The Tangled Web of Gi-Grappling


Jiu-jitsu and grappling are like an arms race: new techniques and variations are constantly being developed.One year is the year of the half guard; another is the year of the ankle lock.Competition on the training mat and in tournaments is driving the evolution of the game.

It seems to me that one recent trend in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu involves the use of the gi in new, innovative ways.In the past year I have been seen at least a dozen new ways to use your gi, or your opponent’s gi, to trap, entangle, choke or submit an opponent.

Grapplearts contributor Andreh Anderson recently released some techniques that use gi-entanglement to choke out his opponent.  Today while sparring I successfully pulled off the ‘Ninja Choke’ a few times, so I can definitely endorse these techniques.Check out:

Step by Step Breakdown of the Shaolin Choke


Step by Step Breakdown of the Ninja Choke

Before I create a howl of protest I should point out that gi-entanglement has been part of gi-based grappling (BJJ, Sambo, Judo, etc.) for a long time. For example, a common, but high-level half guard pass in Judo uses the gi-skirt to immobilize your opponent’s arm.I’m not saying that these techniques are entirely new, only that they seem to be rather popular in BJJ at the moment.

The simplified lesson here is that anytime you can wrap your own gi or your opponent’s gi around his neck it’s probably a good thing.

If you grapple with the gi then give these techniques a try and don’t be afraid to innovate.You may or may not win your next tournament with a spinning upsidedown gi-skirt choke, but I guarantee you’ll have fun experimenting with these chokes on the mat.

Thanks to Andreh for contributing these techniques!

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