The Baseball Bat Choke is a very versatile attack. It can come from a dominating position like knee on belly or it can be slipped on as someone passes the guard. The versatility of the attack has lead to many variations and off-shoots of the technique causing necks to be choked over and over with the Baseball Bat Choke.
One of the best versions of the choke is when it comes from a punishing position like knee on belly. Bernardo Faria is notorious for the absurd amounts of pressure he is able to generate from the top. Check out his version from knee on belly here!
How Bernardo gets to knee on belly is worthy of it’s on coverage, but let’s try to do it some justice. First let’s talk about the belt grip. Often times people will grab the pants of their opponent. The belt grip is genius because it immobilizes the opponent’s hips making escape from knee on belly significantly more difficult. Staging the technique correctly from the beginning will increase the finishing percentage!
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Secondly, Faria has his part of his choke already set. The grip behind his partner’s head will remain throughout the technique. A plus side of this grip is it controls the direction of your partner’s head. If the person on bottom can face you they can probably hip escape away and attempt to retain their guard. Between this grip and the belt grip Bernardo has forced his opponent to basically accept the knee on belly, not something that is ideal if you are trying to win.
Now we get to the finish. Faria set’s his second grip for the choke. This second hand goes palm up into your opponent’s collar. Grip placement is key here for both hands. There should be a little space between your hands. The aptly named technique will be best performed individually across opponent’s based on their neck size.
Once the grip is set it’s time to spin into place above our partner into a north/south position. This part is quite possibly the most difficult part of this technique. A good way to think about it is taking your knee off of their belly and strategically place it beside your partner’s head. Once the knee lands it allows a smoother pivot of your body to swing around to face the opposite direction of where you started.
After you’ve spun into place the choking mechanics are next. The more you move and struggle with your arms the less likely you will be able to finish the baseball bat choke. This technique’s finishing mechanics require your arms to remain straight so they orient correctly into choking position as you finish your spin to north/south.
Take your time with practicing this technique as it requires a fair amount of finesse. A good way to practice is to try and finish with as little arm strength as possible. This will result in a slower more methodical approach to the entire technique which will impact the overall technique in a more significant way.
Bernardo is the king of pressure! In Side Control Setups & Submissions Bernardo utilizes his legendary pressure to create submission opportunities like we saw above. Get to side control, punish your opponent, and snag a submission thanks to Bernardo Faria!