The Best Chokes Using the Gi
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is primarily practiced wearing a Gi or Kimono. The gi in Jiu Jitsu adds an extremely sportive element to things. You can grab onto the collars, sleeves, and pretty much any part of the gi. This can make things extremely complicated. Although there are several no gi only schools such as 10th planet bjj, the clear majority of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academies emphasize the gi and train in the gi.
The gi can be your best friend or your worst enemy, some people never properly learn how to use the gi effectively and they do not enjoy training in the gi. The thing with the kimono is that It adds so much to the possibilities of Jiu Jitsu. There are more take downs, more chokes, more submissions, more sweeps, more guards, and it just makes the worm hole, that is bjj, that much deeper.
So, what are some good techniques in the kimono? Well, there are many good things that you can do in the gi that may not be applicable no gi but today we are just going to touch on the best chokes that utilize the gi. The first choke being the cross choke, the second being the bow and arrow, and the third being the baseball bat choke. Some of these chokes may have some variation that are utilized in no gi but, for the most part, they are more effective in the gi.
The Cross Choke
The cross choke is one of the first gi chokes that you learn in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Many people say that “it is the first choke you learn and the last one that you master.” Bjj has a multitude of different gi chokes, but the cross choke is one of, if not, the most powerful and versatile choke.
The cross choke has several benefits; one of the biggest of them, is the fact that it can be applied from a variety of different positions. Some of those include full mount, side control, knee on belly, bottom half guard, top half guard, and when someone is in your closed guard. We are going to discuss the cross choke from when you’ve passed your opponents guard, when you’re in top half or knee slice position, and when someone is in your half guard or closed guard.
You can use the choke very successfully from top or bottom. If you are more of a guard player, the best place for you to use your cross choke is going to be from the closed guard, you can also apply this choke with great success from the half guard. Check out this video below with Luis Heredia who is a Rickson Gracie Black Belt showing how to properly apply a cross choke from the closed guard.
If you like the clip above of Luis Heredia’s cross choke, make sure to get a hold of his DVD set “Pure Jiu Jitsu.” This is one of our bestselling DVD Sets and that is for a reason. If you don’t know who Luis Heredia is you may have been living under a rock. Luis is a Rickson Gracie Black Belt and was referred to by Rickson as “Rickson’s hitman.” That’s right, he was the guy that challengers at Rickson Gracie’s gym had to go through first. When somebody would come into Rickson’s academy, they were not allowed to spar Rickson or challenge him unless they could get through Luis, long story short, no one was able to get near Rickson.
The Cross Choke is also an excellent option from the top, some say it is even better from the top than the bottom. It was one of the best chokes that you can use with the gi from the full mount, knee on belly and side control and it is an excellent weapon to utilize in transitions. For instance, if you are knee slicing your opponent, you can start to apply the cross choke.
The Bow & Arrow Choke
The bow and arrow choke may be the most powerful choke in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in both gi and no gi. The mechanics of it allow you to utilize your entire body to choke your opponent. You will engage your core, your back, your arms, hips, and legs to finish this choke. It is one of those chokes that is almost unstoppable given you get your grips.
The bow & arrow choke may be the best choke in Jiu Jitsu, assuming you are wearing a gi. Why is that? The bow & arrow choke utilizes so many different factors to become so powerful. You engage several different muscle groups when properly executing the choke.
With a good bow & arrow choke you are using your back, core, arms and legs. The choke happens when the arm over your opponent’s shoulder grabs the cross lapel, your other hand will grab their leg or underhook it. This will give you an excellent angle, similar to an arm bar. You will pull the lapel and your opponent’s leg as you extend your legs and back. This is why it is so powerful. You are engaging virtually every major muscle. Check out this video below on how to properly execute a bow and arrow choke.
The bow and arrow choke is also an excellent option because it may open up the possibility for other attacks. For example, if you are threatening a bow and arrow choke, your opponent may expose their arm or a triangle choke in order to defend the bow and arrow, thus, you now have more submission opportunities.
If you want to perfect your bow and arrow choke, check out JT Torres 4 DVD Set “Passing, Back Takes, and Finishes.” JT Torres is an Atos black belt who was promoted to black belt by Ander Galvao himself. JT is one of the best competitors in the entire world and he recently won the most prestigious title in grappling, he was the 2017 ADCC champion at his weight class with a near flawless performance.
The Baseball Bat Choke
The Baseball bat choke is one of the most powerful choke in the gi. This choke can be used effectively from the bottom or the top. From the bottom the baseball bat choke is perceived as risky by many bjj practitioners because in order to complete it, you have to allow your opponent to pass your guard. This can be a bad idea. Although it is risky, many people have used this choke with great success in competition. When you get the grips, sometimes your opponent may think they are advancing position and many people are actually put to sleep by this powerful choke. Check out this video below of the great Clark Gracie actually being choked unconscious from this choke.
The baseball bat choke, although an excellent option from the bottom, is an even better and more powerful choke from the top position. You can set this choke up from knee on belly, mount, or side control, and you can set it up in transition, for example, from the knee slice. Once you have achieved your grips, it may be to late for your opponent, you have to get to north south and keep your weight low. Check out this video below on how to do the baseball bat choke from top.
The baseball bat choke is also an excellent way to force your opponent to open up and expose other potential submissions. For example, when you are threatening a good baseball bat choke, your opponent may extend their arm in order to defend at which point you can capitalize an arm bar. They may also try and turtle which would expose their back.
So there you have it, the cross choke, the bow and arrow choke, and the baseball bat choke are excellent options for you when rolling in the gi. These are all extremely powerful options for anybody at any skill level, height, age, weight, and fitness level.