Basic BJJ Combinations: Triangle Choke, Omoplata And Armbar

Learning and successfully applying the fundamental techniques in BJJ requires time and lots of repetition, especially when under pressure. A beginner in his first class is usually taught about the idea of the closed guard. It includes opening and passing the closed guard and then going to the side control, along with some escapes.

After some time, a beginner is taught basic submissions such as the triangle and armbar from the closed guard. As the beginner advances, he gets introduced to different positions, such as the full mount, back mount, turtle, and other guards, like the open and half-guard.

The deeper a practitioner gets into Jiu-Jitsu, the better he successfully applies the concepts and submissions. Even more so, the idea of submission combinations. In this article, we will talk about an essential BJJ combination: the triangle choke, omoplata, and armbar.


The Triangle Choke, Omoplata, And Armbar


The triangle choke is one of the first submissions a student will learn in BJJ. It is a submission where you trap the opponent’s neck and one hand using your legs, disrupting the blood flow. Although a fundamental submission, it is considered to be one of the strongest chokes in BJJ.

The triangle is commonly taught from the closed guard. The great thing about this submission is that it has a different variation that can be done from most other positions, be it from the closed guard, full mount, or back mount. Triangle choke, when applied correctly, can submit even bigger and stronger opponents, especially when combined with an armbar.    

The omoplata is one of the most straightforward submissions in BJJ. It is a submission where you attack the opponent’s scapula by extending it using the leg and hips. Mainly used as a submission, the omoplata can also be used to control and sweep an opponent or as a transition to other submissions.

However, some BJJ coaches prefer not to teach the omoplata to beginners, as it can be devastating to the shoulder joint when done efficiently, which only proves its effectiveness. The thing about this submission is that it may be hard to submit a flexible opponent with this submission, which is why some athletes prefer to use the omoplata to transition to the armbar.

The armbar is a basic submission that focuses on hyper-extending the elbow joint. It may be a basic submission, but it definitely takes time to perfect. It is necessary to drill countless times, get comfortable with the pivoting of the hips and get familiar with the pushing and pulling motions to successfully finish this submission.

The armbar is one of the prime examples of proper utilization of the lower body, as it uses the legs against the opponent’s upper body to create a mismatch and submit them.


Combining The Triangle Choke, Omoplata, And Armbar

The triangle choke, omoplata, and armbar are known as the three brothers technique in Jiu-Jitsu. Whenever there is an armbar, there is an omoplata. Every omoplata is an opportunity for a triangle and armbar, every armbar is a triangle, and every triangle is an omoplata.

These three submissions work hand in hand and always open an opportunity for one another. A great indicator that a student is getting a better understanding of Jiu-Jitsu is when he recognizes how to apply chain submissions. Above is a great BJJ flow drill for the armbar, triangle, and omoplata from closed guard that you can practice.

This submission flow drill starts from the closed guard. Initially, the person at the bottom performing the guard will attack with a basic armbar by destroying the partner’s posture inside the guard. To do this, pull your partner towards you and break the posture by applying a two-on-one grip on the wrist while pulling at the same time.

After pulling, change the two on one grip to the triceps, and grab the partner’s shoulder. Break the full guard with one foot stepping on the hip as the other leg angles with the body below the partner’s armpit, clamping all the way to the back. Begin by pushing the head and go for the armbar by removing the foot on the hip and aligning the calf behind the neck and the hamstring on the side to finish.

The second part of the drill begins when the partner pulls the arm out from the armbar, leaving his other hand free for omoplata or a triangle. Depending on the position of the other hand, if it’s straightened, apply omoplata. If bent, apply triangle. Say that the partner’s hand was straight, and you went for the omoplata. Secure the submission by grabbing the hips to prevent forward rolling.

Assuming that the partner postures up to defend the omoplata, proceed to the triangle while controlling the arm. The key to a powerful triangle choke is by pivoting your body to the side to make the choke tighter. It is important to grab the partner’s leg when doing the triangle to prevent him from standing up and slamming you down.

Likewise, when performing a triangle, you can always switch to an armbar. To summarize, start the drill with an armbar, and the partner pulls out the hand. If the other hand is straight posturing to your chest, go for an omoplata. If bent with elbows near your stomach, go for a triangle. Once in a triangle, you can go for an armbar or omoplata, and so on.


Final Thoughts

It is crucial to study and analyze basic flow movements around your favorite BJJ positions, whether from closed guard, back mount, butterfly guard, or single leg x-guard. Performing combinations of submissions will give you a fallback plan if your first few submissions attempt fails. By constantly drilling from positions such as the closed guard, you will better anticipate how an opponent will react, making you step ahead. In a match where both athletes have the same strength, size, and skill level, the athlete who continuously attacks and knows how to escape bad positions typically wins.


You may also like:

BJJ | An Introduction To Leg Locks