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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

20 May 2015

20/05/2015 - Open Mat | Breadcutter Choke

Class #644
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 20/05/2015

I've made abortive attempts at creating BJJ flowcharts/mind maps/whatever you want to call them, but got re-inspired recently by the GrappleFlow feature on Grapplers Guide (one of the earliest online instructional sites, which I reviewed a few years back and still use regularly). That means I've finally got something more substantial to further highlight what I need to work on most.

Today, I decided that was the breadcutter choke, particularly as I was thinking of teaching it next week. It's something I've played with before, after Donal taught it to me during a private in 2013. I had another look at the videos on BJJ Library again too, finding that the version Xande goes for looks the most appealing, especially as he has follow-ups right from the choke into a kimura and armbar.

Dónal's breadcutter choke is set up by moving towards north-south from side control. They will often reach past your hip when you do that, which leaves a space for you reach under their armpit and clamp it to your side, so that their arm is stuck between your side and your arm. Move back to side control, then with the hand of that clamping arm, grab behind their neck, gripping in the middle of the collar. Cinch that in.

Bring your free arm back towards you, then use that to turn their head away from you. This feels counter-intuitive, as you'd expect to drag that arm back and turn their head towards you. However, you want to expose the near side of their neck. So, bring your arm back, then drive it over their jawline, turning their head away. Grip their far collar with your free hand (this might require balancing on their chest, turned towards their head, which should also help keep them pinned to the mat), then put your forearm into the exposed side of their neck.

To finish, you need to create some pressure into their neck, in order to close off the artery. Turn towards their legs, in a sort of reverse scarf hold position, then use that base from your legs to lower yourself gradually into their neck, keeping your initial gi grip tight. Be careful, as this can come on quickly and it isn't very comfortable.

Saulo's version also relies upon that pressure into the neck. What I like about Xande's version is that you aren't required to drive your weight through the side of their neck. Their head isn't even turned. First you secure your initial grip, which Xande does by going all the way to north-south, curling his arm back, then returning his body to the side he's grabbed. He doesn't go all the way behind the collar, his arm seems to be a little further back.

Rather than turning their head to press into the side of the neck, he grips across to the far collar while they are still facing up. The hand needs to be far enough up that it doesn't cause the arm to squish the windpipe, but low enough to keep the gi tight. Drop your elbow, close to where your first hand is gripping. You then pry their head back with your elbow for the submission. It comes on quickly and feels somehow 'cleaner' than leaning all your weight into their neck.

I want to play with that more, so I'm intending to practice at the Saturday open mat, possibly in combination with those other attacks Xande shows in another video. I often go for the north-south kimura, meaning that will fit well. Fun times, though I remember last time I had trouble getting the breadcutter once resistance is added in. I'll try to make a more concerted effort to stick with it this time. ;)

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