Triangle Choke

Things You Need to Know

This guy doesnt look like he will escape the triangle choke

This guy doesnt look like he will escape the triangle choke

The triangle choke, its quick, effective, simple, versatile, its everything you don’t want a submission being performed on you. This choke is a basic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technique that is extremely effective in the mixed martial arts arena and seen very often. This means that a fighter needs to know how to escape one of these submissions rather well if he plans on lasting  at all during grappling.

Triangle Basics

Of course, first and foremost, the best way to defend against this submission is to not fall into it at all during the scramble or a sneaky set-up. The triangle choke is notorious for catching people when their limbs are flailing about when they are on top of an opponent and feeling confident. ALWAYS keep your arms close to your body to avoid getting quickly falling into this choke.

There are some great triangle set-ups that are extremely hard to defend, there are also so many variations that knowing how to defend them all can get very complicated. For example check out this ridiculous spinning triangle choke set up. However in this post defending the triangle choke in the classic full guard position will be covered.

Basic Stack and Turn Escape

After getting his legs around your neck, your opponent needs push his hips up and lock his legs down to complete the choke. Your first priority is to stop him from extending his body and raising his hips. To do this you grasp your hands together and put pressure on your opponents thigh.  Next you stack your opponent, which is driving your shoulders and chest into the opponents body. This stops the choke and limits the opponents motion on bottom as well.

After the choke is momentarily neutralized, escaping the legs is the next priorityt. You want to rotate around your opponent  to the side of opponent with the knee up. As you walk around you want to be in essentially a very low squat position and step your front side leg over the head of the opponent. This should release the opponent’s legs from around you and free you from the submission.

More Creative Escapes

The sit and pry escape works on almost the reverse principle as the stack and turn. As you stack your opponent you bring you legs up close to the hips of the opponent. You then sit your hips down and use your back strength to sit back and break the opponent’s legs from behind your back. This also puts you in a good position if you are good at foot and leg locks

The knee pry escape is another escape that relies on some strength to escape the submission. Instead of stacking your opponent straight on, you roll to the knee up side. From here you pin his leg to your shoulder, using your hands against his knee and quad. Then you drive forward at almost a 45 degree angle to the body of your opponent which breaks his leg lock from behind you.

The neck crank defense is not exceptionally technical but it is exceptionally mean. All you need to do is take your hands and grab the back of the opponent’s head. Next you pull his head up and towards you, putting extreme pressure on the neck and bringing the hurt to your opponent.



Triangle Chokes From Everywhere

The triangle choke is so easy you can celebrate while doing it

I have said it before and ill say it again, triangle chokes are awesome. They are a triple threat submission: quick, simple, and effective. With some know how and some flexibility triangle chokes can be your greatest friend in the submission game. There are so many positions that triangle chokes can be performed from it is disgusting. You could learn how to do only triangle chokes and probably still be able to submit somebody from three quarters of the positions you found yourself in.

Of course the good old triangle choke from a closed guard is what many people in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu learned first, and it really teaches all the fundamental concepts of all the the different variations of it. If you don’t know or want to brush up on some basic technique CLICK HERE. Any guys who didn’t click the link because they think they have it down already, you might want to brush up on your technique… trust me.

Mounted Triangle

Many people in mixed martial arts might prefer to simply punch there opponent in the face when they get to a mount position. However this option is not present in strictly grappling tournaments. A mounted triangle is a great submission  to perform from the mount.  You maintain your center over your opponent the whole time from the mount and you have both of your hand free to work with. This combination is great for maintaining your dominant position throughout the submission.

CLICK HERE for a full mounted triangle tutorial.

Half Guard Triangle

Although there are a lot of feasible sweeps from half guard, being on bottom in half guard does not always leave you very many good options for a submission move. But of course there is a sneaky way to pull off a triangle choke with a little quickness. This would not be an easy technique to finish under real conditions but it shows how quick and unexpectedly the triangle choke can be applied.

Side Control? No Problem!

When you are on top in side control you have very many options. One is to transition to mount and work from there. However you can skip that phase completely and go right into, that’s right you guessed it, a triangle choke

Bottom side control is not the first position you would try and perform a triangle from. Well its not, but a reverse triangle choke certainly is. This move is slightly complicated and relies and your opponent trying to gain control of your arm from side control. But add this one to your playbook to surprise your opponents.

Still More…

We can’t always lock in a triangle choke, but even a failed attempt can be salvaged. This video shows how to turn a failed attempt from closed guard into a sweep and then easy submission. The ending submission in the video is a type of kimura armbar; but I’m sure you could find a way to change that up into a mounted triangle if you so choose.

I implore anyone who has seen all of these types of triangle chokes to keep learning about them! There are so many more variations of them. I only picked a couple of them to talk about but they can be a martial artists best friend if you know them well enough.

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.