Triangle Choke Fundamentals

Way back in the day when I was a purple belt I did a lot of triangle chokes. Chances are if I was lucky enough to tap you out it was with a triangle choke from guard bottom. Probably 8 out of 10 taps were triangles.  For some reason this sub just caught on with me. Nowadays I much prefer getting on top and finishing from there. It’s a lot of work to finish someone from guard bottom. I have over the years assembled a body of knowledge about the triangle choke that I’ll share with you today.

I wanted to do something different with this post from the usual triangle choke stuff you see online. Much of what you see are triangle choke setups. I won’t show any of those. You are on your own to figure out how to get to the triangle choke. The good news is that almost everything related to the triangle choke you’ll find on Youtube is on this subject. No need for me to add to this mountain of video. Instead I’ll focus on fundamentals that work to make the choke better. I have become more and more interested in the “why” instead of the “how” in my jiu jitsu journey. Today I’ll share with you the why of the triangle choke.


In this first video I’ll share with you some basic structure of a triangle choke. This is extremely important because if you don’t know how a triangle choke works you won’t be able to fix it if it’s not working.

Structure- Fixing the Angle

One of the most common mistakes people make in the triangle choke is the angle of the shin. If it’s slightly off you may find that your choke is not working even though you have it locked up tight. In this video I’ll show you how to find the right angle and how to fix it if your angle is off a bit.

Structure Continued, Knee Position and How to Fix Problems Safely

In this video we’ll continue to look at common structure problems. It’s important that you know how to recognize structure problems and be able to understand why they are problems in the first place. If you understand how the choke works then you will be able to do this. These structure tips will go a long way to making sure that your triangle is sound.

Leg Length Problems

We’ll now look at problems related to the length of your legs. If you fix your posture you can make your legs longer relative to your position. If you’ve ever struggled to get the legs into position or if you have short legs then this video is for you. Using this posture fix I’ve been able to get even short leg people to tie up a good triangle choke. This posture fix can turn a triangle choke into a viable option for many people who thought it was out of reach.


We’ll now look at 2 important postures. These are almost never taught and I’m not sure why? The triangle catch position is in my opinion indispensable and the key to finishing the triangle. If I get the triangle catch posture I can finish about 8 times out of 10. That’s pretty good odds. The second posture is all about hip mobility and what to do when the top guy postures up tall. You’ll see from a structure and hip control standpoint why it’s a problem and how to fix it.

Stack Defense

Big guys and white belts will always try to stack their way out of the triangle choke. In this video I’ll show you how to use your posture and frames to shore your position up and prevent the stack from happening. Posture is key. Buttressing your posture with good frames makes the whole thing a solid structure that’s hard to break.

Arm Wrap Defense

The last video in the series will cover defending the arm wrap. Sometimes in a last ditch effort to avoid the choke the top guy will reach back behind your back and grab his own wrist or gi. This has the effect of putting his shoulder in a position that makes the choke not possible. It in effect breaks the structure needed for the choke. We’ll look at a couple of ways to break his grip and get back to a proper choking structure.



I hope you found these videos helpful. They are by no means a comprehensive set. What I hoped to achieve is a solid set of fundamentals around posture, structure, and positional basics that will transcend game and get to what everyone needs to know about the triangle choke regardless of how you play it. In my own experience what I’ve shared with you has been the most helpful things I’ve learned in that regard. Let me know if you find it helpful. Happy training!







One Comment

  1. Your video’s explaining the Triangle Choke are perfect for me. I’m also a teacher and I’m impressed with your clear delivery of information.

    Thank you for doing this.


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