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DARCE CHOKE BJJ
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DARCE CHOKE BJJ

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has become an extremely common form of Martial Arts in the modern era. From its brutal beginning back in Brazil, when the Gracie family would dominate Vale Tudo events, to the now evolved state of sports Jiu Jitsu. Organisations like the IBJJF, the ADCC, Metamoris, and Who's Number One are all jamming up the limelight, with many talented superstars showcasing their new innovative submission skill sets. There is one side of Jiu Jitsu that is considerably obsessed with the leg entanglement game, while the other half is still showcasing the more traditional choke holds in jiu jitsu

 What this article covers:

While some athletes will stay more traditional, and stick to chokes like the triangle, and the rear naked choke, other competitors will delve into different styles of chokes like the gogoplata, bjj ezekiel choke, or the darce choke. Many of these new aged submissions have become iconic because of superstars like Eddie Bravo, Tye Rotoulo, Jeff Glover, and Mikey Musumeci.

Avid competitor and acclaimed instructor Joel Bouhey shows how to find Darce Chokes from nearly all positions in BJJ.  You can get FINDING THE DARCE CHOKE EVERYWHERE here at BJJFanatics.com!

bjj darce choke

The darce choke has especially made a significant impact on Jiu Jitsu competition, as the brutality of the choke has become successful in both BJJ, and MMA tournaments. The darce choke is a highly versatile choke hold that has multiple entries into the submission. The crushing power of the darce choke can be an extremely painful submission to endure through, as there is only a small window of defense that an athlete can use to escape.

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THE HISTORY OF THE DARCE CHOKE

History shows that the darce choke was first seen in Germany in 1996, by Bjorn Dag Lagerstrom a Norwegian Martial Artist. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete was said to have created the move by accident after incorrectly learning the anaconda choke. Bjorn discovered the efficiency of the darce, compared to the anaconda, and decided to explore this new position. Later that year Bjorn took out first place at a German National event, after darce choking all of his opponents. The choke was given notoriety, and other grapplers would begin to take notice, as they too started to develop this position. In the year 2000, Milton Vieira who was a highly successful grappler for Brazilian Top Team, began teaching this move to all of the academy members. One of which was Rodrigo Nogueira, who used this brutal choke hold in his Mixed Martial Arts fights, as he became successful with choking out heavyweight opponents. 

There have been many innovative ideas put into the darce choke, with athletes like Mark Layman, Jeff Glover, and the man who was said to have modified the choke, and created many of its systems, Joe D'arce. It is said that Joe learnt the move from John Danaher during his time at Renzo Gracie's academy. Joe became highly successful at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments with the darce choke, before being noticed by black belt Mark Layman, who adopted the system and credited Joe, naming the move a darce choke. Variations of the choke have been known in the Brazilian community as the brabo choke. Over the years the development of the darce, and its multiple entry systems have become pioneered by many superstars of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fraternity.

HOW THE DARCE CHOKE WORKS

The darce choke has become a weapon of choice in BJJ competition, especially in the No Gi division. There are many different ways that the darce choke can work, and it highly depends on the entry that an athlete chooses. The most common darce choke will happen while an opponent is in the turtle position. The darce mechanism has a few stages, and they depend on how an opponent will attempt to defend the choke. To secure the darce choke an athlete should start by keeping extremely close to their opponent, and the best way to understand how to begin is to know if they use their left hand to secure a jiu jitsu guillotine, then their right hand is the darce hand. The athlete will thread in their arm through the armpit of their opponent, before extending it underneath their neck. Once their arm is deep enough that their wrist is visible, their other arm will shoot over their opponents head catching their wrist with the crook of their elbow. From here the athlete will cup their bicep, while using chest pressure on the back of their opponent's tricep, and squeezing into the choke. 

This basic explanation of the darce will commonly be defended if the opponent stays in the turtle position. The trick to executing this choke hold is when the first arm is threaded through, and before the second arm links up, the athlete should link their hands in a gable grip, as their forearm traps the back of their opponent's neck. This position is where an athlete can submit their opponents with a paper cutter choke, but to finish the darce they need to use the driving shoulder of their first arm to force their opponent to the mat. Once the opponent is on their side, the athlete can reach deeper if needed with their first arm, before catching their wrist with the crook of their elbow. From this position the athlete can trap their opponent better, as their chest will force their opponent's arm into their throat for a deeper, and tighter darce choke.

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USING THE DARCE IN A SYSTEM

Most athletes may think that the darce choke is much like the stand alone north south choke bjj position, but the darce has its own system, and its own brother chokes. What makes a darce choke so deadly, is the diversity it shares with the guillotine, and the anaconda choke. When attempting to apply a darce system, an opponent's left hand can scoop their opponent into a front headlock, or a guillotine position, and if the opponent defends the guillotine, then the athlete can quickly switch with their opposite hand into the darce choke. The synchronicity of these three chokes can make defending this system almost futile. The darce has a lot of different bait components, and once a student masters this choke, they will realise how they can use other submission attempts like a triangle, an arm bar, an omoplata, and many others to bait their opponent, and switch into a darce choke. Using a darce system will keep their opponent constantly under threat of submission, no matter what position they are in. 

DARCE CHOKE ENTRIES

There is an unlimited amount of darce choke entries, as the innovation of this position has seen continuous development from athletes like Jeff Glover, Mark Layman, Tony Ferguson, and the Rotoulo brothers. One of the best setups for the darce choke was made famous by Mark Layman, and was named the Marce choke. To execute this choke the athlete will dive underneath their opponent and take the bottom position. As they dive underneath, they should be shooting their arm under for the darce grip position. What makes this one of the best darce positions is that it becomes easier to trap the tricep from underneath, and even though there is an opportunity to escape, as long as the athlete walks their legs towards the head of their opponent, it becomes extremely hard to defend, and the choke can come on extremely quickly. 

Darce chokes can be found from everywhere, even when an athlete is stuck in their opponent's control position. Escaping the back control position will allow an opponent to thread their way into the darce. All an athlete needs to do is control the choking arm, and pull it over their head, trapping it to their side. The next step is to unhook one of their opponent's controlling hooks, and turn into their opponent, and apply the darce choke. Although this is not a high percentage entry, it can surprise an opponent. Another good darce entry is when an athlete is stuck under their opponent's side control. To access the darce the athlete needs to secure their opponent's far arm with an overhook, and shoot their other arm underneath their belly. From this position they will begin to circle their way out, dragging the head, and slotting into the darce choke. If the opponent drops their hips this can ultimately block the escape, but all the athlete has to do is walk their legs towards their opponents head, and simply roll them over before re-pummelling into another darce choke from on top. This has become a really good system to use, because if they miss the darce choke on the way out of the escape, they can simply come up to a front headlock position, and either attempt a guillotine, or circle towards a back take.

When an opponent is wearing the Gi they can set up a brabo choke from guard, or when they are in side control. This can basically have the same effect as a bjj bow and arrow choke, except the brabo can lead to a darce entry. From side control the athlete will untangle their opponent's farside lapel, and feed it around the back of their head. The next step is to push into the abdomen, and jump up to a knee on belly position, before switching the lapel to their other hand, as they look for a cross collar choke attempt. The athlete can finish this cross collar choke, or if their opponent attempts to defend the choke, the athlete will secure a pocket grip pulling their arm over, and turning their opponent onto their side, where they can shoot their arm deep under the armpit, and secure the darce choke.

The darceoplata is a great way to finish an opponent and most of them won't see it coming. This is a simple darce choke entry, as all an opponent needs to do is secure the omoplata position, and instead of leaning their body weight over to finish this arm lock, they will shoot their arm deep under the armpit connecting their hands together in a gable grip, and pulling back towards their body to finish their opponent in a modified darce choke. There is also a variation where an athlete does not thread their arm through the gap, instead they use their lapel to feed through the gap. They will then grab the tip of the lapel from on top of their opponent's body, making the choke even more deadly. The farside darce is another extremely high percentage darce choke, and is used when an opponent is in the turtle position. Commonly when an athlete is attacking the turtle, the opponent will not allow the darce entry through the armpits, but can forget about a gap in their opposite side arm. The athlete must identify the gap on the farside of their opponent, and use speed, and dexterity to barrel roll over the top of their opponent falling to the ground, and sliding into the darce choke on the opposite side. This is an extremely fast, and flashy style of submission, but when it is done correctly it can be extremely easy.

There are many other darce chokes that can be obtained by an athlete, and all they have to do is be creative, and identify where the gaps are. An athlete can set up a mounted triangle, or a monoplata, and bait their opponent, before sliding out, turning their hips, and threading in a darce choke. There are also entries from the top side control position, where they have the arm trapped between their leg, and their elbow, before reaching over into a front headlock position, and turning the corner, and sliding into another darce choke. There are literally no limitations when it comes to securing a darce choke, as the versatility of this position is highly accurate, and deadly, and must be practised by all competitive athletes. There is a reason why the Rotoulo brothers have brought out their iconic instructional series, available on bjjfanatics.com called darces everywhere, because there is literally a darce choke from every position within the game.

DARCE CHOKE DEFENSES

There are multiple ways to defend a darce choke, and they all depend on effectively which style of choke an athlete is in. There is a simple defense that an athlete can secure if they can catch the initial arm shooting in under the armpit. All they have to do is clamp down above their opponent's elbow, as the arm comes through. The next step is to grab their wrist with the opposite hand, and secure a figure four lock. This can be a really sneaky counter attack on an unsuspecting opponent. If the opponent manages to lock themselves into a darce choke while an athlete is still in the turtle position, then there are ways to defend this. The simple way is to make sure the athlete does not get put onto their side, as this can spell doom for a darce victim. The athlete needs to trap the tricep in order to effectively finish the darce choke, so all they actually need to do is free their arm by connecting it to the outside of their opponent's hip, this will make it extremely tough to finish any form of a darce choke.

Avid competitor and acclaimed instructor Joel Bouhey shows how to find Darce Chokes from nearly all positions in BJJ.  You can get FINDING THE DARCE CHOKE EVERYWHERE here at BJJFanatics.com!

jiu jitsu darce choke

Another good method of defending the darce choke is designed for when an athlete dives underneath their opponent. As soon as an athlete feels the darce choke they should instantly think about their posture, and begin to bridge. This should allow them to get on top of their opponent, while they are spreading their shoulder, to escape the dangers of the darce position. If the athlete does escape the position, then using this method will often lead to them taking control of the opponent, and entering into some form of side control, or the mount position. To defend a darce choke, the athlete needs to react fast, and use their posture well, as this choke can come on quickly, and finish an opponent in seconds. 

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