The triangle choke is one of the fundamental attacks from the full guard and is one of the most powerful chokes in Brazilain Jiu Jitsu.

Trigger Position for the Triangle Choke

There is a Cardinal rule in BJJ that when you are in your full guard: both of your hands should be inside the guard or both of your hands should be under the guard. You never wants one hand in and one hand under: This is the trigger position for the Triangle Choke.

Close Your Guard

Once you see your opponent with one hand in and one hand under the guard, close your guard by locking your ankles together around your opponents shoulders.

When your opponent realizes they are in a triangle position, they will bring their head up towards the sky. This is good for you, because you can control their arm inside your guard. Pin your opponent’s arm across your body to your hip. For example, if their right arm is inside your guard, pin their right elbow to your right hip.

From here, drive your knees back in, bringing your knees to your shoulders. This will break your opponents posture down.

Keep Your Opponent’s Posture Down

Once you have their posture down, always keep it down. This is imperative. Grab the top of their head and bring it down. To do this, use both hands on the top of their head, or use one hand on their head and the other on your shin. Always put your hand on your shin, never your toe because you’ll hyper extend your ankle.

Use your free foot (left in our example) to adjust your position. Put your foot on their hip, and move towards your opponents hand that you have captured.

So always keep their head and posture down. Use your leg (right in our example) around the top of their shoulders and neck to help do this. Get your left foot to their hip (or on the floor) to move your body towards their trapped hand.

Tie the Knot

Once you are in this position you can tie up the knot. By “knot”, I mean you can cross your free knee (left in our example) over top of your other ankle behind your opponent’s head. Keep your right toes pointed towards the sky. This helps to capture your left knee.

Always tie the knot over your opponent’s shoulder that you have. That is, the side of their trapped hand (right in our example). A common mistake is to tie the knot over the other shoulder. The choke won’t be nearly as effective. Always hide the shoulder that you have with your knee. This is why you don’t want to be square with the shoulder that you have. You want to move and stay to the side of your opponent’s trapped hand.

Finally, with your left knee over your right ankle, squeeze your knees together for the triangle choke.


Video: How to do the Triangle Choke

Ritchie Yip

Vancouver BJJ Head Instructor, Infighting Vancouver BJJ

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