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Two Unorthodox Chokes from Side Control

Two Unorthodox Chokes from Side Control


When we think of side control attacks, we think of many traditional side control attacks like the arm bar, the cross choke, the Americana, or the kimura.  There are so many attacks from the side control though and sometimes doing unorthodox things can give you the element of surprise.  There are plenty of different submissions from the side control positions.

Today, we are going to look at to different chokes that are extremely unorthodox.  These chokes are very effective and can very easily catch your opponent off guard if executed properly.  One of them is called the Russian Head and Arm Smother and the other is a weird north south choke variation, both are from World Class Grappler, Rustam Chsiev.

Let’s talk about Rustam Chsiev for a second. Rustam is one of the most underrated grapplers in the world.  He is an ADCC bronze medalist at one of the most difficult weight classes in the world, and he is one of Russia’s best wrestlers.  HE has defeated some of the best grapplers in bjj such as Rafael Lovato Jr, Joao Assis, Roberto Cyborg Abreu, Garry Tonon, Luke Rockhold, and DJ Jackson.  Read that list again and let it sink in.  This guy has beat multiple time Black Belt World Champions and nobody gives him any notoriety. So let’s look at some of his attacks.

The Russian Head and Arm Smother

This is an attack from side control and is very similar to the infamous attack that Josh Barnett used to submit the one and only Dean Lister at Metamoris.  The head and arm choke is an extremely powerful and unorthodox submissions that has Greco roman and catch wrestling roots.  Sometimes the position may not be a choke, but it can smother your opponent to the point where they can breathe, it can compress their chest, or it can be a neck crank, all of which are legal in proper nogi and ADCC rule sets.

Rustam’s take on the head and arm is called the Russian Smother.  His single goal is to smother his opponent so much and make it so uncomfortable for them they must tap.  Many of the times, this will end up choking them, sometimes, they can’t move because it is a neck, spine, and chest compression and are forced to tap.  Either way, your opponent will feel hopeless.  Check out the video below to see Rustam applying the submission and teaching it. If these submissions are not up your alley, we recently wrote an article on a more traditional attack from closed guard “The Triangle Choke from Closed Guard” maybe that’s more your style.

Rustam Chsiev North South Choke

When we think of north south choke, one name comes to mind and that is Marcelo Garcia.  Marcelo has long been one of the few grapplers to perform the North South Choke at the highest levels of competition, one of the only other people to do this is Rustam.  They have completely different takes on the positions.  Marcelo goes straight to a blood choke and Rustam goes for the Trachea.

Rustam does not wrap the opponent’s entire head like Marcelo, he waits for them to get their arms around his body and he uses overhooks to control them from north south.  He puts his forearm across their neck and hips down to get it right on the Trachea.  It is absolutely brutal and incredible effective.  Again, if these submissions are not up your alley, check out our article “Top Submissions from Closed Guard.”  Anyways, let’s see Rustam show how he does the choke below.

If you want to add some more unorthodox and extremely effective submissions and style to your game, check out Rustam Chsiev’s 4 DVD set, “Russian Grappling Hacks.”  This is one of the best DVD sets you can buy because Rustam never shares his secrets and you know they work at the highest levels.


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