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The Triangle from Closed Guard

The Triangle from Closed Guard


The triangle choke is one of the best submissions in bjj for a variety of reasons.  The Triangle is one of the most effective, versatile, and high percentage submissions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  This is one of the first submissions you learn and one of the last that you will perfect.  It has been one of the most successful submissions in gi, nogi, and MMA for years now.

Why is the triangle such a powerful submission?  It often presents itself, you can set it up from other submissions, you can set other submissions up from the triangle, and it does not require much strength. Today, we are discussing the triangle from closed guard.  The triangle from closed guard is very important to know for several reasons.  It is important for self-defense, you can use it in gi and nogi, and it is effective.  Let’s discuss setting up the triangle from closed guard and finishing it.

Setting Up The Triangle

Learning how to set up a triangle from closed guard is the most important part of the submission.  There is no value in having a good triangle finish if you can never even put your opponent in the submission.  Lucky for you, there are plenty of good set ups for the triangle from closed guard.  You can set the triangle up by using other submissions to bait the triangle, you can set it up off failed sweeps, and your opponent may often present the triangle to you by attempting to pass.  Check out our article “Triangle to Arm Bar, Arm Bar to Triangle” to see some awesome triangle set ups.

Setting the triangle up from closed guard is very similar in both gi and nogi and even MMA.  The triangle has long been one of the best submissions in the UFC.  When an opponent is attempting to punch you, whether it is MMA or self-defense, the triangle is a great weapon.  You need to have quick hip movement, good wrist control, and know the key points on your opponent that you need to control to get a triangle.  Check out this video on closed guard control by one of the best people to ever triangle, Neil Melansons.

Finishing the Triangle

Setting up a triangle is only one part of the submission, you must know how to properly finish the submission.  The triangle has one of the most technical finishes in bjj.  There are several different ways to finish the triangle, and one can be more effective than the other depending on your weight and body type. For example, a tall and lanky person may finish a triangle differently than a short and muscular guy. One of the most absurd beliefs in bjj is that tall and lanky people will have better triangles.  It may be true that a tall person can set a triangle up easier, but in no way, does that mean that they will have a stronger or better triangle.

A tall and lanky person may have to underhook the leg and focus more on creating angles when applying a triangle so that their opponent does not stack or slam them and a short and strong guy may have to focus on the clamp and his opponents head.  So yes, there are different ways that people finish triangles, but let’s look at the similarities between all the finishes. You have to control your opponent’s posture, you have to have a clamp on both sides of your opponent’s arteries, you have to control their head and have good isometric strength on your legs.  Check out our article on “Submissions from Bottom Half Guard” to see some triangle set ups from bottom half.  Also, check out one of the king of triangles take on finishing a triangle from closed guard below.

If you would like to take your triangle to the next level, get your hands-on Neil Melansons 4 DVD set, “The Ground Marshall Guard.”  Neil has long been infamous for having one of the best triangles in the world. Although he is a big guy, he has a world-famous guard and has trained with many of the top UFC and ADCC competitors.

Are interested in triangle chokes? Then consider checking other articles:

Triangle setup

Reverse triangle 

Flying triangle choke

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