The Secret To A Stronger Choke For BJJ - Strong As Hec

The Secret To A Stronger Choke For BJJ

Probably the most over looked piece of the puzzle to building a stronger choke for BJJ is improving your posture, strength in that posture and positioning. And today I'm gonna show you...

how to build a stronger choke for BJJ without actually having to train more Jiu-Jitsu...

And no this isn't some lame "sport specific drill" to improve your Jiu-Jitsu, I've seen my share of lame ass "sport specific training" in my time.

With that said...

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ moving forward) we have a saying: "Position before submission.”

If we skip the process of improving our posture and positioning, the submission attempt that follows will crumble and...

... more than likely you will lose your current position (not good).

The same is also true in strength training, only in strength training the "submission" is the execution of the lift.

The more we focus on improving our position (i.e., our technique) the likely hood of us successfully executing the lift is greater.

You’ve heard me reference the “wedge” quite often in regards to the deadlift and even the military press.

Practicing the wedge allows you to properly align the joints and improve positioning before the pull or press.


... the wedge allows the lifter to gain better leverage over the kettlebell or barbell by getting your center of mass (your hips) as close to the weight as possible (BJJ guys, does this sound familiar?), the result...

A straighter and stronger execution of the lift.

If we look at BJJ, the same concepts are also true.

The better our positioning is, the more leverage we gain over our opponent / training partner by getting our hips as close to our partner as possible, resulting in a stronger sweep or submission attempt.

Today we will look at the second of the seven steps of the getup and how...

it can improve posture and positioning for BJJ

There is no secret that the Get-up (TGU) is a great exercise for improving strength, mobility, stability, and even endurance.

One important thing we should keep in mind is the importance of training patterns and not specific muscles.

“Functional training” in BJJ is all the rave today and in my opinion can be a little subjective.

At the end of the day...

An exercise is truly functional if it carries over, improves quality of movement and how we “function” on a daily basis (whether in sport or in life).

Now when I say “functional training” I do not mean “sport specific training” (SST) In my honest opinion...

... SST does not exist. 

However, specificity is of most importance.

I'll explain...

If you want to get better in a “specific” sport, then you must “specifically” train that sport.

In this case, lets use BJJ as an example.

If you want get better at passing guard or retaining guard… then you need to play more guard, and drill more guard retention / passing drills.

You DO NOT need to be doing shrimps with a kettlebell or guard passing drills on a cable machine.

That is not what a kettlebell was designed for. 

Many people confuse this as “functional training”.

When you do this, you risk altering that movement patter all together.

Separating sport skill and strength skill is very important. The more complex your sport is, like BJJ, the more simple your strength training for BJJ should be.

It’s kinda like this…

If I were training a golf athlete that wanted to drive the golf ball farther, that last thing I would want to do is load his swing with a weighted club...


Well, evening though it seems “functional”. 

I would only be completely changing his swing.

My only goal is to get him stronger in a few movement patterns that will ultimately have some carry over to his sport.

Make sense?

Now that I’ve gone off on a tangent, lets get back to building a stronger for BJJ shall we?

So if positioning and posture is of the outmost importance for BJJ, then the goal would be to get stronger in our posture, which would lead us to improving our positioning.

Enter: The Roll To Elbow

Stronger Choke For BJJ

If you’re familiar with the getup, I’m sure you’ve noticed the similarities of the getup and BJJ or grappling in general.

Lets take the closed guard as an example.

Whats the goal of the person playing the closed guard?

To control the other persons posture, right? 

Right and ,eventually sweep or submit him/her.

Whats the most fundamental grip to control your opponents posture from the guard?

The cross collar grip, and not just any cross collar grip, you need a “deep” collar grip.

So how do you get there?

Yep you guessed it...

Stronger Choke For BJJ

You need to roll up from your back up to your elbow. 

This is the exact same pattern as the roll to elbow step of the get up. Remember...

... the stronger you are in this posture, the better and stronger your position will be to either sweep or finish your opponent.

I cover all the details in my newest eBook called the BJJ Strength Secrets. It’s a 4 week kettlebell strength training program for BJJ athletes.

Here’s how you could program the getup:

  1. First, you'll need to set the groove using only your bodyweight (we call it the “naked getup”). You can add a shoe or water bottle to your fist to increase the complexity as you become more competent.
  2. Second you need to "get your reps in". Start with 3-5 reps per side for 3-5 total sets. Practice this 2 or 3 days per week. This can serve as a warmup of even a cool down after BJJ.
  3. Third, as you move better and get stronger, you can begin to load the getup, but only once you’ve mastered the naked getup.

    Remember, movement is a behavior. If we move poorly in a specific pattern (like the getup) and begin to load it, we are only re-enforcing that faulty movement pattern.

But, once you’ve mastered the roll to elbow, you have solidified that pattern and can now lock that pattern in by adding an external load e.g., the kettlebell.

There you have it...

That's how to build a stronger choke for BJJ, by getting stronger in your posture resulting in more leverage over your training partner / opponents because of your improved positioning.

Let me know how it goes.


P.S. For the 4 people that read to the end--here's...

a sneak peek lesson on posture and positioning from the bJJ strength secrets...

P.P.S If you liked this post and having been trying to build a stronger choke for BJJ and improve your conditioning then...

I recommend picking up a copy of the BJJ Strength Secrets for only $9.

The BJJ Strength Secrets

A 4 week strength phase to get stronger, better conditioning and improve your mobility for BJJ and AVOID missing time off the mat