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Escaping the Body Triangle With Tom DeBlass
It’s no secret as you train Jiu Jitsu for some time you will likely find certain positions that you find to be less comfortable than others. I think it’s safe to say no one likes being mounted, or even being in bottom side control with an opponent that has a really strong top pressure. A position that you don’t hear a lot about is the body triangle. Even though it may not be the first position that comes to mind, or the one you hear the most about, I think it’s safe to say, no one likes being caught in a body triangle.
It can be increasingly uncomfortable being stuck in your opponent’s body triangle when you are facing an opponent with really strong legs. A properly executed body triangle can make you feel like your entire mid section is going to explode, or ad the very least, your ribs are going to crack.
In order to escape anything in Jiu Jitsu, we have to attack the problem. If we were defending a wrestling hold, we would want to attack the grips in order to escape. When we are in a body triangle situation, the point at which the legs are connecting to form the triangle lock it the attacks “grip”.
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The first thing we want to do is work to defend the choke, there is almost always a choke attempt happing along with the body triangle. While our hands are defending the choke, we want to try to turn into the opponent and work to get our back on the mat. Once we are able to get our shoulders on the mat, there is no more ability for the opponent to apply pressure and use this to their advantage. Although we are not fully out of the body triangle, we have relieved the pressure at this point and forced the opponent to make a decision to either work to regain the triangle, or more likely, attempt to come to mount. Should the opponent decide to attempt a mount take, they will have to remove their shoulder from the mat. Removing this shoulder will create the space necessary for you to turn into the opponent and come up to be inside their closed guard.
While being inside the opponent’s closed guard is not ideal from an offensive perspective, it’s certainly better than dealing with the frustrations of a strong body triangle. This will be no problem for you to pass the guard and begin working your submissions if you have been studying Gordon Ryan’s video instruction on systematically attacking the guard.
Like anything in Jiu Jitsu, the more times you allow yourself to get into this position in training, the more prepared you will be should you be faced with it in competition. It’s always best to make yourself uncomfortable in training, so you suffer less in competition.