Choke Principles, Not Choke Techniques

1000x1000On a recent podcast, I heard Rickson talk about his new “federation” of sorts. He stated that it was for the white and new blue belts.

I think there is a lot of wisdom in this.
At the rank of purple and above,
there is often a commensurate level of indoctrination.

I was witness to this recently with one of my drilling partners.
He was talking of the necessity of beginners the correct technique in applying a submission.
I, of course, disagreed.

Here is my argument:
I think students need to learn what makes a submission work:
not how to work a particular submission.

In order to make a “blood” (not “air”) choke work,
the carotids need to be sufficiently compressed.

Now, I may show a myriad of examples including:
-Triangle / Reverse Triangle
-Arm Triangle(s)
-Rear Naked Choke

I may even show finer points of these submissions as most teachers do but I also encourage students to use any parts of their body to accomplish the goal of the submission. Here’s why:

If we spend all of time focusing on improving particular techniques, or trying to achieve certain submissions, we miss out on the opportunity to apply less orthodox, even spontaneous submissions.

And what often works in Martial Arts is what our opponent doesn’t see coming. There are so many ways to compress your opponents’ carotids…how many do you use? How many could you?