In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with the Gi, you are able to grab your partner’s belt, lapel, pants, sleeves and Gi jacket. Basically, anything your opponent is wearing is fair game to grab and tug them around with. Grabbing your partner’s uniform allows you different variations of chokes and controls.
Lapel chokes (and all Gi chokes for that matter) are effective on even the best martial artists, but newcomers to the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu often perform their chokes using the wrong technique.
If you have a shallow grip on your opponent’s Gi lapels, you should not try to pull on their lapels as this will not work and it will use up your grip strength – leaving you vulnerable to a counterattack. A better method is to get just one hand deep into your opponent’s collar; look to grab the Gi material on the back of their neck. If you do this, the sharp part of your forearm and wrist will be on the neck of your opponent and you’ll be in a great position to cut off his circulation.
How about learning some chokes executed with the help of the lapel? See our selection below and good training!
When your opponent sets up their frames from the bottom of side control, use the newly created space to free his far- side lapel. Pass the lapel to the cross face hand and transfer your weight to knee on belly. From there, you grab the lapel with your front side hand and slide your hands together. Switch back your hips and circle to apply the baseball choke. This is a great high percentage set up, but the finish is a bit difficult to get—at least until you get the hang of it.
This choke is especially useful when your opponent defends the baseball choke. The set up starts from top side control. You then pass your opponents far side lapel under their far side arm and grab with near side hand. Then, like with the baseball choke, you switch grips—except this time, your opponent defends the baseball choke by pushing or posting. You then grab your opponents posting hand and pull it across to secure the choke. You can either finish with a one-handed Brabo or you can then re-secure the baseball choke. This choke is money. Both the set up and the finish are high percentage. You can even fake the baseball choke just to get your opponent to post.
Start from top side control. The first step is to isolate and secure opponent’s near side arm. Next, you take ther near side lapel and “punch” it across their body and through to the hand you have under the neck. For this choke, your opponent manages to get their hand trapped in defending the punch through. So, you put your knee on their belly and push forward so that they are facing away from you a bit. Then, with your opponent’s head and shoulders elevated, you take your free hand and push your first into your their neck while pulling his lapel with your other hand.
Start in top side control. Your opponent is keeping their arms in very tight. So, you pass the far side lapel over (rather than under) their far side arm and grab it with the hand you have under the neck. Get a good grip and with your free hand, keep your opponent’s trapped arm attached to his side (via his elbow). Having secured your opponent’s far side arm, you are going to use your hips and legs to isolate their near side arm as well. With both arms secured, you go knee on belly while posting your front foot by their head. Now, you can apply the samurai choke. Since both their arms are trapped, your opponent can’t defend.
The set up for this is roughly the same as the set up for the punch choke—except this time, your opponent doesn’t manage to get their hand/arm in to block the choke. So, once you’ve passed your opponent’s near side lapel to the hand you have under the neck, you thread your other hand through the lapel and across the front of your opponent’s neck to set up the Ezekiel choke. You then sit through and pull up on opponent’s head while applying the choke for the finish.
Set up from back control with seat belt grip. You pass your own gi under the opponent’s arm and to the hand you have over your their other shoulder. You then fall to the same side where you’ve passed your lapel under your opponent’s arm. You then use your leg to apply pressure to the opponent’s neck while pulling grip tight.
Set up from back control when the opponent is doing a good job of defending his neck. You sneak your own lapel over your opponent’s shoulder and pass it to the hand you have across their neck. You then thread your own arm through the grip and grab your opposite bicep. To finish you fall to the side you have the lapel grip and slide your hand down to your other hand. This is a really sneaky and high percentage choke. The key is not letting your opponent see what you’re doing when you make the first lapel pass.
This one is similar to the Chilean necktie except you set it up from top turtle position. It’s helpful if you thread your arm from outside in and secure you opponent’s cross side lapel. Then you simply pass your own Gi over the top and switch grips from the opponent’s lapel to your own. Then, much like the Chilean necktie, you use your own leg to pressure the back of opponent’s head/neck while pulling grip tight. This is a high percentage choke with a really sneaky set up.
This is similar to the Gerbi. Indeed, in some sense, the set up is a reverse Gerbi. To start, you pass your own backside lapel under your O’s arm and secure it with your free far side hand—which you drape over your opponent’s far side shoulder to secure the grip underneath. Once you’ve secured the grip with your far side hand, you use your free hand to underhook your opponent’s near side arm. Then, your roll under your opponent on the near side. Once you land, you slide the free hand down to their neck for the finish.
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