10 jiu jitsu chokes every beginner should master

Wednesday, November 25, 2020 1:27 PM

By https://fastjiujitsu.com/ 

Submission is the end game of jiu jitsu… If your opponent tap, you win the match. However not all submission are 100% effective, it will depend on your opponent skills as well. If you are very flexible like the Miyao, leg locks won’t work and they will be able to escape. That’s why you need to have strong choke technique in your arsenal. Nobody can resist indefinitely to a choke, if you don’t tap, you will go to sleep. The mechanism of a choke diminish the entry of the blood in the brain which could make you unconscious if you don’t tap. 

Nonetheless choking people is technical, it requires proper placement of your hand and you can’t just use the raw force to choke someone. If you are not in the right position and you squeeze like your life depends on it, you will get your fingers and arms sore and you won’t be able to continue to fight properly. You don’t want to lose the fight because you burned your arm in a failed choke attempt right? 

That’s why in this article, you will learn the great details to have a killer choke every time. Also I’ll give you the easiest position to do a choke. 

How to make your choke stronger 

A gi choke is considered a “blood choke” because it restricts blood flow to the brain via the carotid arteries. Applied correctly, it can cause a temporary loss of consciousness in seconds. 

Warning! You must be careful when performing a choke to avoid serious consequences to your training partner. If you are a beginner, do it in a suitable environment that is under the supervision of your teacher. Also in a sparring situation, be aware of your partner, pay attention when he taps and release immediately the choke. Sometimes your partner doesn’t have enough space to tap, so you might not see it if you are too tensed. 

Many people have a hard time with choke, because they don’t understand the mechanics. They think it is just about gripping the collar with your two hands and squeeze to the death. When I spar with white belts it happens all the time! They are so desperate for a submission, so as they had a grip on your collar, they just try to choke you… And most of the time the choke is on my teeth or my cheek. You are not going to submit someone with this bad technique. 

In order to have a dangerous choke, you need to understand 3 principles to increase your chance of submissions:  

Strangle hand position: You should choke with the sharp part of your arm.it is between your wrist and your forearm. This part of your body is very hard because you can feel the bone. It will work like a razor on your carotid arteries. Also, your hands should generally be deep on your opponent collar you can be in contact with your partner carotid arteries. 

With the gi always openthe lapel: choking is an art, if you just grab your opponent collar and try to choke it, he will probably resist. To be able to access the neck of your opponent, you need to open his collar with your closest hand, then you put crossed hand deep on your opponent’s neck. Now you have a strong strangle hand that can choke effectively. Putting your hand in the collar should be done in half of a second otherwise, he will tuck his neck under his chin which makes the choke very difficult. 

Hands positionning for chokes takes time to master because everyone is different. Some people have sharper wrist than others, so they can choke easily. Others have longer arms, so you need to be aware of your morphology and figure out the perfect position to choke. That’s why when you see world champion attacking a choke, their opponent can’t escape, because their hands are perfectly positioned. It takes years to develop a perfect choke system … so get to work right now! 

10 easy chokes for beginners 

As a beginner you should focus on basic chokes from different positions that are simple to setup and don’t compromise your position. If your choke failed, you should be able to attack again and not be in a defensive mode. 

I selected the best gi chokes. With these 10 chokes, you should be able to submit anyone in any position. 

1. Bow and arrow choke from the back 

The easiest choke to do from the back. Why?

Because you also torque your opponent’s body and use your leg to increase the pressure. This position is very hard to defend even if you your opponent had his hand on the strangle grip or your hand is not perfectly positioned. By increasing the torque with your overall body, your opponent will tap not only because of the choke but also because of the pain on his limb. 

2. Cross choke from mount 

One of Roger Gracie favorite submission. The mount is one of the end-game positions in jiu jitsu. All of your weight are on him because you have gravity with you. The cross choke is very effective in this position and it could be used as a combo with the arm bar. To have a good cross choke from the mount you need:  

  1. Get your strangle hand deep, you should not see your thumbs 
  2. When you place your other hand for the strangle, all of your weight should be on your hand 

3. Cross choke from bottom 

The cross chose from the guard is similar to the cross choke from the mount. We just inverted the position. However in this case, you don’t have the power of gravity with you. To increase your chance of choke you need to break the posture of your opponent and bring him close to you. Then you should move yourself on the side to place the other hand Go back to the center to finalize the choke. 

4. Baseball Choke from top half guard 

I do this one all the time. This choke is pretty safe because, you can start by trying to pass the half-guard. So you place your strangle arm deep from the beginning and you go for a kneed cut pass. If your opponent has his other side of his neck open, go for the choke. He will have 2 choices in general: let you pass, so he might be able to defend the choke  

Or to let you choke him. 

5. Baseball Choke from side control 

The baseball choke is a powerful gi choke that can be used by beginners. Your hand position should be like you are holding a baseball bat. 

 The strangle work this way: 

  1. go deep on your opponent lapel with your hand in pronated position 
  2. Go deep on your opponent lapel with your other hand in supinated position 
  3. Make sure your opponent has his back on the mat (both shoulder pin to the mat) 
  4. Go into north south, your elbow should cross to make the choke effective. 

Once you get both hands in your opponent’s collar, he is very hard to escape because all of your weight will be on your opponent as well 

6. Ezekiel choke from side control 

The Ezekiel choke is particular because you use your own sleeve and your wrist to choke your opponent. 

His mechanics behind the choke are in the scissoring-like motion that blocks the opponent’s trachea. In certain situations, the Ezekiel choke can also be utilized as a blood choke. 

From the side control, you can execute it when your opponent tries to escape side control, turn on his side to go to turtle. 

7. Ezekiel choke from mount 

The Ezekiel from the mount is similar to the one from side control except that you have all of your weight on your opponent. Usually, you go into a head control to setup the choke. 

8. Loop choke from half guard or closed guard 

We said it many times that for an effective strangle we need to go deep in the collar but … with the loop choke, it is the opposite. You need a shallow grip on the collar, not too deep but not too low either. You need to be able to raise your elbow high and pass your other arms under your biceps (strangle arm). 

The loop choke is very safe because you don’t expose yourself at any time. During the fight you can a loop choke attempt without taking the risk to get your guard pass. 

Why chokes are the ultimate submission 

Do you remember 2004 absolute mundials championship between Roger Gracie and Jacare? Roger caught Jacare in an armbar broke his arm and then escape the submission (because his arm was loose) he act as if nothing happened and won the match. If roger had made his famous cross choice, Jacare wouldn’t have been able to escape.. He would have slept to the mat. But we will never know! 

Everybody can have different of level of tolerance for pain but no humans can resist to a choke. 

Also with the gi you can use your own lapel and your opponent to choke which multiplicity the number of choke you can do. In each position you cloud at least do 4 different types of choke. 


Apply choke in jiu jitsu requires to know the mechanism of a basic strangle. The most important thing is going deep on your opponent’s collar with your strangle arm. Also you need to make sure you are using the sharp part of your wrist to make the strangulation effective. There are a hundred choke in Jiu jitsu, however, as a beginner you should focus on the basic and simple one such as bow and arrow, baseball choke, Ezekiel choke.