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Disrespectful Triangle Choke From 50/50 Guard

There is something special about making moves that shouldn’t work – work. This is not something you can do often in BJJ, and especially not reliably against higher level grapplers. However, these types of moves are often the most fun ones to do. Plus, you never know when one of them might just become a staple of your game. If you are a fan of the 50/50 guard, perhaps you should give Ryan Hall’s disrespectful triangle choke a go.

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“Disrespectful” moves – Are they really worth it?

In all honesty, I don’t really like the classifying moves as “disrespectful.” We are doing submission grappling and anything that is technical is permissible. Moreover, the term “disrespectful” can mean several different things. Many people thought of leg locks as disrespectful before they turned out to be a highly useful weapon.

The same is true for moves that people think are cheap. Foot chokes, breaking up armbar defense with biceps slicers, or even hunting a triangle choke from the 50/50 guard are some examples. I wholeheartedly disagree! As long as it is not eye-gouging, fish hooking, or stuff like that, every submission is a legitimate one… If you can pull it off, that is!

In this video, Ryan Hall refers to the move as disrespectful because people think it is a move that won’t work. As a result of that skepticism tapping to it really hurts their feelings! 

In that sense, nothing can be further from actually being disrespectful. People think this particular choke won’t work because it is a leg-in triangle. However, their failure to respect this technique’s efficacy is exactly why it will work!

The bottom line is that going for “disrespectful” moves is worth it… if you can make them work. Not every unusual move will work for everyone, but once you have your “dirty” move or sequence figured out, people will suddenly start respecting it.

The finer points of the disrespectful triangle choke

While I’m not a big fan of the 50/50 guard, I think this move has got the potential to do some real damage. And it is not just the surprise factor. A triangle choke that includes the leg is a very hard one to pull off, and usually only works very rarely. Enter Ryan Hall.

The disrespectful triangle choke from the 50/50 is a very technical move. Its success rate is down to one thing – executing the key details to perfection. In the video, Ryan starts off by talking about leg positioning. From the “basic” 50/50 position, the goal is to slide the knee of the free leg forward to your foot, and as near to the opponent’s hip as possible. This results with a dexterous and mobile lead leg (the one engaged in the 50/50).

While opening up lots of space for the lead leg to move, sliding the knee also provides a great base. This is crucial for shooting your leg to a mounted triangle-like position, at least initially. Going for a mounted triangle will get you deep enough to finish the submission. If you try and wrap it up from the bottom, it will be very hard to break the opponent’s posture.

Once the leg is deep behind the opponent’s head, use your arm to hold their head, just like a regular triangle and roll to the side of the lead leg. You will end up on the bottom, but at the same time, you’ll have your opponent tightly wrapped up in a disrespectful triangle choke.

Triangle choke and variation disrespectful triangle choke from 50/50 guard | Jiu Jitsu Legacy

Why It Works

The reason this move works is that it involves a Jedi mind trick. First of all, most of your opponents won’t regard a 50/50 leg-in triangle choke as a serious threat. Perfect. Secondly, going from a 50/50 position to a mounted triangle only to roll back into the guard is the ultimate feat of trickery.

Switching top and bottom positions in such a short interval will leave most people confused. And this is exactly why you can actually snap the triangle up. Well, this, and the fact that you can get the lead leg deep enough from the top, given that posture is not as much of a problem as it would be if your opponent was the one on top.

Finally, the reason this position is so cool is because of all the follow-up moves. Or maybe we should call them “bonus negative respect points.” In any case, Ryan demonstrates how easy a kimura is from the position, before also offering a very painful looking heel hook. And they both work with just one arm, simply by pulling an arm or leg in the right direction.

Now What?

When you have someone this tangled up, all bets are off. That is what Ryan says at the end of the video and there’s actually no better way of putting it. Even if you end up with a triangle choke without having any of the opponent’s arms trapped, you still have cool heel hooking options available. The possibilities with this are endless, and if you’re up for losing some friends, make sure you give it a try!

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