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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 October 2017

13/10/2017 - Teaching | Mount | Cross Choke (palm up, palm down)

Teaching #710
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 13/10/2017

Starting from high mount, sitting on their organs not their hip bones (as Mike Bidwell puts it), I used the tip on getting your choke grip that Roger Gracie taught me. He advises that you pull open their collar low on their lapel (or at least lower than their elbows. You don't want to get stuck trying to yank out the collar from directly underneath their tightly crossed arms). You can then insert your hand, palm up.

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To provide extra leverage for pushing that hand past their defences, Roger told me to brace your own elbow against your hip. You can then wriggle forwards, driving your arm in front of you with the combined power of your hips, legs and arm. Also form your hand into a wedge, as this will help cut past their blocking arms. Drive your knuckles all the way down to the mat. A tip from Saulo is to keep your head by that hand. If your head goes towards the other side of their head, it will be easier for them to roll you over.

My preferred variation from this grip is the one I learned from Michel Verhoeven. After you've inserted your first hand, start to raise your partner towards you slightly (that should make it harder for them to roll you). Your second arm is free, so be ready to use that to maintain your base until the moment is right. You can then bring your second arm around to the other side of their head, then 'shave' back across their face to position that arm by their neck. You want this as tight to their neck as possible, like you've dropped on iron bar there. Grab a handful of gi by their shoulder, then drop your elbow so your forearm is pressing diagonally into their neck. This second arm doesn't move after that point: the choke comes from twisting the first hand and drawing that first elbow back.

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Teaching Notes: I didn't mention pulling them up and twisting, that's better left for when you want to insert your thumb and loop the arm (these days I prefer to just drive the arm in by the shoulder, so I'm not committing both arms until I have a choke). I could talk more about leaning through the arm on the cross choke, as well as bringing the head forward to the ground to increase leverage. Quite a few people were trying to get a full collar grip rather than simply anchoring their hand in place. Naturally you can switch to a full collar grip, but it isn't efficient.

That probablys means I should focus more on precisely what you're doing with that 'bar' arm that is by their throat. That presses in tight, leaning into the neck. The other hand twists and your elbow moves back. This is the only cross choke I showed, so perhaps it would be useful to show the standard variation as a contrast: I don't find it very effective, but then I know all the variations, beginners won't be aware of them.

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