from the guard and he memorably choked a Japanese challenger unconscious with this technique in an old black and white match in Brazil.

Not getting the first hand deep enough in the collar. Instead reach way deep into the collar, and ‘grab the tag’ at the back of the opponent’s neck.

Rear Naked Choke

This is the quintessential submission of BJJ. The rear mount is most dominant position in the jiu-jitsu positional hierarchy and this is the best submission from the back.

The rear naked choke or “mata leon / lion killer” is the best technique to employ against larger, stronger opponents and especially in a self-defence situation. Additionally the RNC is statistically the most successful submission in UFC history.

Helio Gracie famously said that very strong opponent’s might continue to fight even with a broken arm, so he preferred the choke as his favourite submission, and if that’s not enough for you then one of the best grapplers of modern times, Marcelo Garcia, specializes in this submission. If it’s good enough for him it’s good enough for you! Trying to choke over the opponent’s chin is a mistake. You must slide your choking arm under the chin and deep into the neck.


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