Triangle Choke Jiu Jitsu Technique Explained

triangle choke

We love soo much performing the basic jiu jitsu moves such as the BJJ triangle choke, armbar, omoplata, etc. Besides, the BJJ student is going to have much satisfaction progressing their jiu-jitsu on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the triangle choke BJJ is among the basic submissions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu martial arts, grappling, UFC, and MMA. And, many wise practitioners know that the triangle is very effective in both competition and self-defense.

Indeed, some fighters learn fast some triangle variations like the triangle from the guard, inverted triangle, arm triangle, triangle from the mount, etc. 


Source: UFC – Ultimate Fighting Championship

What is nice about the jiu jitsu triangle is that even if it doesn’t work in some cases you can easily switch to an armbar or omoplata BJJ submissions.

Tips for setting up a triangle choke with BJJ Brick Source: BjjBrick Podcast- BJJ, no-gi and good times!
In this jiu jitsu article, you will learn or re-discover the triangle choke BJJ basics, variations, setup, transitions, drills, and more.

Triangle Choke BJJ Basics

closed guard

What is a triangle choke? The triangle choke (triangulo in Portuguese) is one of the basic techniques in Brazilian jiu-jitsu extracted from Judo martial art. It is achieved when the practitioner wraps his legs around his opponent’s neck and with one opponent’s arm inside the wrapped leg.

It’s awesome! Let’s discover how does triangle choke work? The triangle chokehold produces high pressure across the neck that provokes blood flow disturbance. This fact gives the opponent few choices to either tap out or goes to sleep.

Through the video below, you’ll get more details on how the triangle works in Brazilian jiu-jitsu by the great coach John Danaher? Source: BJJ Fanatics    

BJJ Triangle Choke Setup

triangle choke hold

The triangle choke is one of jiu-jitsu’s most powerful and effective submissions. Moreover, it can be achieved from several positions including the closed guard, half guard, mount, back mount, side control, rubber guard, spider guard, etc. so, how to do a triangle choke?

there are several BJJ triangle setups that depend on your current position and your opponent’s position (standing, kneeling…). Therefore, the mounted triangle setup is different from the back mount triangle setup and also different from the spider guard triangle setup. so, the triangle entry defines the steps to follow to get the jiu-jitsu triangle submission.

Here is how to set up the triangle choke from the closed guard?

  1. First, control the opponent’s wrists

Through the video below, John Danaher gives you some great concepts on how to properly control the opponent’s wrist to a successful triangle submission. Source: BJJ Fanatics    

Controlling the opponent’s wrists may be the first step of most versions of triangles. Use the sleeve grip for easy wrist control, or if you’re in a no-gi grappling or MMA match you can use the monkey grip or C-Clamp grip.

The wrist control is very effective for several outcomes:

  1. Put one opponent’s arm in and one arm out

One of the sequences toward the BJJ triangle choke achievement is putting one opponent’s arm in (between the attacker’s legs) and the other arm out.

There are many scenarios to reach this position (arm in arm out) like one arm is pressed into the opponent’s torso and the other is pulled forward.

N.B. Make sure to reach that position with a smooth arm-leg movement combination. However, you’ll give your opponent the chance to read your game and your attack will surely fail because it’s hard to finish the technique when your next move is widely obvious.

  1. Go for a high guard with locked legs 

Once you place one arm in/one arm out. Then, the attacking student needs to lock his legs near the opponent’s shoulders.

But make sure that the leg movement is done explosively and smoothly in combination with the hands’ movement (one arm in/one arm out).

This new leg position serves to control and limit the opponent’s choices and also to close the distance within your opponent. 

From there you don’t need to hurry up, take your time before moving to the next step. Then you – the attacker guy –  should lock your legs and place one leg over the shoulder of the arm in and the opposite leg under the opponent’s opposite shoulder. 

Bonus tip: Certain triangle submissions, like the mounted triangle choke, won’t involve this explosive, upward movement.

  1. Control the opponent’s posture and head       

The triangle attacker is now in advanced status toward finishing the submission. And, things will be much easier if he uses his legs and free hands to control the opponent’s head and posture.

As a result, the jiu-jitsu opponent will have poor choices to escape from this dominant submission position. 

Bonus Tip: Make sure to maintain this control effectively as the closing distance is going to give the attacker a high percentage to finish the submission, and that is valid for the different triangle variations and transitions. 

  1. Readjust your position if necessary 

Honestly, as a BJJ fighter, you need to readjust your position in most submissions to get the perfect leverage to finish the technique. 

It’s the same when performing the triangle choke you should fix your submission’s angle by adjusting the hips and legs positions for the purpose of making the triangle so tight without losing much time and energy. 

  1. Finish the triangle

Finishing the triangle is the next step that comes after the attacker has achieved the position mentioned above. So, how do you finish the triangle choke from that position?

Through the BJJ video tutorial below, John Danaher teaches the concepts needed to successfully complete the triangle submission. Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ

When the attacker’s legs are locked around the opponent’s neck, the opponent’s trapped arm is positioned across the attacker’s body, and the attacker’s hips are well-positioned.

Then, the attacker needs to do a small hip bridge, squeeze his legs together, and pull down on the opponent’s head.

As a result, this will lead the opponent to give up the BJJ fight due to the immense amount of pressure produced on his neck.

Here is another instructional video on how to triangle choke in BJJ?

Through the BJJ video tutorial below, Coach Tom teaches four hacks to complete the triangle submission. source: The Grappling Academy

Here is another instructional video that teaches you how to do the No-Gi triangle choke? 

source: Hayabusa

Awesome!! never say “I can’t finish a triangle choke”.

Triangle Choke Variations

Nowadays, there are several jiu-jitsu triangle choke types that can be set up from numerous positions such as the closed guard, side control, the mount, etc.

The mechanics of the choke remain reversible, though, meaning if you struggle with it from closed guard, you’ll struggle with it from other positions.

Triangle Choke From Closed Guard

bjj triangle choke

The triangle choke from the guard is one of the simplest and most famous submissions in BJJ. Proficient, versatile, and successful submissions in Gi, Nogi, and MMA since the early days of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Apart from BJJ, MMA, UFC tournaments, the triangle can be very effective for self-defense. Here are more details about the jiu-jitsu triangle from the guard in the video below.

Source: The Grappling Academy

Triangle Choke From Mount

The mount is one of the basic and top dominant positions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Thus, the mounted triangle choke is surely a great submission that you should go for it. So, how to triangle choke from the mount in BJJ?

source: MMA Leech

Triangle choke from the mount is another effective BJJ move to submit your opponent. so, when you’re at the mount position, you should start by placing the opponent’s arm between your legs and your other leg goes under the opponent’s head.

Manage your weight properly to create maximum pressure on your opponent. And Boom! you’re ready to finish the BJJ triangle from this position, or you can roll to the side control and finish it.

Apart from the full-guard triangle, the mounted jiu-jitsu triangle choke is the most successful variation of BJJ triangles.

Triangle Choke From Side Control

Side control is one of the basic and top fertile positions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu that gives you a plethora of submissions including the triangle choke.

the side control triangle submission is surely a great choice if you’re at that position. So, how set up the BJJ triangle from the side mount?

  • Triangle choke from the top side control position.

Source: Howcast

  • Triangle choke from the bottom side control position.

Source: BJJ Fanatics

Arm Triangle Choke


The arm triangle jiu-jitsu choke submission is usually being achieved successfully in mixed martial arts (MMA) and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

The fighter needs to establish solid top control on the opponent’s upper body which really presses the load down on the upper body of the fighter.

Almost like the other triangle variations, the arm-triangle may be a blood choke submission that basically leaves the opponent strangled between their own shoulder and your arm. So, how to do the triangle arm choke? 

source: Knight Jiu-Jitsu

The BJJ arm-triangle choke is reachable from several jiu-jitsu positions such as the side control, the mount, half guard just to mention names, but the famous position is the side control.

You need to use your forearm alongside your opponent’s own outstretched arm and shoulder.

Then, you furthermore may want to squeeze a forearm into your opponent’s neck to raise and accomplish the triangle submission.

As a result, you’ll stop the air and blood flow to your opponent leading to tap out. 

Inverted Jiu Jitsu Triangle.

source: JiuJitsuMag

The inverted triangle choke is a very smart submission because in most cases your jiu jitsu opponent could not predict it.

This variation of BJJ triangle chokes was used by the prolific Estima brothers to submit top-level grapplers. 

How do you do an inverted triangle?

The inverted Triangle’s mechanic jiu jitsu movements are fairly simple to learn and apply.

Let’s assume that you try to attack your opponent with an inverted triangle while you’re in the side control position. So, what are the necessary steps?

  1. First, make sure that the entry to the triangle exists, where you need to detect that one opponent’s arm is in (between your legs) and the other one is out (make it happen if not).
  2. Secondly, you would like to throw your far side leg over the opponent’s head.
  3. Third, close the triangle by closing your legs and readjust your position if necessary to make the BJJ triangle very tight.
  4. Squeeze your legs, and scoot your butt towards the opponent’s hips.

These Brazilian jiu-jitsu triangle moves produce a high amount of pressure that leads the opponent to tap out or sleep out. 

Reverse Triangle

source: Bernardo Faria BJJ

The reverse jiu jitsu triangle choke is one of the essential triangle submission variations. Let’s assume that you’re at the top BJJ turtle position where your opponent gives you no chance to reach his back control.

Sure, in this case, you would like to switch things up, for example, go for a reverse triangle.

How to do a reverse triangle in Brazilian jiu-jitsu?

Source: Chewjitsu

To reach the reverse triangle choke from the top turtle position, you ought to insert your nearside leg under the opponent’s head and everyone the way around. The purpose here is to secure your ankle on the highest together with your opposite pistol.

Therefore, the leg you’ve got under the opponent goes to make choking pressure with the shin. As far as the modified triangle chokes go, this one is basically tight and doesn’t require any particular limb length. 

Rear Triangle Choke

source: BJJ Fanatics    

The rear triangle choke is a really cool way of handling an ultra-defensive opponent once you have back control. Honestly, out of all triangles, I do know this one; it is far and away from my favorite.

Sometimes you only can’t finish a BJJ choke from the back due to the good defense of a top-class hand fighting expert, so, you’re getting to hit a rear triangle.

How to do a rear triangle choke in Jiu-Jitsu?

Source: Stephan Kesting

To get a rear triangle choke in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or MMA you need to start from a basic seatbelt configuration and you should reach the choking side.

Then, from this BJJ position, you ought to extend your both arms in order to create enough space to angle out, towards the “under” side.

Then, make a smooth move toward the jiu-jitsu rear triangle just get your bottom leg across the opponent’s neck and make it all the way through to lock up with the opposite leg.

This is a tough Brazilian jiu-jitsu triangle that leaves you with total opponent control leading him to submit. 

No Arm Triangle

Source: Ben Egli

What if your BJJ opponent arrives to get out their arm during the triangle chokes set up? How remedy to maintain the dominant jiu jitsu position and get the submission done? 

The normal triangle could not be finished when the opponent gets their arm out due to the big space inside the jiu jitsu triangle structure.

The attacker needs to move actively to maintain his dominance, then a no-arm-triangle choke would be a good BJJ submission choice.

How to do the no arm-triangle choke in BJJ? 

source: Bernardo Faria BJJ

You’ll discover yourself during the BJJ triangle choke set up without a trapped arm that you need just some simple jiu jitsu moves to fix the situation.

  1. First, you should just maintain the attack position structure and use your arm to keep the wedge leg.
  2. Then, thread in your other arm under the opponent’s neck and grab your first arm.
  3. And finally, you’ll pack up the jiu-jitsu triangle and squeeze. And here is the tap no one can shake it.

Triangle Choke Transitions

jiu jitsu guard types

Mastering multiple triangle choke transitions will be awesome to diversify your jiu-jitsu game so far. Thus, you can at glance transit to the armbar, kimura, or omoplata.

However, relying always on the triangle choke submission to win a fight could bring you trouble fighting different opponents.

Did you know that you could easily switch from the triangle to armbar or omoplata? Here are some triangle transitions.

Triangle to Armbar Transition

no gi armbar from guard

Triangles and therefore armbars are among the hottest submissions in jiu-jitsu martial art and grappling. These two techniques are very effective and reachable from almost every BJJ position including the guard, mount, side control, back, and more.

Here is how to switch from a triangle choke to the armbar from several BJJ positions. Stay Tuned!

  • Triangle Choke to Armbar From Guard

The closed guard is a superb position in Brazilian jiu-jitsu that gives the practitioner multiple opportunities to switch from the triangle choke to the armbar. Here’s how?

Through the video below, you’ll learn to get an awesome armbar triangle combo from the full guard. Source: Carnage BJJ

  • Triangle To Armbar From Mount

The jiu-jitsu mount is another basic position in Brazilian jiu-jitsu that gives you multiple choices to go for mounted triangle armbar combo. Here’s how?

Source: The Grappling Academy

  • Triangle To Armbar From Back Mount

The back mount is another basic position in BJJ martial arts to size an awesome triangle choke armbar combo. Here’s how?

Source: Evolve Mixed Martial Arts

Triangle Omoplata Transition

Through the video below, you’ll learn to get an awesome armbar triangle omoplata combo from closed guard. Source: MMA Leech

BJJ Triangle choke escapes

source: Knight Jiu-Jitsu

During a BJJ fight, you must give all that is necessary to win, and it’s not always easy. But sometimes many competitors make mistakes finding themselves in a very deteriorating position like the BJJ triangle choke.

This happens, but you can’t just give at that point. So, you need to try an escape, and that is possible if you make the right BJJ moves at the right time.

However, you should know that most BJJ escapes consume much of the fighter energy, and it comes to possibly correct a failure in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu submission defense approach. 

How to get out of a triangle in jiu-jitsu?

Source: Knight Jiu-Jitsu

The triangle choke is one of the top submissions that forces several BJJ competitors to tape out due to the high neck pressure. But, is there any chance to get out of it? 

The good news is that there are particular sequence moves to escape the BJJ triangle. However, these BJJ escape moves will be effective if the triangle isn’t already locked.  

Here are some tips to escape the BJJ triangle choke from the guard:

  1. The first thing you need to adjust your posture and that will give time to breathe properly and prevent the choke.
  2. Your Knee must be placed into the side of the opponent’s hip. 
  3. Continue and spin to side control. 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Triangle Drills

closed guard

Drilling the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu triangle choke variations will help you a lot perfecting this BJJ submission like other techniques.

In fact, the triangle Jiu Jitsu drills will give you more coordination and quality while executing the triangle movements. 

Here is an awesome video on how to drill the BJJ UFC triangle, armbar, omoplata variations

source: MMA Leech

Here is another jiu jitsu instructional video showing you some awesome triangle choke drills

Source: Valhalla Academy


Awesome, you ought to insert as much as you can of this triangle choke variation into your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fight, because it’s really effective BJJ submissions.

And also don’t forget to can always switch to an armbar or omoplata with easy BJJ moves from the triangle position.

Otherwise, you ought to drill several times the triangle movement more on the road to become smooth ones.

Finally, let’s admire these beautiful triangle choke finishes in UFC.

Have watching some tough UFC Triangle choke finishes. Source: UFC – Ultimate Fighting Championship

Feel free to tell us what’s your favorite BJJ triangle choke BJJ variation? 


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