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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

30 May 2022

30/05/2022 - Teaching | Side control | Baseball bat choke

Teaching #Evening
Artemis BJJ (Easton Rd), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 24/06/2022

Start in standard side control, one hand under their head, heavy cross-face. Slide that back slightly, in order to grab right behind their collar, where the label would be. Straighten that arm firmly, so that your forearm is pressing into their neck.

The tricky part is bringing in your second hand. You need to get your hand on top of the other, holding their collar like a baseball bat (hence the name of the choke). To do so, your second arm has to slide down along their far lapel (fingers first), as you have to get your second arm pressed against the other side of their neck for the choke. Angle the elbow of your second arm inwards, towards your first arm.

Put your knee on their belly to stop them escaping, then apply the choke by twisting inwards. This should make your arms press firmly into both sides of their neck: your first arm stays fairly static, it's the weight dropping through the second elbow that applies most of the choke. Be careful you are pressing into the sides of the neck, not the windpipe. If you need more leverage, try rotating around to a north south type position, putting your head on their chest.

A handy alternative is to use the gi as a way of providing the grips you need. Pull out their gi lapel on the far side, dragging that under their arm. Grip it with your crossfacing hand, straightening your arm into their neck. The second grip comes in as before, except that this should be much easier because you don't have to slide it inside their collar, where they are likely to realise and block the hand. Once you have the grips in place, you can finish as before.
Years ago, Donal showed me a method for avoiding telegraphing your grips. He suggested putting in your second grip first. This is a little confusing at first, but if you get into the habit of putting in your second grip (backwards, as you're going to follow it in a moment), it will make you baseball bat choke sneakier. Admittedly I get confused, as I haven't practiced it enough yet myself. ;)

Teaching Notes: Importance of mentioning knee on belly as a way to stop them escaping their hips. I could mention that you can do the same thing from the bottom, though it is low percentage. Possibly go more in depth on Donal's second grip first (but backwards) method, though I did remember to show it.

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