One of the most useful group of submissions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are the head and arm strangles. This is a family of related submissions that have a lot of diversity both in where to set them up from and how to finish them.
The three submissions in this group are the head and arm guillotine, the darce choke, and the anaconda choke.
More often that they should, students will only master one of them and use it exclusively. The beauty, though, in this group of submissions comes when you can use all three equally.
Pritt Mihkelson describes his training as “functionalistic minimalism” – based on fundamental postures and movements that ever grappler needs to know.
This is because you will sometimes need to transition between them depending on what the defender is doing . The ideal way of attacking these submissions is finding a system that you can use. One of the best of the systems is John Danahers.
The one submission in this family I’ve had a hard time finishing for a long time is the darce choke. I find myself ignoring this choke often and opting for the anaconda when the darce is clearly the favorable option. Because of this, I have been working on improving it a lot.
The most common position the darce choke is attacked from is top half guard. You will often see people who use the darce a lot hunting it down and trying to force it when they are on top. One thing you need to realize though is that you cannot force a submission unless you are going against someone less experienced than you.
Edwin Najmi is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt with many championships under his belt. His is best known for finding creative ways of catching and finishing simple submissions.
In the following video, Edwin will illustrate how to set up the darce choke from top half guard when countering the defender’s under hook. See below:
Although this set up may initially resemble what most people do, Edwin does something really unique after getting the grip and freeing his leg. Rather than staying on top where the darce is difficult to establish, he rolls into his side like he is going to attack an anaconda choke.
What this does is allow him to get rid of the under hook completely. If you stay on top and the defender maintains the under hook, they can prevent the choke from getting tight.
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