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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a black belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©Can Sönmez

13 April 2012

13/04/2012 - Gracie Barra Bristol (Ezequiel Choke)

Class #452
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Nicolai 'Geeza' Holt, Bristol, UK - 13/04/2012

If there is anyone else who has been having trouble getting certain blogs into their RSS reader, I just realised there is an easy workaround (at least for a blogspot blog). If you don't care and are thinking "make with the training already!", click here. ;)

If you're still with me: all you need is the blog ID number. I understand almost nothing about coding, but with a decent browser (i.e., Chrome or Firefox), you can just right-click on the blog in question, then in Chrome, click on 'Inspect Element'. That will make a mini-window with lots of code appear at the bottom of your browser.

Chrome has a handy 'search elements' bit in the top right of that mini-window. Look for 'blogid', which should be accompanied by a long number. Once you have that number, you can put it in the middle of this url, replacing '###' with the blog ID: Then voila, you should have a working feed to paste into the 'subscribe' bit of Google Reader (or whatever RSS reader you use).

This makes me happy, because for many years, I haven't been able to put one of my favourite blogs (Dagney's BJJ Training, by a cool female brown belt who trains in San Diego) in my Google Reader. As I read everything via that, it also meant I kept forgetting to check Dagney's site, so would never be up to date. BUT with this workaround (which results in this feed for Dagney's blog), I can at long last add her to my many other blog subscriptions (also why she's now in my 'blog feeds' bit to the left of my blog, which I reserve for my absolute favourites: the full list is here). Awesome! :D


I haven't been to one of Geeza's classes in ages, but tonight I had an opportunity to pop down, as my girlfriend had a couple of old friends over she was looking to catch up with. Unfortunately my elbow is still a bit knackered, and got worse over the session, but it was useful to at least test it out again. Annoying that I have no idea how I did it a couple of weeks ago, though: at least if it was from an armbar or something like that, I'd know I just needed to tap earlier. ;)

Anyway, class was going to focus on a submission I've been trying to get for years but never quite manage, the ezequiel choke from mount. Geeza's version was a little different from what I'm used to, in regards to the finish. It started as usual, getting one arm under their head with the bicep tight to their neck, grabbing inside your opposite sleeve. However, rather than emphasising getting that bit of loose cloth into the other side of their neck, Geeza focused on attempting to get your free hand across to grab your other sleeve, then close off the gap around their neck.

He had a few other tips on stopping their hands getting in the way, which is always the most frustrating part of setting up an ezequiel. First, you could try getting both of your knees over their elbows, to stop them getting their arms in place. Second, if you can only get one arm that way, it still gives you more scope to attack. Finally, you can try dragging one of their arms across and trapping it under your chest, again increasing the vulnerability of their neck.

We then did some king of the hill sparring from mount: I'm assuming the idea was to keep going for that ezequiel rather than another submission, but even if not, I took it as a chance to keep on doggedly going after the same choke when on top. However, I wasn't able to properly clear the neck. I tried Saulo's option of reaching through the crook of their elbow, then dragging their arm back to their side to pin it, also staying tight with my head. Each time, I wasn't able to keep it tight enough, as my partner was able to keep working their hands back into a defensive position.

On the plus side, I was able to maintain the mount for a good long while. Unusually for me, I wasn't just relying on grapevines to stay rigidly in position, but crawled my way up into a higher mount, pressing the soles of my feet into their side with my knees out wide for base. Come to think of it, that may have hindered my ezequiel a bit (as normally the low grapevine mount is a better place for that attack), although I think it was more down to my inability to get past those defensive hands.

Underneath, I was mostly relying on my usual foot drag escape. I did try to think about the normal elbow escape too, given my own personal resolution to use a greater variety, then later I went for the stiff-arm their hips and pop to butterfly. However, I don't think I would have got that against a heavier training partner.


  1. Ah, brilliant -- and finally! Now I've just got to find all the other blogs I haven't been able to subscribe to...

  2. I was so happy to see Dagney's blog pop up in my Reader, rather than the dreaded "feed requested cannot be found" I've been getting every other time I tried it over the last few years. Literally starting cheering and pumping my fist in the air. ;p

  3. Thank you for the shout out Slidey! Also, in regards to the Ezequiel, I love this choke. It was the first submission I ever achieved lo this many years ago. But what a risky move! This move requires careful attention be paid to your base.

  4. I seem to be ok with the base, at least last night. The problem I had was getting that second hand in before they can block it. I need to work on some good transitional attacks from there, maybe into americanas and the like.

    Bent armlocks are about the only submissions I ever land, on the rare occasions I submit people, normally from either side control or top half guard.

    Still, I'd much rather get better at chokes, as those are more efficient, especially for little people like me. ;)