The Jiu Jitsu Times Weekly Challenge: Choke Artist

This week’s Jiu Jitsu Times Weekly Challenge is going to be easy for some and extremely difficult for others.

Very often we develop tunnel vision when it comes to our submissions.  We find ourselves fixated on one specific submission or group of submissions.  Personally, for a long time I was fixated on arm locks, and I couldn’t really hit chokes as well as I’d have liked to.  My instructor at that point in time gave me an assignment: do not submit anyone with a joint lock, focus entirely upon chokes.

This assignment will be difficult for all of you leg and arm lockers.  Instinctually you go for what you’re good at.  Going for leglocks and arm locks is all fine and dandy until you come up against someone who knows how defend against your go to game.

Worse yet: not all people react to being joint locked the same way.  Some people are exceptionally flexible, some people have a high pain threshold, and in competition there’s always that one person who wants it more than you and is willing to let you damage their joints in order to get the W (think Jacare vs. Roger Gracie.)  Easy enough to not tap to a joint lock now, and deal with it later, but if you pass out chances are the ref is going to call the match…

So for the next week, at least 3 rolls per training session refrain from applying joint locks.  You can use joint locks to open up chokes, but finish with a choke.  The more you are able to do this, the better it will affect your game.

If you already like chokes, don’t worry, there will be challenges for you in the near future.  But bear in mind, chokes can be any kind of choke: triangles, bow and arrow, RNC, head and arm, D’arce etc.  You don’t have to be limited.  If you already like chokes a lot, maybe choose a choke you don’t normally hit and go out of your way to hit that specific choke.

As always, let us know what you think of this week’s challenge.  Are we being too easy on you?  Have the challenges helped you at all?  Finding new training methods is part of what makes jiu jitsu fun, are these challenges fun?  Give us as much feedback as you can, so we can continue coming up with fun challenges.


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