Mar 30

Hip tilt setup to the hand gun choke

A few days ago, a pal of mine sent me a link to a video.

He immediately notices some similarities between its execution and the principles I stress when teaching the loop choke. So immediately he thought I might want to check it out.

He’s a good guy.

And I appreciate that because he was damn right. There were, indeed, similarities. And yesterday, I experimented until I got it to work.

And I have to say this:

Neil Melanson’s hand gun choke works best when I treat exactly like a loop choke. In fact, it is a loop choke in no-gi form.

There’s like twins that were split at birth.

Yes, the grip might be different, but everything else is virtually the same.

In fact, having both attacks in my arsenal means that I can use the same setup with or without the cross lapel grip to set up the choke. Boom, in an instant, my attack just got a little more devious.

And that’s what a principled based approach can do for your game.

One of the absolute most inefficient ways to improve at this game that we call Jiu-jitsu is to consider all technique to be isolated bits of knowledge that you must learn one by one.

It doesn’t work that.

And if you force yourself down that route, only plateaus await you.

The better path is to look for the connections. Find the aspects of the art that apply to more than just one situation.

I call them one-to-many relationships.

And generally, there are either principles or movements.

In this case right here, the following principles apply to both attacks:

  • For any blood choke to be effective, both sides of the neck (the carotid arteries) must be blocked so that the brain is deprived of the blood it needs to function.
  • The attack is initiated when the opponent’s head is lower than yours.
  • The opponent’s head must be directed to outside of the hip on the side of the choking arm. (Generally, it’s a good rule of thumb to force their forehead to touch the hip.)

And with those principles as a framework, I know exactly how the attack must be setup. And I know how to recognize any opportunities for the attack the very moment it appears.

That’s just one of the benefits that approaching the game from principles first gives you.

And you can learn more about how I approach the game here: