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Learn Thomas Lisboa's Loop Choke!
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Learn Thomas Lisboa's Loop Choke!

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When it comes to choke submissions there are dozens and dozens of options out there, some more sneaky than others, and some more brutal than others.  As we start exploring chokes outside of the traditional cross choke and triangle choke that are typically part of the beginner course material we open up a door to what seems to be a world of unlimited possibilities.    There are so many options, both in the Gi and No Gi that it helps to have the experts guide us through the best ones and all of the battle tested details that make them work as well as the tips on common mistakes that may cause them not to work the way we need them to. 

One of my favorite chokes I recently found is the loop choke.  I like this choke because it’s simple and effective from closed guard.  I also like that it easily translates to a self defense situation by simply replacing the lapel grip with a grip on the attacker’s jacket or shirt perhaps.  It shares a lot of properties with the guillotine choke in my opinion which can be good as long as it is trained properly. As I’m sure you have experienced some of these chokes when trained incorrectly can be more of a throat smash than an actual choke.  When drilling this technique make sure you get feedback from your training partner, not only is there no need to be crushing their throat, drilling the technique incorrectly will just lead to it failing when you need it to work in either self defense or on the mats in competition and live training.  

Now let’s get into it.  Who better to learn the loop choke from than someone who is considered a world class instructor with a technical game that focuses on being tricky and effective?  Thomas Lisboa has developed a very effective game and teaches, as you will see, in a very clear and easy to follow way so that regardless of you r rank or skill set you won’t be left behind during this technique breakdown, or any of his others on his video instructional.  

Let’s break down the loop choke by Thomas Lisboa.  The loop choke is unique in that it does not require an extremely deep grip on the lapel to get the choke to work, in fact, a deeper grip in this situation is actually not as good as a more shallow grip.  Thomas prefers to do the loop choke from the closed guard because it complicates the opponent’s escape options. One of the most common escapes for the loop choke is to simply backstep away from the hand in the collar moving to the opponent’s side and then switching your hips back down facing the mats and moving to a north south position.  

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Again, Thomas prefers to execute the loop choke from the closed guard, so that is where we will start.  Thomas has his opponent in his closed guard, and we are assuming the opponent has their hands on the floor next to our hips.  If the opponent is pressuring down on your hips we can simply pull in with our locked guard and push outward on both arms at the same time from the inside, as if we were shooting for double under hooks.   

Once we are in position Thomas is getting a cross body grip on the opponent’s lapel and then opening his guard and scooting back just enough so that he can sit up, you do not have to scoot back if you are able to sit up without doing so that is perfectly fine too, it will depend on your core strength and other capabilities.  As Thomas sits up he is flaring his right elbow out to create space between his arm and his body for the opponent’s head to go. He then feeds the opponent’s head into that space by pulling the back of the opponent’s head with his left hand into the open space. Now that he has secured the opponent’s head, he can start to finish the loop choke.  To do so he will slide his left hand under his right elbow leaving his forearm on the back of the opponent’s head ensuring they don’t get out. From this position, to finish, Thomas is simply going to pull the lapel with his right hand while pressuring downward on the back of the opponent’s head with his left arm. This should produce a quick tap.

If you run into problems and can’t seem to get your left hand under your right arm, or anything else that may lead you to believe “this only works for people with longer arms than me” chances are your grip is way too deep, try gripping a bit lower on the lapel and you should have a better experience.  On the contrary, if everything seems until you go to finish and you just can’t seem to finish the technique, well again, chances are it’s your grip. In this case try gripping a little higher on the lapel and see if that solves the problem for you, chances are good that it will.

As you can see from this video clip, Thomas Lisboa is brief and effective, providing simple yet useful steps to get the submission while being easy to learn, train and implement in your Jiu Jitsu game.  If you are looking for additional easy setups and submissions and like the way Thomas breaks them down into easy to digest pieces, you need to check out his video instructional titled “Cruci-fixing – 30 Easy Setups & Finishes From This Forgotten Position”.  Thomas is spent years studying the best in the world, while teaching at World Renowned Academies such as Alliance Sao  Paulo and Marcelo Garcia NYC. Thomas as known as a technical genius who has developed a tricky and effective system around getting to his crucifix.  Are you ready to take your game to the next level with some help from one of the best in the world?

Closed Guard Beyond The Basics by Thomas Lisboa

Closed Guard Beyond The Basics By Thomas Lisboa will give you the tools to have an AGGRESSIVE and EFFECTIVE Closed Guard. Lisboa’s newest instructional is an all encompassing breakdown of the Closed Guard. Get an in-depth look at all of the Sweeps, Submissions, and Transitions that go BEYOND THE BASICS!

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