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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

18 March 2019

18/03/2019 - Teaching | Back | Clock choke

Teaching #844
Artemis BJJ (Easton Road), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 18/03/2019

If I can't get the back from turtle and I haven't managed to move into a crucifix, I like to go for 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: Usual thing about keeping the ribs on the shoulder, weight down, stepping through with the leg. I introduced it as a method for getting the arm to move for the crucifix entry, which hopefully wasn't too confusing for people who haven't seen the crucifix. I think it was ok, but that's something to watch out for. Also, I didn't mention that you can do it with the crucifix configuration too (i.e., with the arm trapped), which also functions as a handy way of stopping that escape where they carefully time a shoulder shrug to move behind.

Definitely something to keep in mind for next time: the shoulder shrug escape that Matt mentioned Roger does is a good escape, but I think you can capture the arm in a crucifix if you're waiting for it. Combination attacks. I could even mention it in a later class? But maybe more something I'd highlight in drilling.

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