The triangle choke is one of the most popular submissions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It has proven its effectiveness in BJJ and MMA competitions and is undoubtedly one of the strongest strangles. A triangle is performed when the attacker wraps his legs around the opponent’s neck and arm, leaving one arm out of the leg wrap. Forming an angle and configuring the legs in a figure-four position will disrupt the blood flow and make the opponent either submit or go unconscious. This article will cover the three most important tips to make your triangles more effective. Enjoy!
#1 Create an Advantageous Angle and Eliminate the Shoulder
The biggest problem you can encounter when attempting a triangle is your opponent’s neck and shoulder circumference. If your opponent has broad shoulders, locking a full figure-four triangle can be difficult unless you have long, lean legs. Creating a proper angle and removing your opponent’s shoulder from the lock will prevent this from happening. Make sure your free foot is placed on your opponent’s hip, grab your shin, and pivot to be perpendicular to him. Your opponent’s ear should be directly in front of you. When you have a proper angle, you should eliminate the shoulder. Place your knee on the shoulder within the triangle, then push yourself to push it out. To do this, your feet should be pointing in the same direction, perpendicular to your opponent. You should now lock a figure-four triangle, grab your opponent’s head and squeeze for the finish.
#2 Break Your Opponent’s Posture
When you lock a triangle over your opponent’s head and shoulder, it is rarely a complete triangle. You start by locking a trap triangle—a kind of closed guard—over your opponent’s arm and neck. Afterward, you move to a figure-four triangle to finish the strangle. Every triangle uses this two-step method. A skilled opponent can try to posture up during this transition and escape. To avoid this, you must control your opponent’s posture. There are several ways to do this:
When you lock a trap triangle, pull your knees toward your chest. Doing so will cause your opponent’s head to move forward and break his posture.
Another way to break posture is to grab your shin. Make sure to hold the shin of the leg that goes over your opponent’s neck with your opposite arm. Be careful not to grab your foot since this can lead to a weak grip.
Grabbing your opponent’s head is the most effective way to prevent him from getting up. Grab the crown of your opponent’s head with both hands and pull him down.
#3 Underhook the Leg
Underhooking the leg opposite the arm inside the triangle will help you create a proper angle and finish the strangle. In addition, if you are fighting in an MMA fight or under a ruleset that allows slams, this will prevent your opponent from slamming you. This was demonstrated in Khabib Nurmagomedov’s triangle victory over Justin Gaethje.
If you want to learn more about triangles, I highly recommend watching John Danaher’s triangle instructional. Also, here is a video of John Danaher explaining how to do a perfect triangle! Thank you for reading!
This article was written by Milos Milosavljevic, head coach and owner of Fort Jiu-Jitsu!