The first time I saw this triangle choke setup was about 15 years ago when I was still working as a field biologist. At the time I was on a contract 3,000 miles away from home, and living out of a motel.
To stay in shape I went for runs and lifted weights on alternate days, but once a week I would drive for 2 hours each way (4 hours in the car total) to go to the nearest BJJ school.
Training there kept my head in the game, allowed me to blow off a little steam, and learn some cool new jiu-jitsu.
I remember sparring there with some blue belt, but also keeping an eye on the resident black belt as he toyed with his opponent from Spider Guard. He looped his foot around his opponent’s upper arm (into what is now known as the ‘Leg Lasso’) and then did this seemingly crazy breakdancing move.
He adjusted his grips, spun 360 degrees, and – BOOM – caught his large, strong, but unsuspecting opponent in a tight triangle choke that forced him to tap out almost immediately.
I was blown away by this technique, but after some experimentation found that it actually wasn’t that difficult to pull off.
And now Elliott Bayev and I have put a step-by-step breakdown onto Youtube showing your exactly how to do the Spinning Triangle Choke from Spider Guard.
Now you might be forgiven for thinking that this is way too fancy a technique. But it’s actually become fairly common nowadays once you get past the beginner level!
Of course the best case scenario when you use this technique is that your opponent taps out from a triangle choke.
But the good thing is that it’s not that risky a technique – even if it doesn’t work then the worst case outcome from this attack is usually that your opponent tries to get the hell out of Dodge and pulls away from you. You do have to reset your guard, but you’re not going to get badly smashed, which is always a nice bonus 🙂
This technique also helps train you for many other important techniques in the modern Spider Guard arsenal.
There are a boatload of sweeps, submissions, attacks and reversals that rely on spinning and/or inversion, and this spinning triangle choke is a great way to start becoming familiar with that style of movement and training yourself for more advanced stuff in the future.
The bottom line: give it a try! It’s fun, it’s cool, and it’s really powerful. Now go forth and choke someone!
P.S. This technique, like many of the other techniques we’ve talked about this week, comes from the Spider Guard Masterclass series of instructional apps.
Specifically it comes from Volume 3, Next Level Spider Guard Part 1, the Leg Lasso and the Spider X guard, which is the most detailed treatment of the Leg Lasso variation of Spider Guard ever filmed. Check it out – it’s really good!