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High Percentage No Gi Chokes

High Percentage No Gi Chokes


Submissions are one of the biggest parts of bjj, and one of the best ways to submit your opponent is by a chokehold.  There are various chokeholds that can be used, whether you are using the gi, doing self-defense, or doing no gi there are so many different chokes that can be utilized.  We have seen chokes utilized in the highest levels of bjj, MMA and even in several self-defense scenarios.  A choke can save your life. 

Contrary to popular belief a choke is the most dangerous submission that there is, assuming that you finish the choke.  There are two types of cokes that you can use.  Blood chokes which constrict the carotid arteries and cause your opponent to faint because the brain does not receive blood, and then there are trachea chokes which constrict the wind pipe and restrict the oxygen supply to the brain.

Both chokes can render your opponent unconscious and can even cause death in rare situations.  IF you held either one of these choke for over a minute you would cause brain damage and potentially death.  Chokes are commonly perceived as harmless given the fact that we see people pass out from them all the time and they are fine after, but if you were in a self-defense scenario and your assailant got you in a choke and didn’t let go you could die.  

Today we are going to discuss two chokes that you can use in no gi that are extremely high percentage.  You can use these chokes in no gi and in gi but they are higher percentage in no gi.  We are going to look at the guillotine choke and the rear naked choke.  Both chokes have been used in MMA and bjj at the highest levels.  Let’s look at these positions a little more and learn more about them.

The Guillotine Choke

The guillotine choke is one of the highest percentage chokes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, MMA, and No Gi grappling. This choke has been used for hundreds of years, granted there are different variations of this positions such as the arm in guillotine, the high elbow guillotine choke, the 10 finger guillotine choke, the one handed guillotine choke and the list goes on and on.  This is one of the most valuable submissions in grappling for so many reasons.

People tend to perceive the guillotine choke as a submission, but the guillotine is far more.  This position is extremely efficient and we call it a position because you can use the head and arm control or head control of a guillotine to pass guard, to defend, to sweep, to transition to other submissions, or to submit.  The guillotine is also excellent because you are able to use it for self-defense, MMA, no gi, and in the gi.

Let’s look at some grapplers who have been notorious for having a good guillotine; we have Marcelo Garcia, Kron Gracie, and Jeff Glover.  All of them have been excellent grapplers who transition well from both gi to no gi and a lot of this can be contributed to the fact that they have excellent guillotines.  Let’s discuss some of the possibilities that you can add to your arsenal when developing your guillotine choke.

The guillotine as a submission is tried and true.  We have seen high level UFC fighters, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighters, and No Gi specialist use the guillotine with tremendous success.  There are so many variations of this choke so which is the most superior?  Well the thing is that not one guillotine is any better than the other; it is up to the person who is doing the move to determine what variation works best for them.

For example, the high elbow guillotine has recently exploded with popularity and Marcelo Garcia was able to execute this move at the highest levels of competition countless times.  Some people have even called this position the “Marcelotine.”  Does this mean that this is a better guillotine then the arm in?  Not at all, Renzo Gracie was the first big Jiu Jitsu practitioner to utilize the arm in guillotine in both MMA and Jiu Jitsu and he has one of the best arm in guillotines in the world, this is just the variation that works for him.  Kron Gracie is also famous for using the arm in guillotine and he has had great success with this position, he even won the finals of the most prestigious no gi tournament, ADCC with this choke.

There are other variations of the guillotine that are not as popular but again that does not mean they are not effective.  Some other versions we see are the 10 finger guillotine, the 5 finger guillotine, and many more.  Neil Melanson is the head grappling coach of the famous MMA team Blackzillians, he has worked with famous UFC fighter like Randy Couture, Vitor Belfort and Dominick Cruz.  He has a very different perspective on the guillotine, check out one of his unique chokes below.

The Rear Naked Choke

The rear naked choke may be the best choke without a gi.  The problem with this choke is the fact that in order to execute it you need to take your opponent’s back.  Taking the back is the first step to opening the opportunity for a rear naked choke.  This is probably the most popular choke in the world, many mainstream MMA and UFC fans know the position and can recognize it. 

The rear naked choke is the number one submission in the UFC.  There has been more submission finished by rear naked choke than any other submission, being that the UFC is a full contact sport this shows us that this choke may be the most important to learn for self-defense.  When ever you are in a self-defense scenario the rear naked choke will present itself, people always expose their back and neck.

In bjj and competition this choke is a little bit more difficult to get, this is because people are very aware, and they tuck their chin very well.  This has brought evolution to the choke.  Now a day at the higest levels of bjj we see people finishing the rear naked choke as a jaw and neck crank.  When their opponent manages to tuck their chin, they will still complete the choke as long as they can connect their arms.  Check out this video below where you can see all the fine details on the position.

If you want to work on your no gi chokes you should definitely check out Neil Melanson’s “Catch Wrestling Formula.”  Neil is one of the best grappling coaches in the entire world.  He has helped some of the best UFC fighter in the world achieve greatness and he is the head coach of blackzillians.


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