Think Outside the Box with These 3 Unique Triangle Variations
This Basic Submission Is A Classic, That All Grapplers Must Know and Appreciate...
Well… Start with this:
The triangle is a part of a legendary list of traditional BJJ attacks. It is a staple in many of the finest BJJ arsenals on the planet, and it was in the forefront of BJJ’s rise to power in America after Royce Gracie submitted Dan Severn in the earliest UFC days. The triangle is ever evolving, but traditional sound mechanics and application still remain true to successful execution of the triangle. Let’s take a look at some of the different ways current BJJ players have adapted the triangle to their game.
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First, we have Craig Jones. Jones just recently defeated Keenan Cornelius at Polaris. He came up quick in the BJJ community, and his leg lock game is one of the best in the business. Turns out his triangle skills are just as mighty. Have a look at this flying triangle Jones used to submit Murilo Santana at ADCC in 2017.
Just one of the many variations of the triangle, the flying triangle has become more popular in the competition circuit over the last several years. It’s an exciting submission, and every time I witness a victory involving the flying triangle, I can’t help but smile. Craig breaks down his exact movements here that lead him to victory at ADCC. From a seated position Santana began to come up on a single leg. Jones kept control over Santana’s wrist as they rose to their feet. With Jones’s leg on the outside he’s able to kick it free, behind Santana. With a whizzer in place, Jones throws the freed leg over Santana’s back, breaking his posture. This forces Santana’s hand to the floor and allows Jones to thread his leg through to get to the triangle set up position. Beautiful.
Next let’s look at this reverse triangle from Joel Bouhey. Give it a watch.
By way of a very common and easily set up armlock. Bouhey is able to launch a nice triangle attack from the bottom. They might not see this one coming! Many times, when we’re working in bottom side control, we find this armbar during our attempts to escape. As Bouhey says, if the arm bar fails here, we can go right back to guard, low risk high reward. But if our partner decides to pull the arm free and attempt to smash us, we can work this particular triangle set up. As his partner removes his arm that’s under attack, Bouhey intercepts it at the triceps. He then kicks his bottom leg through, creates an angle, and locks the triangle. From here we can obviously finish the triangle with a good squeeze, but there are a number of other arm and leg attacks as well. Very cool.
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Now here’s another very interesting take on the triangle. Romulo Barral shows us a version of the triangle that requires none of his partners hands to be inside of his legs. How does he do it? Take a look.
From a double under hook stacking position, Barral keeps his hips and legs very heavy, and uses backward motion to keep his partner from elevating him. When the time is right, he uses his left hand to compress the right side of his partners neck (sometimes disguised as a head push). Barral then makes use of some hip movement to move backwards a bit, throws his right leg over his partners neck on the opposite side and locks a traditional triangle. This triangle looks no different than the ones that you and I are used to seeing, but Barral’s hand is doing the work that your partner's arm would normally be doing, which is still an efficient way to cut off the blood flow and produce a tap.
These are only a few examples of the new and creative ways that the triangle is being used. Practitioners all over continue to mold the triangle in ways that fit their game, and add value to their toolboxes. Have you adapted the triangle to fit your unique style, or invented something new?