Educating MMA: The Triangle Choke

Derek BedellAnalyst IApril 29, 2009

" are expressing the technique, not doing the technique."
—Bruce Lee
There are many techniques in MMA that give a fighter a distinct advantage. 

Whether to finish your opponent or gain an edge, each technique is carried out with tactful skill and knowledge of the move. 

Many newcomers to the sport are bloodthirsty or anticipating a knockout. 

However, if these things don't occur, there are plenty of techniques to appreciate in MMA. 

It's time to take a look at other remarkable forms of the sport that may be going a bit unnoticed to our casual MMA fan.

The Triangle Choke

A triangle choke (called Sankaku-Jime in judo) is a type of figure-four chokehold that strangles the opponent by encircling the opponent's neck and one arm with the legs in a configuration similar to the shape of a triangle.

The technique is a type of lateral vascular restraint that constricts the blood flow from the carotid arteries to the brain. (Credit:

Strangely enough, the triangle choke in Brazilian Jujitsu was actually used by Mel Gibson when he performed it in Lethal Weapon I.

I had to go back and watch the movie again because, at the time of the original viewing years ago, none of us would have picked up on that. 

I freaked out when I saw it. 

Martin Riggs choked out Joshua on Murtaugh's front lawn with a triangle choke!

The entire fight sequence, of which the triangle choke was the final move, had been choreographed by the famous Gracie family, the founders of one of the most effective marital arts, Gracie Jujitsu.

You don't have to be Mel Gibson to appreciate the effectiveness of the triangle choke. Indeed, it is a choke used in countless martial arts and MMA events.

How It's Done

Step One—Utilize the guard when your attacker brings you to the ground. If you are on your back, wrap your legs around your attacker's waist, preventing him from punching you in the face. From here, you can begin to do the triangle choke in Brazilian Jujitsu.

Step Two—Push one of your attacker's arms in, and pin it so he's unable to use it.

Step Three—Bring one of your legs over the attacker's shoulder, bringing your attacker's body closer to your own. This also restricts his freedom of movement. Keep the pinned arm of your attacker close to your chest.

Step Four—Move your leg from your attacker's shoulder and wrap it behind your opponent's neck. You can also grab your opponents head and pull it down to avoid them exploding out of the position and posturing up.

Step Five—Place your other leg over the leg that's wrapped behind your opponent's neck. It will form a T-bone position.

Step Six—Grasp the back of your attacker's head and bring it forward as you squeeze your legs.

Step Seven—Release the triangle choke in Brazilian jiu jitsu when your opponent taps out or when instructed by the referee. (Credit:

You have been educated.  Now, tap out!

Derek Bedell writes at  You can read of the article here:!.htm