Details on How to Finish a Triangle Choke - a BJJ Tutorial

Updated on December 31, 2016
revolutionbjj profile image

Andrew Smith is a 3rd degree BJJ black belt based out of Richmond, VA (Revolution BJJ). He runs the BJJ Tutorial Encyclopedia here.

Triangle Strangle

How to finish the triangle choke is probably one of the first things you learn in jiu jitsu, but there are constantly ways to tweak and improve your finish rate. It's easy to get the tap when you're working with a non-resisting opponent who wants you to get the tap, but when you're rolling (and, especially, in competition) this can be far more difficult to accomplish due to a variety of factors, not the least of which is that your opponent is trying not to tap while you're using an awful lot of energy to get the submission. What follows are some very simple tweaks to finish the triangle that you can start using right away, save energy, and get the tap much more quickly from the choke via triangle.

Hips Up, Arm Over

The first finish detail many students will learn is "hips up, arm over." This movement makes intuitive sense once you understand the objective of the triangle choke: to cut off the flow of blood from the heart to the brain via the carotid arteries in the front of the neck. Both sides are cut off in an ideal situation, and the left side (as you're looking at your partner, and as shown in the videos) is cut off by your partner's own shoulder as it comes across their neck. While in some instances you can easily finish the triangle without moving the arm across (as shown in the closed guard overhook triangles tutorial), sometimes it's necessary to move the arm across to amplify the choke. Simple as it may seem, there are two things that you can do to improve the tightness of this move (and prevent escape). First, be certain that your knees are squeezing together as you lift your hips up to make the adjustment. Your partner will be far less likely to be able to rip free via posture. Second, as soon as your partner's posture is compromised, be sure to grab the back of their head immediately. If you skip this step and try to go straight to your own shin, you may be in in for a rude surprise.

Exposing the Carotid

I love this next detail. Ever close a super tight triangle, only to have your partner sort of relax and stare at you while not tapping? This may well seal the deal for you. From the head control described previously, try tilting your partner's head to your left. The idea here is to open up your partner's neck so that their carotid is exposed to the back of your leg. As you flex your right leg to create the all-important two legs of the triangle, the back of your leg will create a rigid cord (kind of similar to a lapel) that will cut into your partner's now exposed neck to completely cut off the flow of blood. Pivoting out your hip so that your heel leads the way (as shown in the video) is the ideal way to make sure your hamstring bites into the neck.

Tightening the Top Leg (Toe Direction)

Here's another crucial (and much missed) detail: your top leg needs to be facing the front, heel leading the way. If your top leg isn't turned outward like this, once again, your hamstring isn't going to be engaged. You can correct this common mistake by turning your top (right) toes toward the back of the room (if you and your partner's heads represent the front). It is incredible how much of a difference this one adjustment will make, especially if you've already worked through all of the usual basic triangle tips.

Triangle Trails

Combining the above tips will certainly improve your triangle choke finish percentage, but there are more details to come. Again, learning the triangle in the beginning is simple enough, conceptually. You sort of squeeze your knees together to choke your partner, easy-peasy. However, as you struggle along in your jiu jitsu journey with progressively tougher opponents, your finishing efficiency and efficacy need to improve dramatically. These tips will help a great deal. As always, let me know if these work out for you! If you're looking for more finish details, check out fine tuning your triangle finish here.

Do you like to pull down on the head to finish the triangle?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, howtheyplay.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://howtheyplay.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)