The Collar Choke: Wrist Blades
Are You Missing This Important Piece of Your Choke?
One of the most fundamental techniques of gi Jiu Jitsu is the cross choke. It is a technique that has multiple variations and countless set ups from just about every position imaginable. Possibly the most famous user of the cross choke is Roger Gracie. Tapping elite level practitioners time and time again with a basic cross choke from mount. What makes his choke so effective that he can take a day one technique and execute it at the highest level of competition?
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First Roger explains that the choke is not in the arms, but the wrist. Once he locks his grips in rather than mindlessly squeezing with all of his arms, he simply pulls the opponent in tight to his body and uses the sharp edges of his wrist to slice into the carotids, stopping the blood from flowing in to the brain, causing unconsciousness. He then explains that if you try to use your arms for the choke they can defend it easily by grabbing your arms and preventing you from applying pressure, whereas the wrist are much harder to defend against and require less strength and movement.
Whether you are attacking a basic cross choke, a sliding collar choke, a baseball bat choke, or a loop choke, use the wrist blades. Not the flat part, the skinny and sharp part. Here Nick “Chewy” Albin explains the same concept, showing it on different kinds of collar chokes. Again he stresses thinking in terms of “how can i get pressure on the carotids?” Thinking broadly like that helps narrow down the intricacies of a technique to something more manageable, especially when first starting out in BJJ or when trying to apply a choke in live rolling. He explains that it can be confusing trying to think about which direction you are supposed to be turning but if your goal is to put pressure on the carotids, chances are you will be doing something correct and using less strength to do it.
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For more effective Chokes, check out the instructional Chokes from Travis Stevens! A John Danaher black belt and Olympic Judo medalist, Travis has been honing his chokes on some of the toughest necks out there! You can get it here!