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5 Gangster Grappling Techniques For BJJ From UFC Vet Chael Sonnen

5 Gangster Grappling Techniques For BJJ From UFC Vet Chael Sonnen


Chael Sonnen's Gangster Grappling Techniques Come From The Mean Street of Linn, Oregon...

Unless you have been living under a rock you probably know who Chael Sonnen is. Chael Sonnen is a UFC vet, currently competing in the heavy weight division of Bellator MMA. He has been a professional competitor since 1997 and has also fought in the UFC, WEC, and Pancrase. Chael is known for his background in Greco Roman Wrestling, excellent grappling, and amazing submissions, so much so that he has even released his own instructional series called “Gangster Grappling: Using Wrestling Techniques to Dominate Jiu Jitsu opponents” available exclusively on In this series, Chael shows some of his best all time take downs, passes and submissions that he has used to submit high level black belts in UFC main events and on the mean streets of West Linn Oregon. Chael’s approach to old school wrestling tactics is fun and easy to learn, so let’s check it out!

 Common Sense Way To Beat The Guys In Your Gym & In Competition Who Only Train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Techniques: Chael's Time Tested: Anti BJJ Secrets Will Blow Your Mind.


#1: Philosophy of Passing Guard to Attack

Chael states that if you want to get past a BJJ player’s guard, one of two things has to happen: You either need to get double under hooks on the legs and pull your opponent up so his hips are up high, or you need to get one knee inside to open up the guard. Any time you are in one of these positions you open up a lot of options. It is simple enough to pressure your opponent from closed guard top while you use your elbow to pry on of the legs down to the mat. As soon as the guard breaks is when you slide your knee inside instantly. Your training partner is going to be trying to get that guard back as quick as possible so you want to keep moving. Once you have the knee pinned you have to start looking for a pass. Keep in mind that you want to get as many moves in succession as possible. Pressure down the leg, and get your knee in instantly. Go for the pass, and get the mount. Get his head off the mat instantly. Start looking for submissions. If you can get 2 or more moves for every one of your opponent’s moves you are at a massive advantage. A lot of battles come down to who gets more opportunity to move and attack, and there are a lot of intangible concepts behind a good grappler who is able to do this.  

#2: Surprise Grappling Attack

Chael Sonnen has gotten very good at jiu jitsu over the years by effectively learning how to shut it down. Sonnen starts this technique standing and controlling his opponent’s back. He is gripping his opponent with an S grip around the waist. Sonnen steps his leg to the inside of his training partner.  He releases his grips, sits and spins, locking his opponent’s leg and taking him down to the mat. Sonnen emphasizes moving quick in the 50 / 50 position now that you are in this position to avoid a scramble. This is one of the most vulnerable spots you can be in all of combat. Notice that when you land you set yourself up for the perfect heel hook submission. The key detail of this technique is to control your opponent’s hips. When you start standing you do not want there to be any space in between yourself and your training partner’s back. The main reason this technique is so good is because your training partner is not going to expect you to step in and roll when controlling the back.

#3: Taking The Mount Countering The Bridge

Chael starts off this demonstration from top full guard. It is very important to remember not to hesitate. You do not want to give your training partner and opportunity to set up a defense. Chael posts on his training partner’s chest and stands to break the guard. From here he is able to get one knee flat on the mat. As soon as the knee touches the mat, Chael is looks to pin the opposite side arm of his training partner. Pay attention to the different ways Chael demonstrates how to control the arm. There are a few options, it does not matter which one you do, because your training partner’s instinct will be to bridge in order to create space and bump you. As soon as you feel your training partner buck, you want to step over with your leg. You want to move quickly here. As soon as you step over you can hook your opponent’s leg. In any form of combat, when you end up in the mount you want to touch your heels together and arch your back to push your hips in.

#4: Anaconda Choke Leg Adjustment Thumb To Face

If you are out and in front of your opponent, one great technique is to take any part of your thumb and put it on any part of your training partner’s jaw. Chael reaches under the same side arm he has trapped and puts his thumb his opponent’s face. He emphasizes not to put your arm all the way across your training partner’s chest. This will give your opponent your elbow, which is no good. You want to retain your elbow. Once Chael has his thumb against the jaw of his training partner, he reaches his other hand through and connects the two of them. There are a couple of different locks you can use for your grip, gable grip, S grip, etc. In this case Chael gets a pinky grip with his other hand to lock his thumb against his opponent’s face. This creates tremendous pressure on your training partner. From here you can sit back and your opponent will go anywhere you want him to go. In this position Chael traps the arm by reaching over with his leg with his knee, and securing the anaconda choke.

#5: Head and Arm Choke

Typically in UFC when you are in top side control you are blocking punches and elbows so Chael is trapping his training partner’s arm with his chin as well as wrap around the arm to keep his opponent pinned to the ground. The guy on bottom will have the natural instinct to start pushing up against your chin to try and force you away. Chael uses this momentum to pop the arm across his shoulder and trap it. As soon as you pass the arm you want to drop your head, putting pressure on your opponent’s shoulder as you find your lock. Make sure you get your opposite arm across as far as possible before securing your grip. Once you grasp, it is just a matter of passing to the other side of your opponent. There are different techniques you can use to get to the other side but the key is to switch to the other side while keeping focus on where your head is positioned (to create pressure on the shoulder). Once you get to the other side of your training partner you want to lock tight, and drop your hips. Now you can take your time finishing your choke.

Chael Sonnen is a house hold name in the MMA community. He talks a big game, and he backs it up. If you want to surprise all the BJJ guys on the mats, then you need to check out Chael Sonnen’s Gangster Grappling instructional series, available exclusively on It is packed with tons of old school wrestling techniques that any opponent, no matter their size, will not be able to counter.

Chael Sonnen is a household name in the MMA community, and it is for a very simple reason - he talks a big game, and then he backs it up.

The Chael Sonnen blueprint is really pretty simple at its base: take the person down, smash through the guard, and start hunting for chokes and joint locks. This is the formula that he has used to fight more world champions than anyone else, with incredible and consistent success. See the techniques that brought us epic main events like the vice-like Guillotine that he used to choke Shogun Rua unconscious, or the throws and passes he used to edge out greats like Michael Bisping and Wanderlei Silva. In fact, Chael is so confident in these BJJ hacks that he has competed at the highest levels of submission grappling, including 3 trips to ADCC, where he has always won in the early rounds and a huge win in a Superfight where he defeated the legend Leo Viera in 2017.

Chael Sonnen Shows The All The Takedowns, Passes & Submissions That He's Used To Submit High Level Black Belts In UFC Main Events – And Many More On The Mean Streets Of West Linn Oregon



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