Improving "Squeeze"

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by ens189, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. ens189

    ens189 ELI-te Belt Platinum Member

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    Anyone have any tips for improving my "squeeze" on my chokes? I was listening to Rogan and Bravo talk about Barbarena and how he has a notoriously tight squeeze. Any workout suggestions to help with this?
     
  2. Dogstarman

    Dogstarman Old man jiu jitsu

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    Seriously I think that has to do with technique. I have been choked unconscious with chokes that weren't squeezed or I thought weren't tight. On the other hand I have a coach that deadlifts 500+ and his chokes are brutally strong. Sometimes I just tap due to pain when he starts choking me.
     
  3. Russky

    Russky Green Belt

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    Chokes do not require much "squeeze" at all. If it does not work within 5 seconds then something is not right, and you'd be better off with letting go and trying something else.

    Usually it is:
    - bent wrists or too much slack left for cross collar choke;
    - your elbow pushing into opponent's chest for baseball bat choke
    - gap between your ribs and opponent's neck for guillotine
    - gap between your elbow or ribs and neck for the NS choke.
    - pushing hand instead of pulling sleeve for the Ezekiel choke
    - opponent hips too close to yours for triangle
    - "cutting" with top arm for the papercutter choke instead of pulling the collar with the bottom arm and body turn
    - wrong body positioning for the arm triangle choke.
    - tensing up your belly when you do belly on face choke.
     
  4. Dogstarman

    Dogstarman Old man jiu jitsu

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    I don't know man. If it's not working in 5 seconds rule is true. I know some guys who remain calm and fight the choke until the bitter end. Letting go to soon might mean that they are just trying to outlast you.
     
  5. DrJitsu

    DrJitsu Orange Belt

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    In my opinion, chokes are less about squeeze and more about application of weight or pressure. For example, cross chokes from the mount have a lot to with head position. Baseball bat chose have to do with body rotation. Arm triangles are often about how you position your weight on their shoulder. If you have to squeeze a lot, something is probably wrong. Hand position and how your wrist is bent is absolutely critical as well. Hang to squeeze a lot Could be hand position and/or these other factors depending on the choke being applied.
     
  6. fanboysareevil

    fanboysareevil Green Belt

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    I find the the 10th planet preoccupation with squeeze to be largely the product of no gi only guys going after darces/arm-in guillotines obsessively and thinking of all chokes like that. The truth is, darce chokes and anacondas can take some squeezing if the opponent defends well, but almost all no arm chokes require very little squeeze.
     
  7. mike sherry

    mike sherry Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    the truth is, finishing a submission is the only time you should be using some force in your muscles. I wouldn't agree with the 5 second rule in application just because I usually try and slowly put the chokes on, as to not immediately squeeze 100%. Some people start cranking 100% and it works for them, I just prefer to take my time.
     
  8. DrJitsu

    DrJitsu Orange Belt

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    Idk. I'm admittedly a low level (blue belt). I do a lot of darces and other arm triangles. I'm a big fan of Ryan hall's arm triangles videos. When the guy is not tapping to the arm triangle, I find the solution is almost always in my body position or my hand position. This may change at high levels and squeeze may make a difference when the technique is already spot on. My experience so far is that squeeze doesn't get you very far and it's a huge energy drain.
     
  9. mataleaos

    mataleaos Purple Belt

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    Yeah they have always had that preoccupation and it's carried on since the Eddie Bravo Submissions 101 video on "the squeeze."

    You're totally right and you should let your body positioning do the work. No amount of squeezing your knee or tennis ball or whatever will sharpen your chokes. It won't hurt and having good muscular endurance does help. But most chokes if properly applied can be held and have increased pressure with very little exertion, including various arm and leg triangles.

    Not only chokes too, but all subs require some level of intensity or putting it on authority when it comes to actually finishing a tough opponent. I'd argue that's not a thing that's exclusive to chokes.
     
  10. ens189

    ens189 ELI-te Belt Platinum Member

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    Very informative, thanks guys!
     
    ngarauru likes this.
  11. fanboysareevil

    fanboysareevil Green Belt

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    Totally agree on the topside arm triangle. No gi ezekiel doesn't take much either if you have the arm length. I don't ):
     
  12. NoneGiven

    NoneGiven White Belt

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    I'm not sure how I got to where I am without realizing my deficiencies in some of those chokes. You're describing exactly what I do wrong in papercutters and Ezekiels and I can easily visualize how your points would create more pressure for less work. Thanks!
     
  13. mataleaos

    mataleaos Purple Belt

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    Yeah that's the best resource out there. That whole idea that on any leg or arm triangle variation that you need to get their trapped shoulder in the position where they could hold something as thin as an iPhone 6s between their trapped shoulder and their neck. That's the ticket. And if any of your arm or leg triangles aren't finishing, more than 9/10 times it will be because there is space there. Then you start to realize why moving their arm across isn't that important, and neither is the open side of their neck, and you can start thinking about the trapped shoulder.
     
  14. BJJArsenal

    BJJArsenal Brown Belt

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    I really wish I'd saved Calibur's comments on 'the squeeze' ages ago because he articulates a great point.

    When you get a rear-naked choke on someone, you don't want to be crushing them as hard as you can, you want to stop air passing through. Compare this to cupping water in your hands. You could pushing your hands together as hard as possible and water could still be passing through - you want to focus more so on making sure there are no gaps in your fingers and hands and keep it firm. In a similar vain, with a choke, you want to make sure first and foremost that there is no space inbetween your choking arms and the neck/arm and neck. Once there is no gaps, you only need to apply a little pressure to get the tap.
     
  15. mataleaos

    mataleaos Purple Belt

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    Here you go!

    http://stg.forums.sherdog.com/threads/developing-the-squeeze.2055013/

    "The squeezing pressure you should be using is the pressure your fingers use when cupping water. You're trying to take away space to keep water/air from escaping. Your fingers are tight, but your muscles don't get tired. That's the pressure you need, and it doesn't require any kind of excercise or weight training. Just practice. The OP is thinking of the squeezing pressure you would need to crack walnuts in your hand. That's cool too, but it's unneccessary if your technique is okay."
     
  16. BJJArsenal

    BJJArsenal Brown Belt

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    Thanks, exactly, what I was after. It made me re-think chokes.
     
  17. mataleaos

    mataleaos Purple Belt

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    The idea changed my game entirely also. I started thinking "Wait, this is a dominant position. So this position should be working for me instead of me having to squeeze so hard from here."

    Just thinking about it that way really gave me a mental boost.
     
  18. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    'Squeeze' isn't about muscles, it's about positioning. It really doesn't take much pressure at all to cut off blood to the brain (which is what most good chokes are about, not cutting off air flow). The problem is getting your arms in exactly the right position to put pressure on the carotid arteries. The solution to getting good at it, like all things in BJJ, is training a lot. Marcelo Garcia doesn't finish difficult chokes like N/S chokes instantly because he's so much stronger isometrically than everyone else, it's because his hands and arms are in exactly the right position to cut off blood flow to the brain. As is often the case with high level technique it might feel like the person applying the choke is super strong, but that's because their use of strength is so efficient not because they can deadlift 800 lbs. You can tell the difference between being choked by a really strong guy with middling skill and someone with a really high skill level. I guarantee you Marcelo isn't crushing your face like you might get with a blue belt powerlifter, but I bet the pressure on the sides of your neck feels pretty damn heavy.

    For most people it takes some time when you get a choke on to get your arms in really good finishing position, at least a few seconds. Marcelo (or any high level guy, take your pick) do it instantly and that's why it feels like they're squeezing so hard: there's no 3 second lag between them getting under your chin and the pressure really coming on. The pressure is on instantly. Only way to get there is to practice a lot, throw a lot of chokes against moderate resistance until you go right to the correct position. If you get good at that, soon people will comment on how strong you are.
     
  19. mataleaos

    mataleaos Purple Belt

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    This is so true. There are certain chokes I've been putting constant effort into for years and years and I'm still breaking through ceilings with them in terms of improving the efficiency on the finishing pressure alone. You mention Marcelo's NS choke and I have no doubt that it is stronger this year than it was last year. I don't think there's a ceiling with stuff like that.

    This kind of post is awesome and this is the reason I'll still check out Sherdog even after the horrendous redesign. Gems like this make this forum still pretty great.
     

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