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BJJ for the street – the hoodie choke

Learn how to choke out an attacker, with his hoodie!
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Brazilian jiu-jitsu was originally developed as a form of self-defense, that utilizes points of leverage, placing an emphasis on technique rather than strength. It wasn’t until much later on in the development of BJJ did competitions evolve, ergo the evolution of sport BJJ. In sport jiu-jitsu the training emphasis is placed around particular areas that score points, e.g. takedowns, positioning, control, etc., rather than practical self-defense.

In the video below we see black belt instructor Steve Austin from Sion BJJ demonstrating a variation of a choke that is normally executed by grabbing the lapel of the gi. In his adaptation for the street, Austin shows how to properly utilize the same principles of this choke but using the hoodie of an opponent rather than the lapel of a traditional kimono.

The use of a gi serves many purposes with one of those being, in a self-defense application of BJJ, the simulation of clothes. The pants and jacket of a traditional gi provide many of the same “handles” or “grips” as pants and a long sleeve shirt do, thus providing adequate training for real-life situations.

We see in the video that Austin has taken the lesson a step further, by having his mock adversary don a hoodie and utilizes this extra material, absent from the traditional gi, to subdue, choke, and control an opponent. In a simple, yet effective and oftentimes overlooked, movement, Austin demonstrates how to gain leverage and choke your opponent simply by reaching under the neck and grabbing the hood of your adversary. He also demonstrates how to control your opponent using their own hood while obtaining a dominant position to control the situation and protect yourself from harm.

Jacob C. Stevens is a lifelong athlete and cerebral martial arts enthusiast who is also skilled in the art of linguistic manipulation, his published work, Afterthoughts and Handgrenades, can be found here…