Chokes for Beginners

I’m frequently asked which techniques I prefer to teach to beginners, in what order, etc.

I believe in the principle of position over submission. Beginners should spend their time working on escapes and position dominance. There are too many newbies who specialize in a few unusual submissions early on but have no fundamentals to fall back on when it fails. They are adding decorations to a house that has no foundation.



For example, I purposely keep the beginners away from leg locks at Valhalla Academy until blue belt. This is partially due to issues of safety and control, but teaching leg locks too early retards the development of good guard passing skills. Those students will drop for a leg attack and find themselves in horrible position any time it fails.

So I chose the order based on what is likely to happen if the submission fails. I want new students to attack without having to give up their dominant position. That way they are still in control after a failed technique and can continue their submission offense or improve position as their opponent defends.

In the video below I demonstrate the paper cutter (or bread cutter) choke. What makes this choke ideal for beginners is that it can be applied from two of the most controlling top positions (cross side and north south) without giving up the position if the opponent doesn’t tap out.

Brian Jones, PhD