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The Rear Triangle With Professor John Danaher
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The Rear Triangle With Professor John Danaher

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One of my favorite submissions lately has been the triangle.  I particularly like the triangle from the back.

It seems to me that this is an extremely safe submission to attempt, but also a very powerful submission against stronger opponents.  The flip side however is I, like others I assume, forget the old saying “position before submission” and try to go for the submission entirely too soon before establishing the appropriate controls.  Checking out Professor John Danaher’s video provides a ton of insight into the details that must be acknowledged in order to attack the triangle from the back.

Starting from turtle Professor Danaher uses a tight waste control with one arm, followed by basing out on the other hand and moving his knee against the opponents’ knee enabling him to pull his opponent down to one hip on the mat.  

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From this position it’s common to secure the arm that is under hooked with a two on one grip.  An important detail that Professor Danaher points out here is making sure to grab across all four knuckles of the hand with your first hand in order to have the best possible control over the opponent's arm.  

Once this grip is secured, the second hand leaves the two on one grip and goes to the opponents opposite wrist to control their arm.  This will allow another point to use as a balance point, allowing you to shift the weight forward making the legs easier to move and enabling you to slide your back leg up to the opponents’ triceps all while moving the front leg around the opponent's’ shoulder to trap their arm.

After trapping the arm, you can sit back on your butt.   Next you move your hand back to the side of the arm you are attacking (the arm inside of the triangle.  You then scoop under their wrist and get a wrist to wrist grip. In the words of Professor Danaher “The veins of my wrists on the veins of his wrist”.  While doing this you also must be gripping the bicep with a cupping grip with your other hand.

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Once you have the arm isolated we can begin to lay back, ensuring that our legs are aligned (both legs pointed in the same direction).  You then can lock what’s referred to as a trap triangle, which is essentially a triangle locked at the ankles used for trapping and or controlling the opponent but will likely not cause the opponent to tap.  

After securing the trap triangle we can use our hand to grab our own foot and pull it towards us to tighten the triangle and ultimately lock the triangle.  At this point it should be very tight and require only a slight squeeze of your legs to finish the submission.

For me, the trapping of the arm from turtle and the grip Professor Danaher shows on the arm as he sits back were two details that I never really had a specific plan for.  Sure, I knew I had to trap that leg, and I knew I had to control the arm, but it was more of a figure it out in the moment approach. Having a specific process helps. I personally enjoy and appreciate the systematic approach of Professor Danaher’s teaching style.  

Don’t forget to check out the full enter the system series where Professor Danaher spends hours meticulously breaking down the details of each submission.  

John Danaher is changing the game with his DVD series. Get his DVD "Triangles: Enter The System" and learn from one of the best instructors in the game! BJJ Fanatics has it here!

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