When it comes to Jiu Jitsu, Gi chokes are the most complete form of submission. They are powerful, they work quickly and add a great dimension to the choking game. Out of all the Gi chokes, the clock choke is one that delivers tremendous squeeze when in correct position. A correctly executed clock choke is a fight ender. Once it is locked it, it is ridiculously difficult to get out of. Let’s take a look at some of the great ways of getting and finishing the clock choke.
On deck for today are instructional bits on the clock choke by Carlson Gracie, Ricardo Cavalcanti, Robson Moura, JT Torres, Mario Sperry, Ty Gay and Jean Jacques Machado showing a modified version.
As always, the devil is in the details. Note that each video contains unique (and sometimes conflicting) details. That’s to be expected. Different set ups and details work better for different people depending on their size, strength, and the kind of game they play.
The first and best way to get to the clock choke is to get your opponent to the turtle position. Once they are in turtle, you can start to work on getting your grips. Be heavy on your partner, especially on their back and hips. After getting the correct pressure, you must work with your arms. One can go underneath to control the partner’s far wrist, while your other hand goes with a thumb in grip on his collar. Once you have a strong grip on the collar, you drive forward, pulling your partner’s far arm/wrist in so you can collapse him to the ground. From there, you sit your hips in front of your partner’s shoulder and start walking around this head, pulling on the collar. JT Torres, a world class black belt from Atos shows how he finishes the clock choke. He also shows an interesting rolling variation.
The keys to pulling off this technique are maintaining strong connections to the hips on both sides, internally on the far side with your arm and outside staying hip to hip on the near side. The opponent needs any space you can give them to have a chance to get away. Once the arm is controlled and the thumb in collar grip has been secured, the hip to hip pressure can be released but not for good, instead it is simply replaced with hip to shoulder and head pressure. This puts you in the perfect position to walk your hips around the opponent’s head to secure the tap. In the rolling variation, by releasing your hand that controls their hand/wrist and pulling the opponent up and across your body, opening up the neck, you can quickly secure the devastating technique.
Gracie family legend Carlson Gracie Jr. takes viewers through his simple clock choke breakdown. Though the video is in Portuguese, it is subtitled and the internationally language of jiu jitsu would allow you to learn the technique with the sound off if necessary. Notice how Master Carlson sprawls his hips at the end of the technique to add some very intense and dominating pressure to the finality of the choke.
Let’s continue with another example of a clock choke from BJJ and MMA legend Mario Sperry.
Ty Gay, a Gracie black belt in Oklahoma shares some excellent details about moving from the hip to hip pressure to sit into the shoulder with your hips. Notice also how Ty uses his forehead to base to make his hips lighter and allow for the movement he needs to finalize the choke.
Jean Jacques showed us how get a turtled opponent out of their shell (so to speak) and expose their neck to secure a choke. In this video he demonstrates how to perform a modified clock choke where you slide off of your opponents back.
Master Ricardo Cavalcanti shows us how to finish your opponent from side control with a clock choke.
The similarities between these variations are clear, but it is the individual nuances and tweaks that are important to notice as you become more familiar with the techniques. The longer one trains BJJ, the more important it is to refine and modify those techniques you learned early on in order to be able to progress.
The basics and fundamentals are the basics and fundamentals for a reason. It is because they are timeless and continue to work well after the latest fad and fancy techniques have disappeared. Start with the basics and end with the basics. You can’t go wrong with this mentality.
With all of the ways to attack an opponent from the turtle or side control, the clock choke is a technique to try. It isn’t nearly as popular as it should be. If you have ever tapped from a clock choke, then you know its ferocity. It is a mean feeling, grand choke. If you feel like trying a new technique, or constantly have your opponent in turtle, then learn it and apply it. You’ll be falling in love with it in no time.
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