Learning and applying the triangle choke

If you have trained BJJ for no more than a week – then you’re already becoming aware of some of the most basic positions. Chances are that by now you know what full-guard is, what side-control and mount are. And chances are that you have already seen the move called the BJJ triangle in action. The reason why this is the case is because of the fact that the Jiu-Jitsu triangle choke is one of the most fundamental techniques that you can use in the entire arsenal of BJJ. If you wish to learn a bit more about how to execute it and defend it properly, then we suggest that you read the rest of this article to find out.

No matter who you are, we recommend that you spend a long time in mastering the triangle choke. There is a reason why it’s one of the most basic chokes in the entire arsenal of BJJ. If you put the work into it, you too will be able to master it and use it effectively on a regular basis.

Basics of the triangle choke

Again, the triangle is one of the most basic techniques in BJJ. If you want to drill it, then a good starting point is the bottom full-guard position. From there you can execute the move very easily if your opponent is not careful enough.

All you need to do is grab one of his hand and push it down so that you will be able to throw your other leg over his neck. If your opponent manages to somehow clear your leg with the arm that you have pushed, then the move will fail (unless you find a way to redo it). But if you have successfully managed to throw your leg without your opponent clearing it with his arm, then you will be able to close off your leg with your other leg at the point of the ankle.

You will need to lock your first leg with the use of your second leg at the point behind the knee. If you manage to lock your legs in this way, then all that remains for you to do is to rotate to the side of your leg first leg in order to increase the pressure. At the same time, you need to squeeze your opponent’s carotid arteries with your thigh and his arm. Finally, you can add additional pressure by pulling down on the head of your opponent with your two free hands. This will result in an inevitable tap out.

3 great triangle choke attacks variations from guard. Close, medium and long-range attacks for all situations.


Although Triangle choke from the guard is the most famous variation of this choke, there are many different other Triangle choke variations. This include Triangle choke from the mount, Rear triangle choke and others

Triangle choke from the back (rear Triangle)

Back Control Is the beats position in Jiu-Jitsu and there are plenty of submissions from this position, rear naked choke being most famous. Although, not common it is possible to do triangle choke from this position. See how to do this submission in the video below.


Triangle Choke from the mount

Another effective way in which you can execute this move is from the top-mount position. If you can manage to clear your opponent’s arm with one of your legs and to put that leg under your opponent’s head, then you will easily be able to roll to the side and put the triangle lock into place. Aside from the full-guard triangle choke, we would say that the triangle from mount is the most successfully applied version of the triangle choke.


But what happens if you are inadvertently caught in a triangle choke yourself? Is there a way out? Well, many BJJ “experts” would tell you that there is an exact sequence of moves that you can execute if you want to pull out from the triangle. But for the most part, they are wrong.

It’s very difficult to pull out from someone’s triangle if it’s already locked. Everything works against you, even the gravity. You will feel pressure from all sides and it’s very likely that you will begin to choke soon. But there are still some things that you could do in order to maximize your odds of surviving, even though it’s impossible to escape the triangle with a 100% efficacy, once its set in place.

The first thing that you need to do is to post up. This will give you a room to breathe and it will block the triangle choke. However, your opponent’s legs may still be locked and chances are that your opponent will try to grab your neck and pull you down so that he can finish the choke. You need to sit still and resist these attacks. If you manage to do this for enough time, then your opponent will likely burn out his legs, as the triangle demands a big effort in this sense. After this, it will be easy for you to dismount the legs and get out of the triangle.

But your best bet is to not get into the triangle choke in the first place. Since this is a basic move that’s very quick to execute, you always need to have your wits about you. Be especially mindful if your opponent has long, strong legs because it means that it will typically be easier for him to execute the triangle. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the triangle trap and you will be fine.