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Become a Triangle Expert

Become a Triangle Expert


Everybody and their grandmother knows what a triangle choke is nowadays with the popularity and proliference of MMA.  Ask anyone you know what a triangle choke is and they may not be able to execute it, but they can probably describe it to you.  The powerful triangle choke has stood apart from other subs in MMA lore.  One of the first that established it's power and legend was Royce Gracie's triangle choke of Dan Severn in their UFC 4 match.  Dan Severn had been physically dominating the favorite Royce for much of the first 15 minutes of the match, until Royce slapped on on the triangle.

Chael Sonnen found himself on the wrong end of Anderson Silva's triangle in their famous match that nearly saw Sonnen as the victor.  Demian Maia has landed several triangles in his UFC career that put their execution somewhat closer to poetry than combat sport.  And lastly, it was the powerful triangle that shocked the world when Fabricio Werdum caught the engimatic and seemingly unstoppable Fedor Emelianenko in their StrikeForce match.

So how does one harness the power of this amazing position.  First and foremost you've got to get over any initial difficulty you may have experienced completing the technique.  I probably hear more "I cannots" related to triangles than any other submission by far.  "I cannot lock the triangle in because my legs are too short."  Another variation of this one relates the size of one's opponent and places blame there.  "I cannot lock the triangle in because my opponent's shoulders and back are too big."  

Open Your Mind and Angles

In the video below, Jason Scully shows over 50 triangle set ups with the common denominator in each being the use of his hips to properly angle his body, thereby creating a simulated leg extension to properly lock up the triangle.

 Pick up more details about the triangle choke and its versatility by checking out this article from BJJ Fanatics here.

 In the video below, world champion Bernardo Faria uses his powerful over/under pass to establish side control.  Once in side control, he uses his opponent's lapel to pin his far arm.  Like a cobra strike, Faria steps over and lands the mounted triangle.

 Catch wrestling guru Neil Melanson shows an effective No Gi triangle set up in the video below.  If you are interested in more of Neil's techniques and how you can work them into your BJJ game plan you can check out his catch wrestling series here.

 The triangle is one of the first techniques anyone learns in BJJ classes.  It is also one of the most commonly recognized MMA techniques that even the average fan with a stomach full of Bud Lite and wearing an Affliction shirt can identify.  Why is it that so few of us are experts on this position then?  It is because it is one of the first techniques we learn as white belts, but also one of the first techniques we give up on because we don't get it perfectly right away.  This is why it is important to see how knowledge from experts and explore the various set ups and options that the position can open up for us.

 If you want to improve your triangles and other submission attacks, you will definitely want to check out world champion Bernardo Faria's "High Percentage Submissions" DVD series.




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