Ezekiel Choke: origin and technique application

BJJ gets increasingly complicated as time goes by. New additions and new techniques are constantly being added to the skill-set of BJJ, and if you don’t have a firm direction, then you may get lost in the maze. One of the most important things that you have to be aware of when it comes to BJJ, if your goal is to improve and progress, is to always have a firm grasp on the basics. If you know the basics, then you’ll have the firm base you need in order to progress to learning the “flashier” BJJ techniques. One of the most basic moves in the entire arsenal of BJJ is the move called the Ezekiel Choke.

Where does  Ezekiel Choke originate from?

There is a common misconception that the creator of this choke is one Ezequiel Paraguassú, a well-known BJJ practitioner, and master. The name of the choke indeed originates from the name of Ezequiel Paraguassu, but the truth of the matter is that this choke existed a long time ago in the martial art of Judo, where it goes by the name of Sode Guruma Jime. Paraguassu found out that the choke can be immediately applied in BJJ rolls, and so he taught it to his students and fellow practitioners – and now this choke is one of the most used weapons in all BJJ battles.

How do you perform Ezekiel Choke?

Well, the most basic and highly effective way in which you can do this choke is from the position of the mount on top of your opponent. For the classical version of the choke, you will need to wear a gi – your opponent can wear anything else or even nothing at all. From the mounted position, you will likely see that your opponent is trying to break your base with his or her hands and to push you off. This, in turn, will leave their neck open and this is the best time to go for an Ezekiel Choke.

First off, you put one arm perpendicular to your opponent’s head and under it – this will give you control so as to not be thrown off or lose the base. Next, with this exact same arm, you will reach out with your four fingers and grab the inside of the gi of your opposite arm. In the end, you will need to put this other arm on top of your opponent’s throat and squeeze tight. If performed right, then the opponent would have to tap out or go to sleep.


No-gi version

There is also a no-gi ezekiel Choke and it can be used in MMA and in other situations where the competitors are not wearing a gi. In this case, you will use the leverage only of your arms. This too can be a pretty effective way to choke someone out. Also, the choke can even be made from other positions, such as the basic BJJ guard. If you wish to see a video of the classic technique though, we suggest that you check out:

Ezekiel Choke Defense

A good way to defend this choke if you’re in the inferior position is to recognize what your opponent’s trying to do before he or she actually does it. So, every time your opponent’s arms reach behind your head – your “spider sense” should start to tingle – there is definitely a choke coming up. And one of the best ways to defend a choke is to have your hands near your throat so that you will be able to block your opponent’s attack. This means that you won’t be able to use your hands to push your opponent off now, but this is still better than being choked out unconscious.

 Defense with a Wrist Lock as a Counter

This Ezekiel choke defense should be used as a main form of defense against this choke, but as last resort defense.

Ezekiel choke step by step defense:

  1. First line of defense is not to get your neck wrapped
  2. Second, if you get your neck wrapped, try to block other hand from coming in
  3. Use wrist lock counter If you’re very late in the in the whole process of defense

So when all of your defenses fail and opponent manages to put his hands around your neck. Now, what you want to do is to put your hand on the right side of your neck  and wait for opponents second hand to come in. When hand  comes in, try to catch it right there at the top of his fingers. Try to grab all four fingers on the over top of the knuckles to have better leverage.Then you should reach around above your shoulder so opponent cant straighten his arm anymore.  Because arms of your opponent are stuck he wont be able to tap, expect verbal tap.

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