Insolent newb question


Brown Belt
Apr 12, 2005
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I'm sorry if this is a stupid question that could probably be answered with a few more months of training, but I am looking for some advice on how to deal with someone constantly attempting gi chokes from the guard ( I just started training again a few months ago after several years off, and I have had some problems with opponents who use this move. I remember being shown some very easy ways to deal with it several years ago, but I can't remember any of them right now. I usually just try to break the grip on one arm and go for an ude garuma (keylock/kimura), and most of the time, the person I'm rolling with gives up and moves on to something else, but some of the stronger, more aggressive people I roll with manage to shrug it off and muscle the choke in anyway. It doesn't seem like any of the experienced people use this move too often, only those who've been there slightly longer than I have.

Anyway, any info on counters would be greatly appreciated. I'm only asking because I am returning to a club I used to train at a few years ago for a couple of months and don't want to look completely clueless.
Ude garuma is not really a good counter for that. Since they are already grabbing your gi, it's too hard to break that grip and go for the lock. They are sort of already countering the ude garuma by attempting the choke in the first place.

Try juji-gatame from the bottom instead. This is a very common counter in BJJ. It works very well because instead of countering the lock by grabbing your gi, they are making it easier instead. Grabbing the gi with the hand will not defend the armbar. It actually makes it easier to apply because the arm is nice and stationary.

Juji-gatame from the bottom is the appropriate counter. Although I roll primarily no-gi, when someone goes for a can opener it is what I use to counter. The arm position is fairly close to a gi choke. Try it next time you train against someone choking like that from in your guard.
Sounds like maybe you need to sit up straight and put your knee in their tailbone. Press down hard with your fists (or palms) into their abdomen. If they start getting grabby and still try to choke, go for the knee in crotch pass or something. I occasionaly still have problems with cross chokes when a BIG fucker has me in his guard and muscles it.
Morgan, I may have misunderstood: is the guy in your guard? If so, he shouldn't be getting any chokes going on you at all... Push him away with your feet, knees, etc, and control his hands.
Yeah, your link isn't working, but if it's the choke I'm thinking of the counter is simple... So let me get this strait, they are in your guard, they grab your lapels on either side pinky towards your face without crossing over their grip. They then go up on their feet putting all of their weight on you and push one of your lapels across your neck. If thats the choke (I know that is a terrible explination), all you need to do grab their choking hand with both of your hands, pulling it away, and if that doesn't work by itself then bring your knees in and push then away.
I cant figure whether you're talking as if you're in someone elses guard or they're in yours.

Sounds like you're asking about the ladder.

Armbars are a good option, but if nothing else, choke him back. You'll have more leverage to apply the choke than he will. You could also think about attempting sweeps, which would either force him to base out, releasing the choke, or get swept.
Sorry the link doesn't work. I don't have much problem with this choke if the person is in my guard. At that point, it is easy enough to go for a jugi gatame or just push them away with my knees/feet. I meant a gi choke from my opponents guard. It's only the really big fuckers who give me trouble with this one, as their grips are good enough to keep me from sitting back.

So, to clarify, this choke is applied by my opponents while I am in their guard (arms crossed, gripping lapels). If I can sit back while keeping them from sitting up with pressure to the abdomen, it is a non-issue, but if I can't, I normally lean in and stay up so that their arm is more or less straight and up, at which point I go for a keylock, which is not the best counter as it rarely results in much more than my opponent forgetting about the choke, but it is the best I have come up with so far.
Yeah, generally you shouldn't try to sub someone from within their guard, it pretty much sets you up to be subbed (they have better leverage because they have control with their legs). To defend the cross choke, stick your arm in under the top arm then put palm to your forehead. That's the basic defence.
To me the most important thing in resisting a choke is to never leave your throat open. I tuck my chin right down onto my chest, my neck is protected, the gi my crush my jaw or my nose, but this will not make me pass out. It is merely painful.
Try putting a gi choke on them at the same time, grab the gi on the same side lapel as your hand, not opposite, and slice the gi down on their neck like a cheese cutter. When the opponent pulss on your gi to execute gyaku-jime, there own strength helps the cheese cutter slice down harder on their throat.
Ybot said:
Yeah, generally you shouldn't try to sub someone from within their guard, it pretty much sets you up to be subbed (they have better leverage because they have control with their legs). To defend the cross choke, stick your arm in under the top arm then put palm to your forehead. That's the basic defence.

Agreed, and Ybot I just had my wife do gyaku jime to me and I tried your palm on the forehead thing. How could I have missed that all these years?!!? As I've said before, I am always learning something new in this forum. Thanks...

Morgan, I grapple with some really big dudes pretty much every week. I know exactly what your talking about. I started standing up when they break through the other (mentioned above) defenses. As soon as I feel them getting gyaku, I stand up in their guard. If they insist on holding the choke I try to stack the best I can. Usually the guys I'm rolling with will abandon the choke and go for ankle grabs. That's when I go for the knee on crotch / up the middle kind of pass. My mindset is to pass the guard, and nothig else. It's a little risky, but it beats tapping to a basic choke! Hope this gives you something to play around with in class.