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Dominate the Mounted Triangle Position with Lachlan Giles
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Dominate the Mounted Triangle Position with Lachlan Giles

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The triangle has many faces. As a fundamental submission, comprehension of the triangle is a must for any BJJ toolbox.

We most often learn the triangle early on, as it is normally part of any beginner curriculum at homebase BJJ academy.

For me, the triangle took some time to apply effectively. I often had trouble remembering the steps when training live, and it seems that there were more mechanics and movement involved in the triangle than most of the other basic submissions I was learning. After some repetition and experimentation, the triangle became one of my favorite submissions, and it began to speak to me much clearer.

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Learning the triangle from the guard is normally the first experience with the technique. Once you understand the mechanics and the inner workings of this classic submission, you begin to see the triangle elsewhere and how it can be applied to multiple positions.

The mounted triangle is a great example of the application of a triangle from an alternate position, and it’s the first triangle outside of the guard I began to study. I found myself landing in mount quite often with one of my partners arms missing from the mix. But I had trouble pursuing the triangle and creating the right angles to make it work. Eventually I found ways to get more comfortable and began playing with different kinds of setups.

The mount is a great place to catch the triangle. With your partners back stuck to the floor, making the right movements can land us in a very advantageous position, that’s not easily escapable.

In this video Lachlan Giles gives us some ideas on how to set up, secure, and finish the mounted triangle. Pay close attention to the details here, as Giles will drive home some very important concepts to making this amazing submission stick. Have a look!

Giles begins by advising us to do our best to enter into mount with at least one arm trapped above the shoulder line. This will make getting started much easier, and eliminate some early headaches.

Beginning in the mounted position, Giles starts by pinning his partners arm on his right side. He then enters his opposite hand in to the mix under his partners head, gripping inside of the armpit. This levering action at the armpit is used to lift his partner’s head from the floor. As he does this, Giles moves up as high as he can on the far side of his partners body. He then begins to turn his hips and invert his leg (think armbar). This gives Giles the ability to clear the line of his partners arm with his right leg and enter in to the triangle set up position.

IN the second variation, Giles does not have the same control over that backside arm. In the first set up Giles has his partners backside arm trapped deep inside his hip. Here his partner is keeping the elbow nice and tight to his body so Giles must adjust his plans slightly. Here, he finds an angle that allows him to slide his right leg under his partner’s tightly secured elbow. As he finds the angle, he again slides his leg over the trapped arm and performs somewhat of a circular motion to put him in position to secure the setup.

Giles offers some ideas on finishing the triangle. The first one involves the bottom player bridging. This obviously gives us the room to lock a traditional triangle and finish. The second option is a little more unique. Giles simply slides his top leg over the bottom one and puts downward pressure on the lock to obtain the finish. There is no actual triangle lock here, but with gravity on his side, Giles can still force the tap.

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The bottom players exposed arm can be manipulated here in a multitude of ways. By turning it, Giles can apply an americana style lock on the shoulder. There is also the possibility of armbar here as well if you’d prefer!

A critical detail here is the insertion of the leg and the movements that follow. As Giles explains, after the lift of the head and the penetration of the leg to the underside of the neck Giles makes another turn back toward the front side of his partner bringing his knees closer together and position his hamstring where it needs to be to produce a proper finish.  

For the final option Giles’ partner has chosen to block his top leg from entering a triangle position. This may stop the triangle, but it also exposes the back. From here Giles can easily hug the head sit back on his hip, and roll across to the other side, securing a nice back take.

We got way more than we bargained for in this video. When I first clicked, I was hoping to get some good triangle details from the mount, and I ended up learning so much more about this position. I hope this helps you clear up some questions about the mounted triangle and assists you in obtaining a higher success rate when you’re trying to finish from the mount! Good luck!

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