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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 November 2015

13/11/2015 - Teaching | The Back | Clock Choke

Teaching #421
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 13/11/2015

Moving on to attacks, I went with the simplest one I know from turtle, the clock choke. I use an 'elbow wedge' variation I learned from my instructor Kev Capel (and he in turn learned it from Felipe Souza, who we both used to train with at RGA HQ).

From the side ride, move from grabbing their arm to reaching through for a grip on their far collar. If the grip isn't quite right on the far collar, this can end up being an air choke rather than a blood choke: avoid being too shallow on that grip. To enhance your hold, there is the option of reaching under their arm with your far arm and opening up the collar, then feeding it to your other hand. Be aware that there is a danger of them reaching back to trap your elbow if you do that.

Either way, once you have a deep grip, bring the arm that was by their far leg to the near side of their head. Use your elbow as a wedge against their skull, giving you a sort of 'backstop' to pull their collar through. Another potential reason it might turn into an air choke is the position of your wrist: if you're finding it's an air choke, try adjusting how much you bend your wrist.

Pressing that arm into their skull produces a fair bit of leverage in conjunction with your collar grip. Increase it by leaning back slightly, while walking your legs around towards their head. Make sure you maintain your weight on their shoulders, or you'll relieve the pressure: Saulo suggests keeping your ribs against their shoulder. This should eventually result in a choke.

Speaking of Saulo, his variation on BJJ Library doesn't bother with an elbow block. He simply leans heavily into the shoulder, locking off the choke by leaning his head across. His other hand is grabbing by their far hip. If he doesn't get it, he keeps walking around, turning them onto their side and circling his elbow over. The other arm goes behind to lock off the choke.

Teaching Notes: Good point raised by Mike, about what to do if they block your grip. For that, they are going to have to raise their arm, so my response would be to try and go for the crucifix. I've taught that before, but I think it needs several lessons to really make sense. This month I don't plan to teach it in class (which doesn't stop people asking me during open mat of course), but I'll keep an eye on how people are sparring from turtle, in case it becomes clear that the crucifix could plug a glaring gap.

I had a play with escapes during specific sparring, focusing largely on the shoulder roll (we did a drill at the start of class, which I think I either first saw taught by Jeff Rockwell or maybe Donal). Ending up under side control is relatively common, if you just shoulder roll. I'm wary of grabbing legs and arms, as that feels vulnerable, but it would probably make guard more likely than bottom side control.

Chris asked if he could try out some stuff for warm-down earlier, so I passed that over to him tonight. Good stuff, exploring ways to stretch out the fingers (as everybody who does BJJ, at least in the gi, will have sore fingers), breathing and various other useful drills. Should be a regular thing: good for me, as it means I get to learn some new stuff from a different perspective. :)

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