How to Do a Head Scissors (Carlson Gracie Choke) - a BJJ Tutorial

Updated on April 30, 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.

Say what?

When you hear the term "head scissors", you probably start thinking about professional wrestling more so than Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training. That's fair enough, because it certainly sounds like something that just wouldn't work on a trained, respectable opponent. The fantastic thing about it is that it actually does work in real time. Carlson Gracie made the move semi-famous among students within his lineage, and I was lucky enough to learn this move from Julio "Foca" Fernandez and Eric Burdo a long time ago. It has since become a nice part of my Kimura system. I hope that you can swiftly integrate this move into your own game, and enjoy doing things that aren't supposed to be real BJJ moves on your training partners!

The set up

This technique arises when you're going for a north/south Kimura, and your partner is defending by either grabbing their lapel (if it's gi) or by hooking inside of their own thigh (gi or no-gi). This is a solid defense for the shoulder lock, but it does leave you open for quite a few other things. Start by leaning forward, shifting your weight off of your knees and onto your partner's midsection. From here, you can sort of scoop your right knee (the one that's on the same side as the Kimura grip) underneath your partner's chin. Note: don't do this if you can't get under your partner's chin, unless you really don't mind your partner disliking you for the rest of the time you're training together. If it's a "head squeeze" as opposed to a pure blood choke, you're not going to be very popular. From here, it's just a matter of crossing your feet, extending your legs, and choking your partner until their eyes pop out of their head (more on the specifics of the finish below).

The finish

There are two reasons you want to lean forward once you have your Kimura grip, and both center on your leg positioning. First, you really want to make sure you're under your partner's chin with leg #1 (let's call it your right leg). If you can't get this under their neck, you're far better off transitioning to the back or to an armbar finish. Assuming you can get the leg under their chin, you're using your hamstring in order to cut into their neck. Have your partner turn their head to the side while you're finishing this technique, so as to avoid their windpipe. The second leg is equally important. As you're still leaning forward, make sure to scoop your left leg under your partner's head, going all the way to their neck. It's easy to miss this detail and sort of end up with a crappy head scissors, with your partner's head slipping out. If you get under their head, though, your thigh squeeze is going to be 100% neck.

A simple entry

One very easy way to set this technique is to start with the Kimura grip from side control, then to allow your partner a little bit of space to escape onto their side. Most people are already going to hide the arm, and many will take the bait of the allowed space to turn toward you. From here, you can easily step over their head with your left leg, just as you might set up a basic Kimura from side control. Once you have the aforementioned setup details down, it's just a matter of extending your legs fully so that your knees squeeze together. Don't try to treat this technique like it's a triangle choke; it's not!

Head scissors or reverse omoplata?

See results

Carney moves

Doing unorthodox moves, like funky leg attacks or weird side control escapes, can catch your opponent off guard. It should be noted that these moves shouldn't be used as a replacement for solid fundamentals, but instead should augment an already competent, growing BJJ game. If you've had success with the head scissors, let me know! I'd love to hear from you.

About the author
Andrew Smith teaches gi and no-gi seminars across the country, and runs Revolution BJJ in Richmond, VA. Check out a complete index of his tutorials here. Subscribe to the Revolution BJJ Youtube page here.

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)