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Slip Out Of Triangles With Adam Bradley
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Slip Out Of Triangles With Adam Bradley

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The triangle choke is a well-known tool in the submission grappling world, having seen action everywhere from local tournaments to the UFC. It’s so effective, in fact, that just locking up the correct setup can feel like a victory for the person attacking. Having good escapes for such a dominant position is essential for anyone who wants to take their game to the next level. 


Adam Bradley, an instructor under Andre Galvao, is an expert on submission escapes. He breaks triangles down into three stages of progression according to the ease of escaping: triangle setup, tightened triangle, and locked triangle. Bradley’s instructionals on submission escapes cover the latter two positions, while the clip below is focused on escaping the triangle setup, long before your opponent locks things down completely:


 

Understanding the Threat

The first step to escaping a triangle is somehow winding up in one. In order to understand any escape in Jiu Jitsu, it’s important to internalize the mechanics of the incoming attack For those who are newer to the sport, you can follow these tips in order to finish a basic triangle choke from full guard.

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Setting Up a Triangle

  • Take control of your opponents head and wrist
  • Break their posture while stuffing wrist down towards your center
  • Unhook your guard and put your foot in the opponent’s hip
  • Throw your other leg over their shoulder
  • Cross your ankles, bottom over top

This position is commonly known as “the triangle setup”, although Bradley also refers to it as the “diamond position”, due to the shape of the bottom player's legs when attempting it. Things are far from over at this point. In order to finish you from here, the bad guy still has quite a few boxes to check:

Finishing a Triangle

  • Control the head
  • Bring your shin across their shoulders and neck
  • Figure four your legs
  • Pass their arm across your center
  • Pull down on the head to finish the choke
  • Pull head down to finish

How to Escape

Now that we’re here, it’s time to learn an escape. Bradley points out that this move works best without a gi on, due to the extra space you can create and the lack of friction from heavier fabric. As soon as you feel the triangle setup tighten down, it’s time to move:

Hold the Opponent Down

The first step to this escape is pinning your opponent’s hips to the ground. They’ll need to use their hips to maneuver into position to close the triangle choke, so you’ll need to stop this motion. The easiest way to do this is to use the arm that they’ve trapped inside the triangle “like a bar” across the opponent’s waist. You can liken this to the way a roller coaster seat belt holds you in.

Posture Up

With the first part of the threat, the hips, under control, it’s time to address the opponent’s second means of controlling you. Since they can’t use their hips to buck you down, they’ll attempt to control your posture with a collar tie to the neck. It’s important to stiffel any attempt to lower you back into guard if you want to escape. Think about creating maximum space between your shoulder and your forehead by looking up as your sit back. To achieve this, place your hands in a “CPR” position, with both hands on the hip of your opponent. Your free hand should be covering your trapped hand.

Bring The Opponent Closer

Now you’ve eliminated your opponent’s ability to break your posture and you can consider how to break their control on your torso. In order to do this, you’ll want to bring them closer to you while maintaining upright posture. You can pull back with your arms as you wedge your knees to the opponent’s backside, and use your own legs as a wedge to shelf your opponent on. Once they are elevated onto your legs, you’re in position to create space and escape.

Create Space

With the submission gone, it’s time to find an opening to escape the triangle setup. As you pulled your opponent on to you, you also closed the distance. Now, you’ll create space again; this time, to withdraw your body through. In order to accomplish this, focus on looking towards the ceiling and holding your opponent down with your arms to prevent them from chasing you back up. You’ll feel a gap created between their thigh and your body; this is your escape route!

Spin Out 

Once the escape route presents itself, weave your trapped arm out of the triangle. It’s easiest to do this by bending at the elbow, weaving in your hand, and following with the rest of your arm. Once both arms are outside the triangle, you have two choices to complete the escape. Since you’re already connected, the pressure pass is right there. The folded position required for a triangle is terrible for the bottom person once the lock is gone. However, if you want to disconnect completely, use a thumbless grip to jam the back of both knees away from you as you stand up and spin out.

Key Reminders

  • Hold the opponent down
  • Posture up to prevent the choke
  • Bring the opponent closer
  • Create space
  • Spin out of the triangle (or pressure pass without disconnecting)

The Escape Artist

Adam Bradley is a black belt under legendary Jiu Jitsu Competitor Andre Galvao. He currently teaches at Galvao’s school, ATOS HQ. Bradley has competed in both gi and no gi competitions at an international level, and is primed to continue his competitive career. As part of his development, he’s begun to create a series of videos on escaping submission holds for BJJ Fanatics. 


To hear more from Adam Bradley, and to learn how to escape a wider range of submissions, check out his instructionals. Both of his available videos, Escape Artist, Series 1 and Escape Artist, Series 2, show off Bradley’s in-depth knowledge and articulate style of teaching. He’ll have you slipping out of submissions in no time!

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