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BJJ Instructional Videos
John Danaher Leglocks
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3 Minutes To Change Your Front Headlock Game

3 Minutes To Change Your Front Headlock Game


Increase your Darce effectiveness with this gangster grip detail with the American Gangster.

Chael Sonnen has recently released Gangster Grappling for the masses to learn his approach to grappling. Mixing in a resume unmatched by most, Sonnen peels back the curtain on how his wrestling game has made him one of the most successful grapplers in the MMA world. 

Simplicity is a great recipe for success. Sonnen emphasizes keeping it simple and practical throughout his instructional. In the above video he adds a nice wrinkle to the ever expanding front head lock game, and it involves a little thumb-to-face action.

UFC, Bellator, and ADCC veteran Chael Sonnen has your Gangster Grappling needs covered Click Learn More!


While Chael maintains heavy pressure from the top he starts his attack by sliding his right arm under his partners jaw line. Here he makes special note of not over reaching with the right arm. By over reaching the arm it allows the opponent to then control the elbow, which could lead a reversal. Instead he makes use of his left arm by reaching to establish his grip.

Let's talk about that Gangster Grip shall we? Chael quite literally says "any part of my thumb against any part of his face". Again keeping it simple. 

The arm that reaches over the shoulder of your partner is the arm that will place a part of your thumb against their face. The other arm grabs in a hooking fashion along the pinky line of the shoulder arm. His hook grip will allow maximal upward pressure. This grip is often utilized in guillotine chokes and Achilles locks.

By keeping the grip localized on the face it allows Sonnen ample control over his opponents body while protecting his elbow from being controlled. Now the goal is to finish. Sonnen performs what some call a Gator Roll to get his opponent on to their back. Without breaking his grip Chael uses his leg to trap the entangled arm. Here is where the grip can be let go to transition into the traditional arm configuration for the Darce. 

If you are a short armed person this will help your finishing percentage immensely. As West Linn's own explains in the video it is important to get as far of a reach as possible to ensure a sufficient grip on the bicep. If you've spent time with the front head lock chokes you probably know the importance of cinching the grip. 

Sonnen is an All-Time MMA great, and has also mixed it up with some of the best that BJJ has had to offer. Keep it Gangster with Gangster Grappling!





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