“Triangle Choke Mistakes – Overlooking The Heel Indicator” – August 3, 2010

Triangle Choke Mistakes – Overlooking The Heel Indicator

I’ve got a little trick here that lets you know – for certain – if your triangle choke is going to be tight enough to finish before you sink it in.

It’s called the heel indicator.

Why an indicator? Because an indicator is something that “predicts” a future outcome. For example: Have you ever written down driving directions to get to a friend’s house? They usually look like this:

  1. Drive down Main Street
  2. Turn left on Daisy Avenue
  3. Turn right on Boxcar Boulevard
  4. Fourth house on right. Has a blue car in the driveway

And what do you do while driving? You look for the street signs to turn. Well, those street signs are indicators that you are going in the right direction. Once you see one you know it is time to turn and you feel confident you are headed in the right direction.

Just like that street sign, every single bjj submission is filled with little indicators. And if you know what indicators to look for…it’s almost impossible NOT to finish the submission.

So what is the heel indicator? And how can it help you finish more triangle chokes with less effort? Watch the video below and see if you can find it…


Did you watch the video? What it showed was me throwing up just the first part of the triangle choke. But what you may not have seen is how far I shot my hips up. The result being that the leg that clamped down over his shoulder was so deep that my heel actually touched his lower back.

That’s the heel indicator. If I feel my heel hit his back I KNOW I’ve shot my hips up high enough to make it almost impossible to escape my triangle.

The flip side is, if I can’t touch my heel to his back, it usually means I was lazy and didn’t shoot my hips up high enough…which means the triangle won’t be tight…and he’ll have plenty of room to escape.

Here’s how to do it…

  1. On the triangle choke setup, shoot your hips up as high as possible.
  2. After your leg goes over his shoulder, clamp your leg down hard so your heel touches his back.
  3. For added support, lock your other leg OVER the leg that is clamping his shoulder.

Remember, the heel indicator works just like a street sign. It tells you if you are going the right way or not. When I see bjj guys who can’t touch their heels to their opponents back, I know they’ve messed up somewhere earlier in the setup.

Look for the heel indicator, and your triangle choke finishing rate will skyrocket.

One Response to ““Triangle Choke Mistakes – Overlooking The Heel Indicator” – August 3, 2010”

  1. Megan says:

    Really like this…been focusing on triangles lately and setting them up is a huge weak spot for me. Will definitely be using this next week.

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