The North/South Choke

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by bagelgod, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. bagelgod

    bagelgod Green Belt

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    So, my favorite threads on sherdog are the ones where people who are really smart talk a lot about the stuff I'm stupid with. I come to you, dear reader, searching for tips on the north south choke. Set ups, details, personal tips/tricks, whatever you north/south chokers have.

    I suck total balls at this choke, and I wish it to be otherwise. I have many problems with it; keeping people from coming up while I work for the choke, people tucking their chin leading to a face crush rather than a choke, keeping them flat rather than letting them turn on their side, setting it up such that they don't see it coming a mile away, I mean the list goes on. Any help ya'll can give me is much appreciated.
     
  2. HomerPlata

    HomerPlata Purple Belt

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    It's probably the only choke where that's actually possible, yeah...
     
  3. Galahad

    Galahad Orange Belt

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    Man, I had a free trial on mginaction.com and totally devoured everything he did, then went and worked on it. It's become my top finish from top now. I'll try to help:

    The big thing for me that Marcelo taught that I didn't see on a lot of other instructionals and really upped my finishing percentage is when you wrap the arm around the neck and simultaneously drop the same-side hip, you need to push your ribcage into their face, preventing them from turning their head.

    And as soon as you do that you pretty much need to slide perpendicular to their body and slide back as much as you can but stop before your shoulder would slide over their chin. Also tuck your head out of the way so they can't push on it.

    Also if they do get their chin tucked, bail and work for something else but be aware of their neck b/c most people will untuck their chins while you do so.

    And finally if they start to roll/spin you can finish with a guillotine.

    Basically everything I wrote I learned from mginaction.com so I suggest you sign up for a free trial b/c he's got even more details that I don't feel comfortable typing out.

    Oh yeah, as for the set-ups, anytime you're on top and their neck is uncovered. This isn't really a choke you force and slide your arm in (e.g. cross-collar from mount) you just need to hit as soon as you see an opening.

    Side control, mount, passing half-guard, when they attempt to go into deep-half, if they escape your back-control but you still have seatbelt (gotta thank Drew for brining that one to my attention).

    Edit: one last thing I forgot to mention. I never could finish the choke before, and I found I would pull up with my arms turning it into a neck crank. The key is to push your shoulder, almost like you want to punch their throat with your shoulder.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  4. mesa

    mesa Orange Belt

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    N/S is one of my fav submissions no gi, but i'm a seasoned blue belt so take my advice for whatever it's worth.

    1) Don't try it with the gi...i'd say its even harder than finishing a guillotine with a gi.

    2) I always set it up from side control when I can clear the near arm. Either they do it for me by pummeling it underneath, giving me a clear path for me to spin n/s onto their face, or sometimes if they tuck their arm close i can clear it myself. You can finish the N/S with the arm, but its much lower percentage for me so I only go for it when i clear it.

    3) The most important thing imo is to get their face to turn AWAY from you. You do this by dropping your rib cage onto their jaw and using your body to turn the face away. There's many ways to do this...personally I just wiggle and turn their face with my body. I"ve also seen some creative ways, like from side control rolling their head up onto your leg (you have both knees up close)...I don't do this so I dont want to elaborate on the details. But the point is to get their face turned away.

    4) Once the face is turned away, you can circle around the head with your arm...once you have a deep grip, you stick your head to their body and slide down, maintaining a lot of pressure with your head on their chest and really dropping your weight with your hips down. Once you give too much space or release the pressure, they can either escape or at the very least turn their head back into your body...which makes it 10x harder to choke.


    edit: Galahad above mentions one detail which I completely agree with, and that is dropping the near side hip as you wrap the neck (after you have turned the face). This really helps with maintaining the head control and being in a good position to slide down to finish.

    Hope this helps somewhat.
     
  5. Shemhazai

    Shemhazai Black Belt

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    I'll have to respectfully disagree with you on this point. A friend of mine hits it in the gi all the time, even against much higher belts, and lately I've begun to hit it a lot with the gi as well. You have to be more meticulous with your setup, but you get a lot of added control over your opponent due to the extra friction.

    Also, Marcelo hit this choke on his first two opponents in the last gi Mundials. Seemingly without effort, might I add.
     
  6. Ninjamurf

    Ninjamurf Handing out lollipops for over 3 decades

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    I have to agree with you. I hit this with the gi on all the time. In fact, since there aren't really any gi grips in play, I'm wondering why the gi even really matters here?
     
  7. mesa

    mesa Orange Belt

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    Thanks for the input. I admit I haven't drilled it with the gi as much as I should, so that's probably why it's a lot more difficult for me.


    That being said, the 2 things I have the hardest part with in the gi are:

    1) being able to wrap around the head tight with the friction of the gi. My sleeve slides against the mat, their head, etc...it's tough to get a good deep arm in there.

    2) Sensitivity to feel if their head is turned away or not. Through the gi, it's difficult for me to know if i have their head positioned correctly. A lot of times i don't realize they are turned face up, or even maybe angled into me due to my gi being in the way.

    I'll definitely drill it and try it out a lot more seeing as people seem to have success with it.

    Thanks!
     
  8. bagelgod

    bagelgod Green Belt

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    I'm going to update this. A lot of the tips in here have helped me, especially those by Galahad. I get into the position a lot, and the shoulder punching helps me finish it whenever I'm under the chin.

    I'm still having fits with people tucking their chin as soon as they feel my arm start to move around their head. It's hard to let go and bail when I've finally gotten in position!
     
  9. jackandcoke

    jackandcoke Blue Belt

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    My go-to move... i think the big thing is to keep them flat on their
    back, keep heavy on the hips and against bigger guys you're gonna
    have to get up on your legs to keep them flat. If a guy manages to
    get on their knees take the guillotine, while they are still worrying
    about getting up.
     
  10. King Creatine

    King Creatine Purple Belt

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    I'm not sure why, but it does effect my ability to guillotine and N/S Choke. All that damn cloth... :redface:
     
  11. Nagster5

    Nagster5 Green Belt

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    how the hell are you performing this choke!?
     
  12. fourfif**

    fourfif** Banned Banned

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    I can't speak for him, but I've had problems with this choke. I think my problem was not "punching the neck" with shoulder pressure.
     
  13. Shemhazai

    Shemhazai Black Belt

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    My project for the next month (or however long it takes me to get it down) is setting up the N/S choke from knee on belly. Basically I'm using my love for the N/S choke to force myself into actually using knee on belly more. :p
     
  14. Nagster5

    Nagster5 Green Belt

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    And how does that relate to being able to suck balls while doing it? My head has never been past their chest. I'm wondering how someone s head could possibly be near the other guys waist while performing this choke.
     
  15. ks1911shooter

    ks1911shooter Yellow Belt

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    Agreed that the choke is very possible with the gi. The one or two times I got it during live rolling was with the gi on.

    Marcelo got me with this choke with the gi on too. He also did it with only one arm. I wasn't worried too much at first when he initially wrapped his arm around my neck, cause I was still holding on to his other arm, and aware of it. I figured as long as he didn't clasp his hands together, I'd be ok. 2 seconds later, I was tapping. The key is to trap the head tightly against your side, and to really sink your shoulder weight downward, while sliding your entire body back (away from his torso). When done properly, this will make everything really tight with just one arm.
     
  16. Shemhazai

    Shemhazai Black Belt

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    A detail that Marcelo doesn't really emphasize, but that I picked up in a 10th Planet video of all places (with Scott Epstein, who actually knows his shit), is to walk slightly past parallel, in order to twist the neck a little bit. It makes the pinch of your biceps a bit tighter on the far side and exposes the neck more to your lat on the near side. If you can get this detail, it makes a difference IMO.
     
  17. Drew Foster

    Drew Foster Silver Belt

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    Whew. Buckle up. I don't want I'm about to type, but I'm going in!

    The North/South choke is most often used by Marcelo Garcia. Along with the Guillotine and the RNC, it is one of the only 3 naked/arm chokes that he does. It's also interesting to note that he does them all with his right arm, every time. The info here is info I have picked up from training with people who have learned the choke from him, MGinaction, his GracieMag article on the choke, Jeff Monson, and my own experiences:

    To understand why you are crushing their chin, it's very important to understand how you are setting up the choke. In general, there are two basic ways to set up the N/S choke: from side control, and from north/south. For people that are just starting off, it is better to set up the choke from side control, and rotating your body into the choke. If you are already in north/south, you have to drop onto them while simultaneously catching their head and dropping the point of your shoulder in between their chest and chin before they can tuck, which takes a degree of comfort with the choke that most don't have right away.

    If you have side control, and their feet are down to your left and their head is to your right, this is where we will start. It is important before you attempt the submission that your left hand stays on the near side of their body, blocking their left hip. Now when you drop for the choke, they cannot turn into you, and the only way they can turn is away, which will make the choke easier for you. Keeping chest-to-chest pressure, you need to swim your hand over and around their head, finishing so your arm is wrapped around their head with your palm facing the sky. The outside of your forearm should be along the floor behind their head. THIS IS where most people actually make their opponent tuck the chin. They do this by squeezing too early. At this point, you want to keep your right choking arm relaxed, and at the white belt level, your partner should not even feel a threat.

    Just mechanically, if you squeeze right after you go around their head, your flexing motion will cause their chin to touch their chest. Then, when you bail off to the side to sprawl and finish, their chin is already tucked. Don't do this.

    Keep your arm relaxed, and back-step with your left leg, like you are doing a reverse scarf hold. This will give you the space to connect your hands in a gable grip. You don't have to gable grip, but I prefer it, and many others do too. As soon as your hands are together you sprawl, making sure the front of your shoulder in over their throat. This is a BLOOD choke, but pressure on the throat cannot hurt (you at least lol). As soon as you sprawl you should begin to squeeze, and through the rest of the steps, continue squeezing.

    Now that you are sprawled, with the gable grip around their neck, I would recommend NOT watching what Marcelo Garcia does with his head when you finish the choke. His squeeze is so powerful that he can rest his head on the opponent's chest and still get the choke. Hell, Marcelo now has a "Inverted N/S choke" where he finishes the choke off his back! Let someone put you in a N/S choke, you wrap your arm around their neck, and have a race to see who taps first. Unless you're Marcelo, the guy on top is getting the tap first.

    Anyways, for beginning N/S chokers, place your FOREHEAD ON THE FLOOR! Continue to press your hips down into the mat and inch backwards with your hips. This inching motion will open the space between their chin and chest.

    A very important point on the squeeze: As with most blood chokes done with the arms, you are not choking them by flexing your arms, NOR are you choking them by dropping your shoulder onto their throat. By all means do both of those, but the real squeeze comes from flexing the lat muscle. If you want to lift weights for a better N/S choke, do lat pull downs and bent rows. Also, when you drop your shoulder, make sure it's not dropping on his upper chest. it's an easy mistake to make. Drop it on the throat.

    I made the mistake Monday night of catching a good grappler in a deep N/S choke. I was so excited to land it after a month of surgery recovery that I just squeezed my arms dry, and usually it still would be enough to finish because the choke was so deep. This guy rode it out, and it was because I was not squeezing with my back, arms, shoulder, while sprawling wide and dropping my hips and head to the floor.

    The key to this sub is getting as low as a snake to the ground. You want to bury yourself into the floor.

    An alternate entry if you do not feel comfortable kicking your left leg back to post on it to connect the hands is this: Just push off of their hip with your left hands and walk your legs like a clock until you are in line with their head, then connect your hands. This setup is better for beginners (I feel) because it;s not as dynamic, and you stay low the whole time, hence less room for error.

    Here are 2 videos: 1 of Marcelo Garcia teaching the choke. The 2nd video is Marcelo transitioning to the Guillotine off a N/S choke escape. It is vital to remember to relationship between the N/S choke and the Guillotine. If one escapes one of the two, transition to the other.

    Notice at 1:37 how he is keeping his choking arm relaxed.


    Skip to 1:55 to see Marcelo catch the Guillotine as K-Taro escapes the N/S choke. Notice how he has to escape to his right and come up to his knees because his left escape path is blocked. Marcelo has amazing foresight, and gets his elbow lift Guillotine before K-Taro gets up. Marcelo even gets his leg in front of K-Taro's right shoulder at 2:00. The tap is instant!
     
  18. Drew Foster

    Drew Foster Silver Belt

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    LOL! Seriously though, if anyone's head is in anyone's crotch during the North/South choke, someone has a physical problem and needs to see a doctor! :icon_chee

    But that reminds me, one of my old coaches called the Kimura from North/South the Alabama Crab Dangle.
     
  19. Drew Foster

    Drew Foster Silver Belt

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    Glad you mentioned that and even happier you were able to make it work. If they get free of your hooks when you have the seatbelt, they are WIDE open for the N/S choke. I do this a lot too. Just so everyone knows, they free the hooks, you get to your knees behind them while keeping the seatbelt tight, crunching their head down, and you sprawl with the seatbelt. After they've lost their balance, and the seatbelt is the only thing keeping their shoulders and head off the mat, let your right hand go so their head falls and immediately wrap up the head and bam, they've fallen right into the N-S choke!

    It also works in reverse. If you have a N-S choke and you burn your arms out, give them a little room to sit up. You can even bring your knees up under their shoulders so they're in your lap. Lock up the seatbelt, walk 'em forward enough to drop to your side with hooks in. Often you can go straight into the RNC before falling to your side.

    There is a pretty cool relationship between the RNC and the N-S choke that is rarely talked about. I dunno how well they work in competition, but in class it works well both ways.
     
  20. Drew Foster

    Drew Foster Silver Belt

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    Yes thanks for pointing that out! Rani Yahya is very big on this as well. Scott Epstein knows his shit for real. He has good chokes. Denny P. does also. I use Denny's DDT version to get to the Anaconda choke 90% of the time over the gator roll. To be fair, I saw Shinya Aoki do it first, then Rafael Mendes, but I really like how Denny puts the UMPH on it and flips them straight head over heels. Much more reliable than the gator roll IMO, where there is so much extra movement and time for a potential escape. Also, if you miss it, you can finish the Anaconda from guard or switch the the Guillotine. If they escape in the middle of a gator roll you're screwed.

    I gotta disagree. Not saying you're wrong, but I find it to be maybe the easiest "naked choke/arm choke" to do in the gi. I know others that feel this way also.

    Obviously Marcelo Garcia is in his own league, but it's interesting to note that he will do MANY N-S chokes in the gi. Even off of hi back! :eek: (crazy bastard)



    (I know Marcelo doesn't like head-and-arm chokes, but man would I love him to do the Darce for just ONE year. That's give me enough HL reels to enjoy haha)
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010

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