Arm-Bars & Triangle Chokes (diary entry)

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Monday night’s first lesson saw the beginning of my client’s new course. We are continuing from where we left off with Submission Grappling from the previous course. Tonight we worked on arm-bars from guard and leg triangle chokes. This was a very technical lesson, beginning with the usual series of ground-fighting related callisthenics and movement exercises followed by learning the individual techniques, and finished with some muscle memory drills.

armbar from guardThese two moves were first taught with a set up that immobilise the upper body. This is done by blocking the hips and stopping backward movement from the arms – the fighter squeezes his or her feet into the opponent’s hips and knees behind the opponent’s triceps. The fighter should also trap the wrists with pronated grips. From this point the fighter can either attack with the arm-bar or the triangle choke.

An arm-bar is executed by swinging the legs over to one side of the opponent’s body, with one leg around the opponent’s neck and the other under his or her armpit. We trained switching the grips over so that the fighter retained a single grip of both trapped wrists and used their free hand to push the opponent’s head back. This is helpful when you first learn this technique and can come in handy under pressure, but I view it as an optional extra if the fighter has difficulty getting their leg around to the opposite of the opponent’s neck. Completion of this submission should be achieved by full activation and straightening out of the core.

Beginning with the same setup, the leg triangle choke is executed by pulling on wrist and stuffing the other back in order to trap the neck and one arm. From here the full triangle is secured with the optional extra armbar from guard4 (close up)of gripping the ankle with one hand and pushing the trapped arm over to the opposite side before hooking the other leg over the ankle. Going on the way I have learned and since observed submission grappling teachers/fighters, the “true” triangle choke/strangle is achieved by angling off at this point and then fully engaging the core. However, there are other options such as pulling the head down into a type of compression submission and also getting an arm-bar from this position.

The final section of the lesson was concerned with drilling both these techniques in a repetitive flow sequence. We emphasised angling the hips and getting the momentum of the movement.

triangle choke

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