Technique Spotlight: The Standing Arm-Triangle Choke Dale De Souza January 1, 2015 Spotlight Submissions have been a part of mixed martial arts since the inception of the sport. Traditionally, executing a submission en route to victory means taking your opponent to the ground and either cranking on an extremity or locking up a choke hold. Over time, the way in which some fighters have gone about this in various ways, with some locking up some rather insane holds. Famed 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu master Eddie Bravo is the man responsible for some of the sport’s more rare submissions, such as the Twister, the Sorcerer, and the extremely rare submission known as the Vaporizer, but believe it or not, some of the rarest submission victories come when a person performs a commonly-attempted submission while standing. Take the arm-triangle choke for instance. Normally, a fighter takes their opponent down and controls the opponent from the top to set up the choke and then the attacker wraps one arm around the back of their neck. Depending on where the attacker aims to finish, one of three things can happen next. Typically, the attacker swings their body over in the direction of the arm that the opponent has had trapped, and with one of the opponent’s arms trapped, they use their free arm to lock it up from side control, “walking the body” close to their opponent’s head to apply extra pressure. Additionally, an opponent can do it from either their opponent’s half-guard or from the mount. Both require the attacker to post their weight onto the opponent, though they would still need to move as much as possible to get the most out of the choke from their foe’s half guard.Though many men know the ways to prevent the attacker from getting the most out of the choke, some hold on for so long that they pass out due to the choke hold preventing the blood from reaching the brain. With the standing variation, a fighter can press an opponent and work their way to the arm-triangle, but the reason why chokes like this are more rare than their more traditional ground-based versions is because a person must maintain some degree of strength to lock it up well on the feet. When one thinks of this variation, the conversation just feels incomplete without a mention of former Sengoku featherweight champion Marlon Sandro, who has the distinction of having performed arguably one of the best examples of this choke. Sandro faced a man by the name of Matt “Bomb” Jaggers at Sengoku 7, and as one can expect from a Sandro fight, a great deal of the bout stayed on the ground. Jaggers had done a good job of throwing Sandro off with some good reversals, but at one crucial moment, when Jaggers scored another reversal to throw Sandro off and thwart an attempt at the arm-triangle from side control. Now, when men reset to their feet in the way Jaggers did, they sometimes leave their backs exposed, which invites their opponent to try and either hunt for a rear-naked choke or flatten then out and deliver some nasty ground and pound. Sandro, in contrast, actually went for the arm-triangle again, but this time, he was able to lock up the choke and constrict Jaggers to the point of unconsciousness immediately. Sandro actually threw his legs around Jaggers hips for control, thus pulling guard and attempting to finish the choke from there, but the referee saw that Jaggers had gone unconscious as he went down to a submission that still stands the test of time, and it seems appropriate that it came courtesy of “The Gladiator”.