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Get on Board with the D’arce Choke!

Get on Board with the D’arce Choke!



The D’arce choke is a big player in the no gi realm. A close relative of many other forms of strangulation, the D’arce is applied just a bit differently, with the choking arm entering at the armpit instead of the neck area. 

The D’arce is commonly applied from a turtle position, but many enjoy launching the D’arce from top half guard or even during a passing attempt. It can also be set up in some more unorthodox settings where it comes out of nowhere as a bit of a surprise. 

The D’arce quickly became my favorite no gi choke, as one of my first instructors used it religiously and taught the choke often. I found it was really useful in combination with an entire host of other chokes such as the anaconda and various forms of the guillotine. Threatening the submission would also lead to opportunities to take the back. 

There are some very important mechanical properties that must be observed when were looking to apply the D’arce. The positioning of our body is paramount and if you have shorter arms, you’ll need to work even more diligently to make sure you set the submission up properly. 

Let’s take a look at some instruction on the D’arce choke from some of BJJ’s heaviest hitters. We’ll start with the basic application from Alec Baulding and move from there. Let’s get started!

Baulding begins with some words on the rise in popularity of the D’arce choke. IT has become a powerhouse player in the no gi sector, so it would serve you well to brush up on this incredibly versatile choke. 

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Starting from a knee cut passing scenario, Baulding begins by addressing the bottom players frame, which will undoubtedly be a part of the process with this technique. The bottom partner has a frame established across Baulding’s shoulder, which he pushes down and keeps low. From here, Balding can now being to penetrate the space between his partners body and armpit with his arm closest to his partner’s body.

As Baulding closes the distance between himself and the bottom player he threads his arm through to the opposite side of the head, creating a bit of a lift to assist in compression and laying his chest down on his partner to close any pathways of escape. Notice how Baulding drops his shoulder down below the line of his partner’s body. This is a crucial detail of getting the choke deep enough, and if you have shorter arms, it will be 100% necessary to take stock of this detail. Baulding then feeds his hand to his opposite arm bicep and locks the submission in the style of a rear naked choke. Baulding then begins to pull all of the components of the choke tight to his body and adds a squeeze, commanding the tap. 

As Baulding also demonstrates, the choke can also be acquired from an under-hook scenario. We may just have to get our body out o the way a bit to world toward the finish. 

This is a great entry level variation of the D’arce, and a great place to start, especially if the technique is not on your radar!

Moving on to a more strategic variation of the D’arce, we find Mario Delgado using the knee slice as a bait to set up the choke. This really great, very tricky, and still incredibly applicable. Have a look!

Delgado begins by working to slice through his partner’s guard with a knee cut pass. As he continues through his partner achieves an over hook. Here, Delgado allows a pocket of space to open up so that hos partner can easily transition to his knees to continue using his under hook. As he does this, Delgado bails out and also works to his knees creating a turtle scenario. 

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This next bit of instruction is important to observe as in many cases you will catch the D’arce from the turtle and need to work to get your opponent on to their side. 

Delgado uses his grip to put pressure on the back of his partner’s head, causing a roll. As his partner lands on his side, Delgado threads his choking arm deeper and grabs his bicep to lock in the submission. For the finish, Delgado sits to his hip and places his top leg over his partners hip. Here, he pushes with his foot and leans in tot eh choke with a squeeze to get the tap. 

Let’s not end our little study without seeing a D’arce choke in the gi. The D’arce may not be as common in the gi, but its still an option and it’s just as dangerous. Take a look at this super tight D’arce from Edwin Najmi.

Najmi begins his instruction with another incredibly common situation here where the bottom half guard player sits up and achieves an under hook. As this occurs, Najmi begins to pursue an arm in guillotine as his initial form of attack. He then brings his weight forward, pinning his partner to the mat. Here, he begins to free his trapped leg from the half guard using his opposite side instep as a prying mechanism. As he frees himself, he performs a backstep and lands at angle out from his partners head.

From this position, Najmi kicks his foot to create some momentum, and comes up to his knees, circling towards his partner. He now pulls his grip through into the D’arce choke setup position, grabs his bicep, and leans into the head with a squeeze to finish the technique. 

Its clear here from Faria’s reaction that the extra detail of squeezing the elbows together makes an enormous difference in the cinching of the submission. Keep this in mind any time you attack the D’arce!

Lots of great instruction here on one of the most devastating match enders in the game. Make the D’arce choke a part of your arsenal today!

Are you the type of grappler that is ALWAY looking to finish the fight? Mission Submission IS FOR YOU! Edwin Najmi breaks down the techniques and tactics that make him one of the most exciting and HIGHEST FINISHING grapplers on EARTH! 



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