Shock Your Opponent with This Standing D'arce Choke from Travis Moore
What’s in a Name?
The D’arce choke, sometimes referred to as the Brabo choke, is an arm-in choke that can put a devastating squeeze on the opponent’s neck. Since neither name is very descriptive, feel free to take your pick! The most common entries for this choke are from side control, half guard, and the turtle position but the move can be found from just about anywhere. This move is achievable by anyone with proper mechanics, but it certainly fits well into the game of a lankier athlete. If you’ve ever rolled with a long, tall opponent, chances are you’ve experienced a few different paths into a D’arce choke.
What makes the D’arce choke so dangerous?
As mentioned above, you can learn to find it from just about anywhere. This is because most D’arce chokes are set up by an overhook. Adding to this element of surprise is the fact that the setups for this choke involve natural movements. Because the underhook and overhook game is such a big part of the sport, these entries don’t necessarily signal your intent.
For example, if you begin down the path for a guillotine, your opponent is likely to feel that you are isolating their neck and put a stop to your plan. If, however, they reach up from half guard or side control and take an underhook on you, they may have just set you up for a nasty D’arce themselves. A move that flows so naturally off of the clinch game is bound to be quick, prevalent, and deadly.
A final reason that the D’arce is such a key technique is because of its relationship to the guillotine and the anaconda chokes. An experienced grappler will be able to flow between the three chokes without much effort after learning to incorporate proper mechanics into all three. To ignore the D’arce would create a huge hole in the roadmap that connects guillotines and anacondas. You need all three parts to have a fluid progression.
The Standing D’arce (From Arm Drag)
In this clip, Travis Moore demonstrates one of the many entries into a D’arce that can happen from the feet. Notice how the technique flows so naturally off of an arm drag and an overhook that Travis’ deadly intent is never given away to the opponent until they feel the squeeze. Check it out below:
Breaking it Down
I’ve mentioned that one of the keys to the D’arce choke’s utility is it’s easy access from regular positions. This is no different: anyone engaging on their feet will naturally expect to be arm dragged repeatedly, so there is no risk of alerting an opponent to your intent to submit. Here is a detailed, breakdown of Moore’s technique:
In order to initiate the arm drag, grab the same side wrist or sleeve. At the same time, use your other hand to cross-grip the back of the opponent’s tricep from the inside. Once this grip is established, you should be prepared to pull the opponent across your body. At the same time your opponent resists this motion, you’ll ride that energy back towards them by stepping to the outside as they help to pull you closer with their recoil.
Often, we see a body lock followed by some variety of takedown from this position, but today our intent is to lock in the D’arce choke. That means we don’t need to circle all the way to the back, as with a traditional arm drag. Instead, we’re ready for the next step, which involves a quick clinch.
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Shoot the Overhook
In order to achieve maximum connection to your opponent, you’ll stop rotating once you’ve turned 90 degrees and are perpendicular to the other player. Your head, chest, and knees should all be facing directly towards the side of your opponent. From this positon, you’ll focus on staying close in order to shoot your outside arm under the armpit and across the neck.
It may be hard to reach if you are not a long-armed person, so you can help yourself extend by keeping chest pressure. This will serve two purposes: the first is that you’ll be able to reach further with the space between you and the other player minimized. The second reason is that the chest pressure will prevent them from pulling the arm that you just dragged back through the hole and disconnecting from you. If you lose the arm here, you lose the D’arce choke.
Lock in the Choke
You’ll want to keep tight to your opponent and continue to work your arm past their neck until the ball of your thumb joint is just past the far side of the opponent’s jaw. Once this is achieved, we lock up the choke by bringing our inside arm, the one that was initially used to grip the tricep, over the back of the opponent’s head and forcing it down.
The goal is to get your tricep across the back of their skull and pressure down. When the head has been tucked a little, your choking arm will naturally find your other bicep with a thumbless grip and allow you to put on a rear-naked style grip with your arms. Drop your inside hand, the one holding the head down, across the opponent’s back and you’re ready to finish the choke.
Reviewing the 4-Step Standing D’arce
- Arm drag & step to outside
- Shoot outside arm deep under the armpit and across the neck
- Bring inside arm over the back of the head to pressure down & secure grip
- Apply steady pressure through your chest and arms to get the tap
Who is Travis Moore?
Travis Moore is a professional Jiu Jitsu practitioner and MMA fighter who has competed on some of the biggest stages in the sport. In addition to his entries into submission-only tournaments like Flo Grappling’s WNO and the Eddie Bravo Invitational, Moore has won multiple gold medals at the IBJJF Open. He currently trains fighters at Legends Brazillian Jiu Jitsu in Texas.
If you want to learn even more from this well-known master of the D’arce choke, check out his amazing instructional series, called Welcome to the Darce-Side, available on BJJFanatics.com. In these sequences, you’ll learn ways to set up, position, and finish the D’arce choke like a pro. Take a look and start catching people in this incredibly tight and versatile choke from everywhere!