Anaconda Choke – How to set up, Finish and Defend this Submission

The anaconda choke is one of the most basic submission moves in the entire BJJ arsenal. To be fair, there are moves that are even more basic than this. The armbar, the triangle, and the rear naked choke spring to mind. However, if you wish to take your BJJ game one step further than the most basic level, you’ll have to learn the Anaconda choke. That being said – you have come to the right place. Below you will find out some more information about how to set up this choke and execute it.

The Basics of the Anaconda choke

This is a world-class blood choke that can put your opponent to sleep easily once you set it up. However, the setup may take some time for you to master it. The way to perform this move is to slide your arm under your opponent’s head and his armpit. Then you need to grab your other arm at the bicep muscle and put your other hand on your opponent’s back. If you do this properly, you will be able to generate sufficient force to choke your opponent out. But again, this doesn’t mean that it’s easy to set this choke up.

Setting up the Anaconda choke

In order to perform this move, you will have to find a way to put your chest over your opponent’s head first. As you may imagine, there are different positions from which you can do this. Our personal favorite is when the opponent shoots for a takedown – double leg or single. If you can do a sprawl quickly enough, you will stuff his takedown attempt. And then you will find yourself in the perfect position to perform the Anaconda choke – your chest being on top of your opponent’s head.

That being said, you can use this position in order to perform a few other moves. You can do the guillotine rather effectively from here. The D’Arce choke springs to mind as well. You can also force your opponent with his face to the ground and you can take his back easily from there. Or you can go for the Anaconda choke.

And now you know what to do, based on the explanation in the previous section. Slide your arm under your opponent’s head as you weigh heavy on it with your chest. Grab his armpit and prepare your other arm. Grab your second arm at the bicep with your first arm and place the free hand on the opponent’s back. You are now in place to finally execute the move. Squeeze with your full force and your opponent will have to tap out or go to sleep.

Difficulties in doing the Anaconda choke

Even if you perform this choke and you grab your opponent, you may still have difficulties in defending it. This is because it’s relatively easy for your opponent to open up some room for one of his carotid arteries. He can wiggle out ever so slightly until he finds room to breathe. At the same time, you find that you’re spending your energy like crazy without getting the tap out. So, you will need to make sure that your technique is crisp when you execute this move. There can be no room for error.

There are a few things that you could do to increase the effectiveness of this move. If you have sprawled over your opponent and closed the Anaconda choke, then you can explode to your back so that your opponent will be on his back as well. At this moment, you will need to rotate your body towards the legs of your opponent. If you manage to grab one of your opponent’s legs with your own legs and close it off – this will make the entire choke 100% more effective. It will create additional leverage on the choke and you will be able to apply much more force for closing his carotids. If you wish to see a demonstration of this move check out this video:

 Anaconda choke defense

It’s a basic rule in BJJ that you should always mind your neck. You should protect it at all times because it’s a very vulnerable area – especially in scenarios where other guys know specialized moves that will put you to sleep in a matter of seconds. However, if you find that your opponent has already closed the Anaconda choke, you will find yourself in a highly unfavorable position. Your best choice is to use all your might to find room for breathing. In order to finish the Anaconda choke with less than ideal technique – your opponent will have to use a lot of strength. And now all BJJ practitioners are very strong.

This is the time to wiggle out your neck and wait till your opponent burns his arms off trying to strangle you. And whatever you do – don’t let him take your legs with his legs, as we have mentioned in the previous paragraph. You can do this by following his rotation with rotation of your own. In this way, he will never be able to take your legs and add leverage to an already dangerous move.

The Anaconda choke can be a devastating move that you can use in sparring and in competition alike. You can even use it in a street fight with high effectiveness. But make sure to practice it because it takes skill to perform this move correctly.

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