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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

11 January 2016

11/01/2016 - Teaching | Closed Guard | Deep Grip Choke

Teaching #447
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 11/01/2016

A basic but very useful grip is to get a really deep grasp of the collar. I learned this from Roy Dean's demonstration on his Brown Belt Requirements DVD, where he calls it the 'Relson' choke: I've been using it regularly ever since. To get the deep grip choke, first establish that grip. You may find it helps to sit up to get it in really deep. As Dean discusses on his DVD, an especially deep grip can help your choke as well as give you authoritative control.

Often people will let you get a grip on their collar from guard, unlike the same situation from under mount, despite the threat being similar. If possible, it's a good idea to open up the collar with your same side hand to help get your other hand in as deep as possible. Like John Will says, this will also take the slack out of their gi.

Once you have it, this deep 'Relson' grip provides three main advantages. Firstly, you get great control, as you can pull them down towards you. Secondly, it could be the beginning of a choke. Lift their chin with your forearm to make some space, then insert your other grip. Due to the depth of your first grip, the second hand doesn't need to go as far. Turn your thumbs inwards (away from you, towards them) for the choke, pulling in with your elbows (don't flare them out).

Jason Scully has a number of great tips over on The Grapplers Guide, with a couple of videos about collar chokes from closed guard. He suggests angling off to help get that second grip in, rather than staying square on. He also advises grabbing their collar with both hands to pull them down and insert your first grip, should you have trouble breaking their posture. As Scully points out, you can also push with your initial grip, towards their neck, to help open up the space.

Secondly, even if you don't land the choke, just having the grip will make them start to worry about that choke rather than thinking about passing. Thirdly, it means you can establish a collar and elbow grip. There are various attacks you can do from there, the most common of which are probably armbars, scissor and push sweeps. Should that grip slip, then you still have a more orthodox collar choke available, or the numerous options from a collar and elbow/sleeve grip, if you established that hold.


Teaching Notes: I find this one a lot easier to get than the standard cross choke, but decided to teach it first. We'll see how teaching the standard option goes on Wednesday, should be interesting. It's a 'basic' technique, but I can't remember the last time I landed it. One of those techniques you learn early on, but takes a long time to master. Teaching it will be a good opportunity for me to revisit it too, although I have been trying to avoid using techniques myself that rely a lot on grips.

I could perhaps add more detail about getting that second hand in: it doesn't need to be very deep, which I tried to emphasise, but I think a few people were still naturally going too high with it (e.g., ending up driving their arm into the throat). Previously I have taught it in combination with the standard choke, as it doesn't take long to teach. I think there was scope for some kind of follow-up, but I'll have a think. It's also good to keep things simple.

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