How to do the Clock Choke BJJ?

How to do the Clock Choke BJJ?

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, one of the more difficult guards to attack is the turtle guard. Although its more of a last ditch effort to avoid getting attacked or passed, it can be a troublesome guard for the attacker. And that’s where the clock choke comes in!  

The Clock Choke is one of BJJ’s deadliest submissions. This blood choke directly attacks the carotid arteries. While your opponent thinks he’s safe as he’s balled up in the turtle guard, you can lock in the Clock Choke from here. When this choke gets locked in, you only have a moment to escape, tap, or go to sleep! Before, the turtle guard seemed impenetrable. But with the clock choke, you can easily attack your opponent  

Let’s break down how to perform the clock choke. We’ll show a few different variations to do the clock choke, list important technical details, and how to defend it. 

clock choke

Origins of The Clock Choke

The clock choke was originally created in Judo and the name for the technique in Judo is the Koshi Jime. The name in Judo directly translates to hip choke.   

In BJJ, this technique got its name, because the movement looks similar to hands on a clock. Walking your hips up to 12 o'clock until your opponent taps or goes to sleep. 

How To Do The Clock Choke

The basic clock choke starts from the turtle position. When you’re on the side of the opponent it is important to keep your chest on their back for control. Your knee should also be between their elbow and knee to keep them prone.  

Your inside hand is going to reach around your opponent and grab their far collar. Make sure to grab their collar under their arm and not over.  

With your other hand go under their neck and grab that same collar. Now we get into the set up of finishing the choke.  

Put your weight on the back of their neck and do a sitout/sit-through. We’ll get into the methods of controlling them in the variations.  

For the finish slowly walk towards their head like a clock with your hip on their neck. If done right, they should be quickly tapping from the pressure.  

Another basic method for finishing the clock choke BJJ is dropping your ribs on their head and pulling the collar. Watch Stephan Kesting go through these methods in the video below. 

Other Basic Finishing Methods

The video above touches on a few different variations to finish the basic clock choke, Aside from the sit-out, you can drop your ribs on their neck and move forward.  

Or if you’d like, you can grab their far wrist to block them from basing out to defend the choke.   

Also you could grab the opponent’s lapel(opposite the choke hand grip) like a collar choke from back control. Try whichever method works for you, they all work great. Watch Chewjitsu walk a white belt through 2 of these finishes in this video.

Razor Choke (Fast Variations of The Clock Choke)

Here is a fast variation of the clock choke BJJ that you only need one grip for and comes on fast. This starts when they know you’re going for a clock and stay tight not letting you get your initial grip.  

Slide a thumb in grip in their collar. Not too deep. Just enough to set in the choke.  

Since the opponent is blocking their other side not letting you get your initial grip, you have to improvise. For this variation, your free hand goes across their body on the mat and you sit through for the choke.  

A sneaky and fast clock choke variation that is super effective. Watch blackbelt Matt Baker demonstrate the razor choke in this video.

Modified Clock Choke

There’s a great clock choke method if you don’t like walking around the opponent or they keep blocking.  

First step is to fake a lapel grip to get the opponent to block and open up their collar. Your other hand does the same thing as a normal clock choke and passes the lapel to your choke hand.  

Now here is where the modification comes in. Instead of walking around the opponent, you’re going to place your free hand on the mat and slide down their back.  

Literally sliding into the choke. Here is Master Jean  Jaques Machado breaking down this technique.

Key Details To Remember

When doing the clock choke BJJ you have to have the details exactly right or the choke won’t work. Remember these key details to always land your clock choke. 

  • No space: You have to stay tight on your opponent to get it to work. If there is any space, your opponent can move to escape, so stay tight and give no space. 
  • Weight on their neck: For whatever variation you use, you must keep weight on the back of their neck. This keeps them in the right position to lock in the choke. 
  • Stay on the centerline: It is very important to picture there’s a line down the center of the opponent’s back and never cross it. If you cross that line the opponent can easily roll you over and get a sweep. Keep on the centerline and you’ll be more successful with the clock choke. 
  • Pull the collar: This isn’t the most important detail, but it’s important for some of the variations. You’re going to need to pull on the collar to do the clock choke. Not a big motion like you’re starting a lawnmower, but just a snug, tight pull will do the job. 

How To Defend The Clock Choke

  • Block their grips: If they can’t get Gi grips, they can’t do the clock choke. Stay tight and block their attempts to take grips. 
  • Front roll: Doing a front roll is a great way to get out of turtle position. Especially if the opponent is leaning too far over maybe with a wrist grip. You can hook their arm and take them over as you roll out of the bad position. 
  • Single leg takedown: If the opponent’s knee is out of place if you can hook it, you can attempt a single leg takedown. Even if you don’t get the takedown, you can start a scramble and get out of trouble. 

Final Thoughts

The clock choke may not seem like much but this choke is one of the most effective chokes in all of Gi BJJ if you can lock this one in. Knowing this choke along with its numerous variations will make you extra dangerous when you get an opponent in the turtle defenseYour opponent will think twice thinking he’s safe in the turtle guard! Be careful though, this choke is one of the most painful chokes in all BJJ. Plus this one tightens up quick! Before you know it, your opponent might already be asleep!