Your cart
Total: $0.00
Lifetime Video Access Lifetime
Video Access
30 Days Money Back Guarantee

BJJ Instructional Videos
John Danaher Leglocks
John Danaher Back Attacks BJJ
Half Guard BJJ Instructional Video
Arm On The Mat Triangle

Arm On The Mat Triangle


The triangle strangle submission can be one of the strongest submissions in Jiu Jitsu. 

It gives us the power to use our legs to fight against the opponent’s neck and shoulder muscles giving us a clear advantage over larger and stronger opponents.  The triangle strangle is a great submission not only for Jiu Jitsu competition but also for self defense in general. The triangle allows for us to free up our hands and use our hips to control the distance of the opponent.  This means we can keep them far enough away that they can not possibly punch us in the face, but we can also pull them in to land our own strikes if we would like, or feel it is necessary. 

Get Advanced Guard Techniques That Work! Click Learn More below!


One of the greatest things about Jiu Jitsu is how it is constantly evolving, and more and more rapidly as we begin using technology and video instruction as a platform for sharing.  It seems the days of having to track down a phone number for the instructor you wanted to train with, calling and convincing him to let you come train with him, and then forking out the money to travel there and train for a period of time to learn the secrets are gone.  Today those secrets are shared in the form of a video instructional the best of which are found at BJJ Fanatics where they are committed to providing the best instruction from the top athletes in the game. 

It’s interesting, the longer you have been training likely the more you have experienced this.  In Jiu Jitsu we are sometimes are taught that a submission needs to be done like so, but if your opponent defends a specific way, we abandon that submission because you can no longer finish it and move to the next submission in your series of attacks.  While this thought may have been true at one point, or at least true relative to our knowledge, we are now having people like Neil Melanson coming into Jiu Jitsu with an incredible wrestling background and challenging that thinking. Rather than accept the norm, he challenges it and then digs in to see if the thinking was actually true, or if maybe, just maybe there was something overlooked or for whatever reason not considered.  

As we study the triangle strangle submission, thought to be the newest submission in grappling dating only back to shortly before World War One, we find a lot of this thinking.  You have likely heard, if you do not have the arm in, there is no submission. This is proved false by Romulo Barral in his video “No Arm Triangle”.  

You have likely also heard that you must get the arm across the centerline of your body for the triangle strangle to be effective.  This is what Neil Melanson is challenging in his video “Arm on the Mat Triangle” that we are going to be breaking down today.  

Neil prefers to finish his triangle strangle submissions with the arm wherever his opponent puts it, as long as the opponent is not blocking his hips, he does not mind if the arm is on the mats, on him, or all the way across.  Having the arm all the way across, the traditional way we all learned, is his least favorite. He feels like it is hard to achieve against good grapplers and finds very little added value when compared to the work that goes into it.  

Neil starts out with his opponent in a typical triangle setup, his legs are locked around the neck and one arm at his ankles and the opponent has his arm on the mat laying next to him.  The opponent’s goal in having their arm on the floor next to him is to keep his shoulder of that arm away from his neck, therefore, preventing the strangle. The first thing that Neil does is hugs and squeezes his leg that is biting the opponent’s neck.  In addition to this pressure from hugging his leg he is also squeezing his legs together. This is going to close the gap from their shoulder to their neck and make it harder for them to recreate that space. The simple squeezing of your legs together will drive your opponent’s shoulder into one side of their neck, while you are choking the other side with your leg.

If you are not able to finish from this position, or simply looking for another option for finishing the triangle, you can utilize the Teepee finish.  In order to do the Teepee finish we will need to have our legs locked at the ankles as we go under each leg and grip (ideally gable, but s grip would be acceptable as well) our hands using this to pull the opponent down and into you.  This grip should prevent them from posturing up, regardless of strength. 

To finish the Teepee it’s important that before extending we first curl the legs down over our gripped hands, and then pinch the knees together tight towards the opponents head.  At this point you can extend your legs toward the ceiling, maintaining your grip behind your legs. This should cause an almost immediate tap.   

Want to learn some Advanced Guard Systems with Neil? Click Learn More!


Just because the arm is on the mat does not mean you can not finish using a traditional triangle strangle lock and finish.  In order to make this work you must maintain control of the opponent’s posture, continually hugging your leg that is biting over their neck in order to ensure they can not posture up of escape the hold.  This must be done immediately after shooting the triangle and must carry on until you are able to get your figure four lock with your legs and cut an angle to be as close to perpendicular as you can be on the same side as your leg that is biting your opponent’s neck.  From here you need to hug that knee, curl your legs toward you and squeeze the knees together in order to finish the submission. 

Neil goes on to reiterate the importance of squeezing your legs.  Squeezing your legs together is imperative to your success in this position.  If your legs are loose, “forget it”,you will not be able to get the finish. Neil also goes on to say that not only can you finish the triangle strangle submission without getting the arm over, but he prefers to do so using the finishes detailed here.  In his opinion it is not worth the work required to work to get the arm across to the other side of your body. 

With guys like Neil Melanson challenging the norm I think it’s safe to say we will continue to see Jiu Jitsu evolve and develop over the coming years, challenging the things we thought we knew and forcing us all to level up and better understand what is possible.  Neil’s video instructionals can be found right here at BJJ Fanatics.  With such an aggressive approach to Jiu Jitsu, a strong wrestling background and the mind to think outside the box these instructionals will not just improve your game and how you approach Jiu Jitsu, but they will give you the added benefit of a better workout during training as well.  I’m sure many have said this, but I always remember Tom DeBass saying in a few of his videos “There are no easy days” and I think this mindset is common amongst elite athletes.  

This is an incredibly helpful detail for attacking from this position. The mechanics here are sure to help secure that submission and make it stick!



Take a deep dive on one specific skill per month with the top instructors in the BJJ Fanatics family.

With your subscription you'll get:

  • Private Lesson (Masterclass)
  • Preview of our Upcoming Daily Deals to better plan your purchases
  • Rolling breakdowns & more.

You'll also get At Home Drills to work on, a Preview of our Upcoming Launches & More!


Learn More

Half Domination by Tom DeBlass DVD Cover
Catch Wrestling Formula by Neil Melanson
Butterfly Guard Re-Discovered Adam Wardzinski DVD Wrap
Judo Academy Jimmy Pedro Travis Stevens