Popular BJJ Chokes

If you’re just new to BJJ, you’re probably already overwhelmed at all the possible moves you can learn. It may sound amazing, but new ones are created all the time! For anyone learning this grappling sport, sticking with the basics is important. Once you perfect the basic moves, you can move on to other more intricate ones—often flashier ones—to add to your arsenal of moves. Here are some popular BJJ chokes that you should know.

Cross collar choke is a basic choke for beginners.

You can do this choke from full guard, mount position and other positions, which makes it extremely versatile. It requires you to grab the opponent’s collar with both hands, using the hand on the opponents opposite side. Reduce the amount of space that’s between your opponents neck and your elbows and pull down. It can be the starting point for various guard and sweep attacks. Helio Gracie used this move effectively against opponents. You have to reach deep into the collar for it to be the most effective.

Consider mastering the rear naked choke to achieve victory.

Another beginning technique all people should master is the rear naked choke. It’s also called the lion killer or mata leão in Portuguese. It’s one of the top positions in BJJ and one of the best submissions from the back. Smaller opponents can use it effectively against larger, stronger ones, particularly if it’s in situations not in the ring, like for self defense. Make sure you get your choking arm firmly UNDER the chin or it’s not effective.

Everyone should master the triangle choke.

Whether you’re a traditional gi BJJ practitioner or a no gi one, the triangle choke should be one that’s at the top of your list. It’s practical at any level of ability. If you’re on the bottom, you can use this move to regain advantage, particularly if the person on top position is stronger or more advanced. You can use this choke to follow a number of different guards, too. Use it primarily against those that don’t have strong posture.

  • Add a baseball choke—ura juji jime—to your wealth of moves. It must be executed precisely or it’s not effective. It’s dubbed the baseball choke because you hold your hands like you’re grabbing a baseball bat.
  • Want a great choke that is effective. Learn a bow and arrow choke. This choke bends your opponent sideways, like a bow. You remain straight like an arrow.
  • If you’re looking for that BJJ equivalent to the knockout punch, consider the guillotine choke. It submits the opponent with the blade of the wrist and arm. You can achieve it from many different starting positions, which makes it versatile.
  • The papercut choke is quick and efficient. It’s also very sneaky. It creates ample pressure to choke the opponent out, so if you’re executing it in practice, be careful. This is especially true for those practicing with less seasoned practitioners.

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