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The 3 Best Gi Chokes To Make Your Opponent Take A Nap
3 Of The Best Chokes For Gi
There is something special about the gi when it comes to choking another guy out. Having a collar, sleeves, and even a belt to grab a hold of really opens up a level of control to submitting your opponent that just simply is not available when competing in no gi. Better still, most Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools train in the gi, making it a nearly universal practice.
The gi adds so many possibilities in jiu jitsu. It can be your worst enemy, or it can be your best friend. There are a lot more chokes, submissions, sweeps, and guards. Of course, there are things you can do with the gi that will not be applicable in no gi. That is fine. We are going to focus on the gi and the possibilities of choking your opponent into a submission whether in a live roll or in competition. Let’s take a look at three of the best chokes for jiu jitsu using the gi.
Though simple in thought, gi chokes are really tough to finish. It's all about the grip. Judo players are known for their grips and chokes. Travis Stevens (Judo Olympian and BJJ Black Belt) is one of the leading experts on how to attack and submit your opponents with ease using gi chokes.
Choke #1: The Baseball Bat Choke
The baseball bat choke is a versatile choke that can be applied whether you are on top or bottom. Some BJJ practitioners perceive this choke as a dangerous move to try from bottom because in order to do it you must allow your guard to be passed, which really comes down to who you are competing against and how comfortable you feel giving them the opportunity. Although risky, you will see many high level BJJ competitors use this choke with an alarming rate of success—sometimes even putting their opponents to sleep. Check out the video below in which Magid Hage puts Clark Gracie to sleep using the baseball bat choke.
Another great position to nail this choke from is knee on belly. There are also other positions such as side control or mount which make a great set up for the submission.
Let us now take a look at a video that shows how to get the baseball bat choke from top position. Check it out!
Consider the baseball choke an excellent way to cause your opponent to open up their defense and expose themselves to submission. If you are not able to get the baseball bat choke, you are still exposing your opponent’s arm for a potential arm bar. Or if they end up turtling, you can take their back and go from there.
Choke #2: The Cross Choke
As one of the first fundamental chokes you will learn in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the cross choke is well known for its high rate of success. Often times you will here elite level BJJ practitioners says “the cross choke is the first choke you learn, and the very last one you master.” But as a powerful and versatile choke, it ranks as one of the best amongst the multitude of different gi chokes.
There are several benefits of using the cross choke, the biggest one being that you can apply it from a variety of positions. The cross choke can be applied from guard, bottom or top half guard, side control, mount, even knee on belly. Let’s take a look at cross choke from closed guard. In the video below, Luis Heredia, a Rickson Gracie Black Belt, is going to show us how to apply a cross choke from closed guard. Check it out!
As you will see in the video, the cross choke is as effective whether in top or bottom. It is also an excellent technique to utilize when in transition. Take the knee slice for example. If you are in a position where you have got an excellent knee slice you may just be able to submit your opponent with an effective cross choke.
Choke #3: The Bow & Arrow Choke
It is widely debated that the bow and arrow choke is the most effective and high percentage chokes in all of BJJ if not all of grappling. The mechanics of the bow and arrow choke allow you to use your entire body and choke your opponent. With proper grips, this choke can be unstoppable. With a proper bow and arrow choke you are engaging your back, core, legs, and arms. It happens with an arm over the shoulder of your opponent’s shoulder, and a cross grab at the lapel. Your other hand will get the under hook, which will give you a great angle that is very similar to an arm bar. From here you will pull the lapel back simultaneously as you are pulling on your opponent’s leg. This is what makes the bow and arrow choke so powerful. Let’s take a look at another video on how to perform the choke. Check out the video below.
Even if you are not able to get the bow and arrow choke, getting into position for it opens up options for other attacks. For example you are exposing your opponent’s arm to a triangle choke, which gives you another opportunity for submission.
All three chokes that we just looked at are highly effective and extremely powerful in the gi. So the next time you roll, keep these three chokes in mind no matter what position you are in. Having them in your arsenal gives you three more powerful submissions that some opponents may not be ready to defend.