Photo credit J H Tan
So, I am sure that 95% of you who are currently reading this, will easily have a technique pop into your head. There may be a few of you, who are still quite early on in your BJJ journey. There may be those who are genuinely yet to decide. But for the majority of this readership, something probably popped into mind! Most of my focus, at least at this point, is the development and coaching of my gi based jits, and so I’m very much inclined towards strangulation / choking techniques (oh behave!).
I find them to be some of the most devastating in the arsenal of a BJJ practitioner, and I would urge you all to start thinking the same way
Any form of strangulation technique, has the potential to end a confrontation. The opponent may “go to sleep”, they may tap, or they may be so distracted that they open up to other match winning opportunities. Its often said that in grappling there are no “tough guys”, everyone goes to sleep, and its very true! I’ve seen people continue to resist, and indeed go on to win with broken limbs, but once the blood supply to the brain is limited, they’ll surely respond, tap or nap!
I recently attended a John Will seminar, and that always reinforces the importance of having a structure to your gameplan. John is a fantastic coach, and his meticulous planning and step by step approach reminds me of a quote, that I believe is from one of his fellow “dirty dozen” black belts, Chris Hauter, “Remember your ABC… Always Be Choking!”
Going for a sweep?… start a choke…
Going for an armbar?… start a choke…
Going for a choke?… good, but have another in mind too
Having a couple of options, will always increase your effectiveness, and having that starting point as one that may finish the match, will make any other attacks more effective if the opponent reacts. If they don’t, then you’ll likely get the choke and then win anyway!
I always aim to have a 2 pronged approach, and deliver this idea to my students, and although this could be any attacking aspects of BJJ, my preference is to air toward chokes. As a smaller, less athletic BJJ practitioner, I find they effectiveness of chokes evens the match out tremendously, even when dealing with larger opponents (taller or heavier!) I tend to think of the gi as basically being a bit ol’ piece of rope (especially the lapel aspect, that naturally starts in a basic loop around your opponents neck) and the more you can utilise that, the better for your overall jitsu game! Have a play with it for the next 2 weeks, every grip you take think to make it as controlling as possible. Every control step you take, think if that can be adapted in any way to further restrict blood flow to the brain. Give it a try, it’s as simple as ABC
Luke Spencer is a BJJ black belt under Eduardo Carriello, GB Oval, currently teaching put of Southend Combat Academy, and 1-2-1’s, guest instructor at Leicester Shootfighters. Likes dogs, anything Canadian, pina coladas and getting caught in the rain!