The Arm Triangle is a super effective high percentage submission and it’s also a great tactic for self defense if you’re taken to the ground. Let’s be honest, in a real world fight scenario getting taken to the ground tends to be a go to for a lot of people. Untrained people, which are the types who often escalate things to fighting levels tend to do two things consistently. They throw wildly uncontrolled haymaker style punches, and they like to bull rush and spear you like they’re sacking a quarterback.

As a trained person and someone who practices BJJ on a daily basis I am quite comfortable on my back against just about anyone but in a self defense situation it’s still not a place that I would want to be. In competition it’s one thing, but in the street it’s another. You never know if the attacker has a gun, knife, or other force multiplier that could dramatically change the game at anytime. So situational awareness and avoidance are most important in the street no matter how skilled and badass you think you are.

In the event you end up taken to the ground with someone in your guard you have a lot of options. The Arm Triangle is a quick go to for me. It’s relatively easy, and this one actually uses the attacker’s own momentum to lock it in effectively. There’s many variations of the Arm Triangle, and it can be done in various positions. It’s a pretty versatile choke, and if applied correctly will put someone to sleep with a quickness.

Arm Triangle


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So let’s talk about how to actually set up the Arm Triangle from guard.


From standing, the attacker manages to catch you off guard and secures a takedown. There’s many ways to end up on the ground but in this example you manage to suck him into your full guard. From here you have many things you can work but today we are thinking the Arm Triangle is a good start. Once in guard the first thing many will do is posture up to start throwing punches. This is what you want them to feel they can do because you’re going to use it against them.


As the attacker is postured up he decides to start trying to rain down the punches. Before you even get to this point try to make note of which arm side you want to attack. Once he decides to throw that punch you should suck him in using his own momentum coming down as deep into your guard as possible while simultaneously shifting your upper body to the side you’re attacking, and slicing your opposite side arm directly up beside his neck.


Wrapping your opposite side arm completely around the neck to meet the bicep of your attack side arm. From here you will wrap your attack side arm around and onto his head, forming somewhat of a reverse rear naked choke, only you are choking him out with his own arm. From this position you simply need to flex your muscles, and keep your head pinched tight to his arm so he can’t pull it out.


At this position you can lock it in a little deeper, as well as further distance yourself from danger by shrimping your hips out to the attacking side, and wrapping further onto his side.Arm Triangle

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Author Primal

Owner of MASK Tactical & The Warrior Tribe. Always ready to wage war!

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