Using the Triangle Choke in Mixed Martial Arts

The Triangle Choke

The triangle choke is a widely used move in the world of mixed martial arts fighting. This move originated in Judo but is now a very common move among many different styles of fighting. The triangle is performed by encircling the opponent’s head and  one arm with the legs, which makes the triangle  shape, and cuts off blood flow from the carotid artery to the head.

Using the Triangle

The triangle choke is generally performed from a full guard position. From this position one arm is isolated and the other is pressed down to allow one leg to be placed across the back of the opponent’s neck. The bend of your knee is placed over the ankle of the first leg locking it into place. from here pressure if applied and the choke is complete.

Stefan Struve lands a flying triangle choke

One aspect of the triangle choke that makes it a “go to move” for many people is the move’s versatility. Although the most common way to perform it is from a full guard it can be landed from half guard, side control, mount, or even standing.

The triangle choke is also very hard to defend against. Since this move consists of trapping the opponents head and one of his arms it makes this move easiest when used as a counter. Your opponents needs just to leave an arm away from the body and unprotected for a second.

When locked in the triangle choke provides a hasty tap out as well. This is due to the three points that all contribute to pressure on the neck and carotid artery. There is the leg locking down, the hips being raised up, and the head of the opponent being pulled down into the hips.

Counter Move

The triangle choke is most commonly used as a counter move or defensive move. When in a full guard it is not uncommon for an opponent to get a little confident on top and leave himself open for attack. This is especially true in mixed martial arts because strikes are very common from top position and striking leaves one’s appendages away from the body and unprotected.

One other aspect of a triangle choke is the different moves it sets up. Someone that is expecting a triangle choke will usually keep themselves well defended against it because it is best used as a counter. However in defending against or waiting for a triangle they open themselves to other submissions or sweeps in the process.

By backing away and posturing up in preperation for getting caught in a triangle the opponent opens themself for a sweep or possibly an armbar.

Opponents could also counter this move by wrapping their locked arm around your leg. However this opens them up to an easy omoplata.

A triangle choke is easy to use and learn when first entering the sport as well. It’s set up from full guard is one of the frist moves most people learn. Because of all its different variations the old adage easy to learn hard to master certainly applies. once mastered though this move will serve and martial artist well in his quest for greatness.

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