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The Clock Choke
When it comes to Jiu Jitsu, gi chokes are some of my most favorite techniques. They are powerful, they work quickly and add a great dimension to the choking game. Out of all the gi chokes, the clock choke is one that I always seem to go to when in correct position. A correctly executed clock choke is a fight ender. Once it is locked it, it was ridiculously difficult to get out of. Let’s take a look at some of the great ways of getting and finishing the clock choke.
Using the Clock Choke On an Opponent in Turtle
The first and in my opinion, the best way to get to the clock choke is to get your opponent to the turtle position. Once they are in turtle, you can start to work on getting your grips. Be heavy on your partner, especially on their back and hips. After getting the correct pressure, you must work with your arms. One can go underneath to control the partner’s far wrist, while your other hand goes with a thumb in grip on his collar. Once you have a strong grip on the collar, you drive forward, pulling your partner’s far arm/wrist in so you can collapse him to the ground. From there, you sit your hips in front of your partner’s shoulder and start walking around this head, pulling on the collar. JT Torres, a world class black belt from Atos shows how he finishes the clock choke. He also shows an interesting rolling variation.
Maintaining and Completing the Clock Choke
The clock choke even helped JT win at the American Nationals jiu jitsu competition that year. The keys to pulling off this technique are maintaining strong connections to the hips on both sides, internally on the far side with your arm and outside staying hip to hip on the near side. The opponent needs any space you can give them to have a chance to get away. Once the arm is controlled and the thumb in collar grip has been secured, the hip to hip pressure can be released but not for good, instead it is simply replaced with hip to shoulder and head pressure. This puts you in the perfect position to walk your hips around the opponent's head to secure the tap. In the rolling variation, by releasing your hand that controls their hand/wrist and pulling the opponent up and across your body, opening up the neck, you can quickly secure the devastating technique.
JT happens to be a master of the clock choke and shows with great detail on his DVD, Passing, Back Takes and Finishes. Be a great finisher with the technique and check out his 4 DVD instructional set here at BJJ Fanatics!
In the video below, Ty Gay, Gracie black belt in Oklahoma shares some excellent details about moving from the hip to hip pressure to sit into the shoulder with your hips. Notice also how Ty uses his forehead to base to make his hips lighter and allow for the movement he needs to finalize the choke.
In the variation below, Gracie family legend Carlson Gracie Jr. takes viewers through his simple clock choke breakdown. Notice how Master Carlson sprawls his hips at the end of the technique to add some very intense and dominating pressure to the finality of the choke.
Variations of the Basic Clock Choke
Let's continue with another example of a clock choke from BJJ and MMA legend Mario Sperry. The similarities between these variations are clear, but it is the individual nuances and tweaks that are important to notice as you become more familiar with the techniques. The longer one trains BJJ, the more important it is to refine and modify those techniques you learned early on in order to be able to progress.
And as these masters of the game show, the basics and fundamentals are the basics and fundamentals for a reason. It is because they are timeless and continue to work well after the latest fad and fancy techniques have disappeared. Start with the basics and end with the basics. You can't go wrong with this mentality.
But like most good chokes, you don’t have to get to it and finish it from one particular position. The clock choke is also a pretty viable option from side control as well. When you have your partner in side control, you can manipulate your partner’s arms and lapel to set up a modified version of the choke to get a rather nasty tap. Ricardo Cavalcanti shows his personal way of submitting someone with the clock choke from side.
With all of the ways to attack an opponent from the turtle or side control, the clock choke is a technique to try. It isn’t nearly as popular as it should be. If you have ever tapped from a clock choke, then you know its ferocity. It is a mean feeling, grand choke. If you feel like trying a new technique, or constantly have your opponent in turtle, then learn it and apply it. You’ll be falling in love with it in no time.
When exploring new BJJ techniques, it can be helpful to look at the techniques from a variety of angles and sources to get the most full understanding of the move. There are endless resources that one can use to supplement the teaching and training in your academy. First and foremost, follow the directions of your instructor. But as you begin to become proficient with a technique or more familiar with it, it can be helpful to take a look at a variety of sources. Below we explore one of our favorite and most fundamental gi chokes that you absolutely NEED to add to your arsenal. Take some time and look at the many different options BJJ Fanatics is providing you to add all sorts of different elements to your arsenal.