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Connecting the Triangle and Armbar

Connecting the Triangle and Armbar


Two of the most simple yet important submissions used in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are the triangle choke and the straight arm lock. These are two techniques every single grappler learns while they are a white belt and continue to get better at as they come up the ranks of grappling. Although these submissions are first learned from the guard, they can be attacked from a wide range of positions.

Learn from Craig Jones, master of all things submissions and grappling!


The most interesting thing about these two submissions is the fact that no matter what position you can get one of them from, you can always get the other as well. For example, if you develop a way to get the triangle choke from de la riva guard or half guard, you can also get the arm bar from de la riva guard or half guard.

New students generally assume that these two submissions are mutually exclusive. The triangle choke and the arm bar, though, share a very intimate and important relationship. More so, the more one improves an aspect of one submission, you will improve the other submission as well. So, if your triangle choke gets better, so does the armbar.

Even more important regarding the relationship between the armbar and the triangle choke is how you can easily transition between the two. One way you can transition to the triangle from the armbar is when you are attacking a traditional armbar from mount. If the defender tries to sit up, you can wrap your leg over and around the head and end up securing a triangle choke.

This same relationship exists when you are attacking the armbar from the guard. A common defensive technique the top player will try to do when caught in an armbar from the guard is pull their arm out. This essentially leaves their head and other arm trapped between your legs, exposing the triangle choke. See below:

Another interesting thing about these two submissions when examining the triangle choke is that anytime you have a triangle secured, you can attack an armbar without changing any leg positioning. 

The relationship between these two submissions is one you don’t find between a lot of other submissions. In fact, I can’t think of any pair of submissions that are so interchangeable in terms of when they can be attacked. Because of this, I hope you place more emphasis on understanding and using these submissions more frequently.

His approach is simple, and makes sense. After watching it, your execution from the Z-Guard will dramatically change for the better.



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