Now that we have covered a majority of basic locking techniques, it’s time to cover submission or choke holds. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there are many varied techniques to this, but there are two main categories of holds to be explored. They are each named for the type of essential choking they do, which are blood and air chokes.


Air chokes are dangerous to perform, because as the name suggests, you are cutting off the supply of air, or oxygen, to an opponent’s lungs. This requires putting a lot of pressure on the airways, which includes the trachea and larynx, and leads to asphyxia (suffocation). This type of choke doesn’t always result in unconsciousness, but because it does result in extreme pain and “air hunger”, an opponent will often submit faster to an air choke than to a blood choke. Fractures to the hyoid bone in the neck can result, and this is one of the reasons why air chokes are considered less safe than blood chokes. Once more, I have to advise that you DO NOT attempt these techniques without the supervision of a trained professional, and to please be careful even in a training environment.


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A classic air choke maneuver from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the gogoplata. While it was originally called Kagato-Jime in judo sports, it has become popularized by BJJ practitioners. It is an easy to perform maneuver, and is executed from either guard, or “rubber guard”, which is also sometimes called “mission control”.

To perform the gogoplata, you simply remove one of your legs from the guard position, let’s say the left one. Slip it in front of the opponent’s head underneath the chin. Grabbing behind their head, lock both of your hands together and exert force by pressing your shin into their neck, right up against the trachea.


Portland Jiu Jitsu Technique: Cross Choke from Mount


A helpful variant of the gogoplata that you might see is called the locoplata, which was popularized by Eddie Bravo of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu. The starting moves are the same, with one difference, which is to free both feet from guard, and place your left leg against their neck in the same manner as the gogoplata. Then, instead of locking your hands behind their head, you use your left hand to grab your left foot from behind their head, and exert pressure by using your right foot against your left heel. This leaves one hand free for maneuvering or blocking any offensive strikes the opponent will aim at you during the choking phase.