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2 In or 2 Out… Triangle prevention and Defense

2 In or 2 Out… Triangle prevention and Defense



“2 in or 2 out!”, everyone says. This is a common phrase when we talk about staying out of a triangle choke. But the fact is, you’re going to get caught. We all succumb to the triangle multiple times over the course of our careers, and though we know this rule, it only makes us aware of the general position we need to observe in order to stay safe.

What about after that time has passed, and we’ve put ourselves at more risk?

When we get caught in a triangle setup position there are certain variables. Where is our inside arm? How far along has the submission progressed? In these early stages of the submission, we need to have a plan of escape. 

Let Lachlan Giles give you some advice on triangle defense. Here Giles will demonstrate how to be a little more preemptive when dealing with the threat of a triangle from the closed guard as well as an open guard setting. 

Giles begins in the closed guard and starts with a very early defense. His partner has secured one of his arms and is now looking to force the other inside of the legs to begin attacking the triangle. As Giles picks p on the bottom players intentions, he drives forward into the guard to stop the transitioning of his arm to the outside of his partners legs. After rocking his body forward, Giles can now reset, and begin reclaiming the inside space. 

Giles knows a thing or two about chokes, you should see his No-Gi Chokes.... Click Learn More!


In a second version of the first idea, Giles waits for his partner to begin trying to push his arm outside again and pulls the trapped arm through instead, putting himself in position to initiate a guard pass. From here, Giles scoops under his partner’s leg and begins to place his over top of his partners leg, pinning it to the mat. As he begins to lift his partners hips up, he takes his knee off of the leg, but immediately brings his hand under the hip to begin elevating his partner further in to a stacking position. With the hips separated from the floor and stacked over his partner, there is little hope of reacquiring the triangle. Giles now simply guides his partners hips away from him and begins to settle in.

In a quick addendum to the first concept, Giles discusses what to do if his arm is trapped in an over hook. He advises that this is much different control and the arm will probably not come free quite so easily. Here, Giles dives forward in an effort to keep his other arm from going outside the legs. 

From an open guard setting Giles keeps his right elbow connected to his right knee as his partner hunts for the triangle. Maintaining this posture and connection allows Giles to stave off any triangle attempts from the open guard. He then instructs his students to spend a couple minutes drilling from here. I really like the idea of spending quality time in the position to make sure it’s understood. This is a highly beneficial drilling concept, and one we should consider.

Good ides here on awareness and being a little more proactive during the early stages of the triangle attack. 

If you haven’t experienced Kurt Osiander’s move of the week series, check them out. Osiander’s renegade style paired with intelligent old school technique is a fun way to learn. I actually remember watching this particular video when it came out 7 years ago. I actually still use this triangle escape variation to this day, and it works quite well. Take a look at this.

As Osiander likes to remind us, if we’ve ended up in a deep triangle position, we f’ed up a long time ago. But it doesn’t have to be a death sentence. 

Here Osiander is locked in a deep triangle, and what’s even worse, his arm is across his body. This is pretty unfavorable territory when you’re stuck in a triangle, and the finish isn’t very far away. 

Want to learn some RENEGADE FUNDAMENTALS? Click Learn More!


Here, Osiander secures two grips. One with his inside arm near the thigh and another near the knee with his outside arm. The threat of the armbar here is just as dangerous as the triangle, and its important to keep this in mind. Osiander’s grip on the pants with his inside arm is to defend the acquisition of the armlock, this detail can not be skipped. 

With both grips secure, Osiander begins to stand up in tot a squatting position. He then places his knee directly on his partners butt area, creating a wedge, and begins to shake until his head comes free from the position. 

Osiander then addresses another middle ground preemptive defense. As his partner shoots the triangle, he achieves good posture immediately. This makes the progression of the triangle a difficult task for his partner. With good posture established, Osiander then pins his partners hips down to the floor and begins to stand up, creating further difficulty for his partner to continue pursuing the triangle. Here he can choose to either bring his outside arm in, or his inside arm out and shake his partner off. 

We know that an ounce of prevention always beats a pound of the cure, and is important to stay aware of the position of our hands anytime were in a passing scenario. Usually too much extension of the arms or allowing our partners to control our posture can lead to unfavorable circumstances. I’d recommend Giles’ drill to sure-up your awareness when playing on top. 

When we do get caught, we have to make sure we stay calm and begin to try and find posture. Posture is the sworn enemy of the triangle and any dose of it will surely throw a wrench in the works of the guard player. 

Keep these concepts and techniques in mind the next time your forced to deal with the treachery of the triangle! Good Luck!

Lachlan Giles is one of the BEST teachers around. His YouTube channel has helped grapplers across the globe. Now Lachlan has released his MASTER CLASS on No-Gi Chokes! Upgrade your no-gi game with some WORLD CLASS choking technique!! 



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