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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

16 March 2016

16/03/2016 - Teaching | Side Control | Breadcutter Choke

Teaching #480
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 16/03/2016

The breadcutter choke can be set up in various ways. The way I first learned was moving towards north-south from side control. They will then often reach past your hip, which leaves a space for you to reach under their armpit and clamp it to your side. That means 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.

You can also move into north-south, secure that for a moment, then reach back to get the collar grip. Either way, when you have that grip, walk back into side control. I like to use Xande's version to finish, as it feels a bit 'cleaner' than some of the others. 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.

Another handy aspect of this technique is that it will work when your opponent does the classic white belt death grip over the back defence. As both their arm are up over your back, that leave your free to establish both your grips, as they aren't defending their neck. With the arm that goes over the neck, keep your elbow tight to your side. Xande starts from a position where both his knees are in. When he sprawls back on the leg nearest their legs, it enables his body to smoothly turn with his elbow still by his side, settling right into the choke.

In Saulo's version, as you move back around to side control, move 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.

Teaching Notes: I've been trying this choke a lot more often in sparring, but it still needs some refinement. Teaching definitely helps with that. Next time, I want to note the option of leaning towards their head to add in some extra pressure onto their neck if you need it. While I prefer Xande's gentler version, it is good to have a backup for when that doesn't work (and I guess the leaning version isn't overly mean, as long as you do it with good balance and control).

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