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The BJJ Triangle Choke

The BJJ Triangle Choke


The triangle choke is one of the highest percentage submissions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA.  It is one of the first submissions that bjj practitioners learn, and one of the last that they perfect. The versatile BJJ triangle choke or sankaku jime in Japanese can be achieved from open guard or closed guard and is a seamless attack of the carotid arteries.  The triangle choke has many applications, entries, and benefits.

The triangle choke is one of the most important submissions to develop throughout your bjj career.  Some of the biggest benefits of the triangle are the fact that it is also a position and you can set up other sweeps and submissions from it.  It also works extremely well in gi Jiu Jitsu, nogi, and MMA.  The triangle can be a great move from standing as well and add an element of surprise to your arsenal.

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The Triangle Choke as a Position

The triangle choke is commonly perceived as a submission, but it is also an outstanding position to set up other submissions from.  Once you lock up the “diamond” position, meaning your opponent has 1 arm in and 1 arm out of your legs, you can start to look for many entries to different techniques.

Getting your opponent into the “diamond” or “triangle” position is always the most difficult part.  When you do lock up a triangle, it is wise to attempt to finish the triangle choke first, but if you cannot, you can set up a multitude of submissions.  Some of them include the omoplata, the armbar, the kimura, the strait arm lock, wrist locks, and more.  You can also use the position to sweep, or take your opponents back.  The possibilities are endless with a good triangle entry.

Not only is the triangle an excellent "position" for grappling, but you can also use strikes once you are able to lock up the diamond position in MMA or self-defense.  This is perhaps one of the best things about the triangle.  There is a common misconception with the triangle that if you lock one up in MMA or self-defense you will be easy to slam, we can thank rampage Jackson for that.  That being said, there are very easy ways that you can avoid the slam like under hooking the leg and breaking posture.  Once you are able to do this, you can now use the control to strike.  If you use the triangle to sweep and end up in a mounted triangle you are in possibly the most devastating position that there is. 

 If you’d like to check out one of the best triangle choke set ups, check out our post “Flower Sweep to a Triangle Choke.”  Also, check out this incredible triangle set up from Marcelo Garcia Black Belt, Dillon Danis below.

Triangle Choke in Gi, NoGi, and MMA

Another enormous benefit of establishing a high level triangle choke is the application in gi, nogi and MMA. You can use this submission in almost any format of submission grappling and mixed martial arts.  The triangle choke is one of the highest percentage submissions in the UFC and Jiu Jitsu everywhere.  If you want to sharpen your triangle choke, check out our post on setting up a triangle from lasso, it is a super sneaky entry.

The triangle is one of the most versatile submissions because of the lack of grip dependency.  It is very simple to apply under conditions where you and your opponent may be sweating, or in a mixed martial arts scenario. 

The triangle is also important to know for self-defense application. If you find yourself in a street altercation or situation where you need to utilize bjj for protection, the triangle is one of your best options for submission.  If you want to add the finite details to your triangle and perfect the mechanics of your finish, check out triangle choke master and Black Belt, Edwin Najmi, showing how to properly finish a triangle choke.


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The Triangle from Standing

The triangle can be a dangerous weapon in sport Jiu Jitsu when you are standing with your opponent.  Proven time and time again by Purple and Brown Belt World Champion, Edwin Najmi, he has landed over 10 “flying triangles” at the highest levels of competition. 

The triangle from standing, otherwise known as the “flying triangle,” is one of the most dangerous weapons because of its element of surprise.  When 2 opponents start standing, theoretically, neither of them is very concerned with a submission.  They would most likely be aware of shots, guard pulls, throws and trips.  This is what makes the flying triangle such an excellent option from standing.  If you don’t believe us, check out this high light of Edwin “air” Najmi landing about 10 flying triangles in top tier competitions.

The Triangle and Other Submissions

The triangle is also one of the best positions to set up other attacks that supplement the triangle well.  Sometimes when you have the triangle choke you can go from this submission to the arm bar, or the omoplata.  You also have have other attacks like the wrist lock, the kimura, and so much more.  It is one of the best submissions to lock up in an effort to get other submissions.  

One of the biggest benefits of the triangle is the fact that once you lock it up, you can switch from submission to submission and many of them are the same whether it is gi, no gi, or MMA.  

If you really want to perfect your triangle and develop a flawless “flying triangle” entry, check out Black Belt and World Champion, Edwin Najmi's Mission Submission available here from BJJ Fanatics!  




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