Apr 18

Triangles, triangles oh boy

Earlier today, I taught a seminar at Randori on how to improve your finish rate with triangles, and this post is about what was covered.


The seed of innovation lies in the deep understanding of fundamentals. That’s why we looked at the triangle from a variety of angles in order to create that seed.

It started off with a review of the push pull entry to the triangle because it emphasizes how the hips should be used to attack. I’ve always likened it to how a crocodile treads the water right before it shoots out of the depths, clamps onto its prey, and then drags it down to its demise.

Then we switched gears and went over posturing up to neutralize the effectiveness of the triangle. It was important because posture is the first thing that must be addressed whenever the triangle threatened.  If you’re on top, posturing up is an easy way to kill the threat, and if you’re on bottom, killing posture is an easy way to keep the threat alive. So after going over it from the perspective of the top person, we went over methods of controlling posture once the triangle is threatened.

That format of teaching a counter and then teaching the counter to the counter was the focus of the first portion of the seminar. Also in those recounters, there was a recurring theme in a few of them because the creation of frames against the hip in order to suspend movement occurred more than once.

After that, we concluded with  triangle entries from various positions and the micro adjustments that can make the submission more lethal.

Triangle Elements

(This is something I wrote awhile ago on the topic of triangles to focus my mind on the essentials.)


  • Arm In / Arm Out
    • Whenever the one arm is inside of the legs and one is outside, the triangle is possible.
  • Posture Control
    • Whenever a triangle is initiated, posture must be controlled.
  • Choke Theory
    • The choke works by cutting off one side of the neck with your leg and the other side with your opponent’s shoulder.
  • Angled Leverage
    • Changing the angle of your hips will apply greater force to the opponent’s arm, driving it deeper into their neck.
Common Problems
  • Stacking
    • Opponents will stack you on your head which kills the strength of your hips and reduces your comfort in the position.
  • Hard Posture
    • Opponents will look up and push their hips forward to create separation between their neck and your hip.
  • Enforcing Space
    • Opponents will attempt to brace their trapped arm against their knee or wrap it under your body to enforce space in the triangle.