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The Von Flue Choke: How to Attack And Defend This Effective Choke

The Von Flue Choke: How to Attack And Defend This Effective Choke


Ever hear of the Von Flue choke? Or the Von Flu Choke (wrong)?

It came from MMA Fighter Jason Von Flue submitting Alex Karalexis in The Ultimate Fighter Season Three when Alex tried to hold onto a guillotine choke.  Now it is commonly referred to as the "Von Flue choke."
This is a choke that has become popular due to its use in MMA fights that is executed on an opponent that stubbornly holds onto a guillotine choke even when they are in bottom side control.  It’s a highly effective and unorthodox technique that many practitioners don’t even know yet.

The mechanism of the choke is to force the shoulder of the opponent’s far arm to act as one side of the choke by angling that shoulder towards the ground while the person executing the choke drives their shoulder into the other carotid artery.  This choke is fast acting and can easily result in unconsciousness.

Becoming proficient with the this choke can allow a jiu-jitsu practitioner to catch many opponents off guard.  Often, if done quickly and with precision, one can begin to set up the choke while still in danger.  This requires a degree of timing as a trained opponent will certainly notice what is happening and release their guillotine attempt.  However it can sometimes still be too late.

The Von Flue has infamously put several high level bjj and MMA practitioners to sleep.  The reason the choke often puts your opponent to sleep is because it catches them off guard.  Many people don't realize they are in imminent danger until it is to late and they are already napping.  Ryan Hall is one the best bjj practitioners in MMA and is one of the top UFC fighters. One day while someone was teaching how to apply the choke during a demonstration, he went out.  This moment was actually caught on film, check out Ryan Hall taking a nap because of this submission.

Applying the Von Flue

When applying the choke you have to be able to recognize your opponent is going to try and head lock or guillotine you.  Once you know, you have to move quickly so that you can get on your toes and start to apply the choke as a counter. If  you wait to long, there is a chance your opponent can tighten their choke and its not worth messing with. check out this video below of how to properly apply the technique. 

Check out this brilliant performance of the choke followed by great sportsmanship on the part of the fighter who pulled the choke off.  He chose to release the choke even though the referee didn’t realize the opponent was unconscious.

 Countering the Von Flue choke

Although the technique is an extremely useful and powerful choke, there is a way to counter your opponent or prevent them from applying it while you do the guillotine choke.  You have to use the high elbow guillotine instead of the arm in guillotine.

The high elbow guillotine was popularized by the 4x ADCC champion, Marcelo Garcia who utilized this choke to finish some of the best grapplers in the world.  Instead of doing a traditional arm in guillotine, you have to put your elbow over your opponents shoulder so they cannot apply the choke on you.  It is difficult for us to explain how this works so check out this video below were Garry Tonon goes into detail on how to finish the high elbow guillotine.

John Danaher is one of the most successful and sought after MMA and Jiu Jitsu Coaches in the world.  BJJ Fanatics has been lucky to work closely with Professor Danaher on multiple large-scale BJJ instructional projects with the first being the Enter the System series, which documents all aspects of the major submission positions that John teaches his students and competitors.

Since we're talking about the Von Flue Choke and strangles in general, it would be a great time for you to check out the Enter the System:  Front Headlocks series from John Danaher.  In this 10 hour instructional, you're going to learn the same techniques that people like Gordon Ryan and Garry Tonon have used consistently to get to the top of the grappling and MMA games.  Get your copy here and Enter the System!



Consider to check other related blogs:

Cross Collar Choke

Baseball Bat Chokes

D'arce Choke VS Anaconda

Side Control Chokes


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