From our very first day on the mat we’re taught to pass the guard before attacking with a submission.
Pass… Establish position… And only then try to submit!
So when a technique like the gi-based Brabo choke comes along it seems very counterinintuitive. Because in it you stay in his half guard, you don’t try to pass, and you still attack with a choke.
Every rule – including the primacy of guard passing – has its exceptions, and the Brabo choke is one of those exceptions.
This particular lapel-based choke is more powerful if it’s applied inside your opponent’s half guard than it is if you pass his guard.
In fact I’ve seen people in sidemount set this choke up from the top, then deliberately allow themselves to ‘accidentally’ get sucked back into half guard before trying to finish the attack.
The first time I saw the Brabo choke with the lapel of the gi was when Marcio Feitosa showed it to me.
But if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a thousand pictures! And so I shot a video with Denis Kang breaking down the steps of the lapel Brabo choke for you.
Since we’re working with a gi lapel this technique is similar-but-different to the no-gi brabo choke you may have already come across.
This is one of my favorite submissions, because it’s very powerful once applied. Practice this and you WILL tap people out with it.
And the best part is that even if your placements are slightly off and the choke doesn’t work, the pressure of the attack still freaks your opponent out so much that passing his guard becomes child’s play.
Many times when this choke gets used in class or in competition the two competitors are so close together that it’s hard to see the grips and follow what’s going on.
That’s why in this video I show everything from a very straight-up posture – so that you can see everything!
Click play on the video just below and you’ll quickly learn the basics of the lapel-based Brabo choke: