When you train in the Gi it is a whole other universe than No-Gi. The Gi makes the game even more diverse and you have to worry about even more submissions. Especially with chokes that include using the Gi, you have a plethora of ways to get choked out – and they hurt! One of the worst ones to get caught in is the loop choke. The loop choke can come out of nowhere and from a top or bottom position.
In this guide, we going to walk through how to do the loop choke in BJJ. Starting with the most basic version and then going into a few of the numerous variations of this choke.
What is the Loop Choke?
The loop choke is a submission that involves using a grip on your opponent’s own collar. As you pull your opponent’s head down, your other hand loops behind their head. Locking in the choke and taking away any space for them to try and defend.
Your hand grabbing the opponent’s collar loops under their chin, hence the name loop choke.
Basic Loop Choke From Guard
You start a basic loop choke from guard very subtly. Just playing around and feeling out your opponent seeing what they’re going to do.
With your dominant grip hand, reach across your opponent’s body and grab their collar. You don’t want to grab too high next to their neck or too low next to their chest. Somewhere in between these areas where you have a little slack that will tighten once you get the choke.
Give your opponent a little push with your grip and instinctively they will push back. When they come forward push their head down with your free hand. With your other hand you’re going to loop their collar under their chin.
For the finish, slide your free hand behind the opponent’s neck like a knife and lock your guard. Once you close off the space it’s almost impossible to defend and they’ll be forced to tap.
Watch this video as Chewjitsu walks you through the basic loop choke from guard.
Loop Choke Counter Against Sit-up Guard in BJJ
You can use the exact same steps to do a loop choke to guard to counter sit-up guard. Sit-up guard is when someone is standing and the person sitting sits up. Usually pulling out their opponent’s lapel and hook it under one of their legs to do sweeps.
It’s a good guard, but it leaves your neck wide open to be loop choked. Grab their collar, let them sit up and go right into your loop choke.
Loop Choke Single Leg Defense
A great loop choke variation is open for when someone tried to take you down with a single. Anytime someone tries a takedown, you should always sprawl.
When you sprawl and put pressure down on your opponent, reach under and cross grab their collar. With your free hand, you’re then going to reach under them and grab their far tricep.
Now that you have your grips, shut your elbow to close, fall to your side, and pull on the collar. Your opponent may be so preoccupied with getting the takedown, they’ll forget to protect their neck and get tapped.
Here is multiple time world champion Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu showing this technique.
Rolling Loop Choke in BJJ
Another version of the loop choke you can get starts from the front headlock position. When you sprawl on top of your opponent, control their lead and grab a cross collar grip. You can do this by either passing their collar to your other hand or just reach under and take the grip.
Now with your grip set, you’re going to tuck your head next to the opponent’s body. Your head goes on the opposite site of your grip hand.
Then you’re going to hook the opponent’s leg and do a roll to get them on their side. You can either finish them from there with the choke. An extra step you can do to keep them from escaping is hooking their leg with your leg.
Master Jean Jaques Machado has a great video on this technique.
Loop Choke From Side Control
A loop choke is a good option when you have side control. To do this submission, you need to hold side control with your inside arm next to their hip. Your far hand will be on the outside part of their neck.
Use your inside arm to grab the opponent’s lapel and bring their far collar close to your other hand. Once you get this collar grip, you then walk your body around their head to the other side.
With your free hand, loop it in front of your opponent’s arm, and put it behind their head palm down. Once you do this it shuts off the space and they’ll have no choice, but to submit.
Here is Kurt Osiander demonstrating this loop choke variation from side control.
Thumb Down Loop Choke From Half Guard
The loop choke is also open when you have half guard, but you have to do it a little differently. The normal grip won’t work, so you have to use a thumb down grip.
Hold a knee shield half guard without crossing your, with your thumb down grip on their collar. You do this framing to keep the opponent from smashing you to the ground and start their pass.
If the opponent is a pressure passer, they will fall right into the choke. As they push forward, lift the elbow on your gripping arm and slide your free hand through the hole.
Your opponent will fall right into this choke attempting to pass your guard. Here is multi time BJJ champion Caio Terra demonstrating this move.
Key Details To Consider
How To Defend The Loop Choke in BJJ
If you train Gi BJJ and like to grab Gi grips, then loop chokes should be part of your arsenal. These chokes are subtle and don’t take a lot of work to put on and once they’re on, they are super tight!
Be careful though, as we mentioned, these chokes get tight real quick – be wary of your partner, you might not even know it but they may already be asleep!