Unleashing the Power of the Anaconda Choke – A Deadly BJJ Submission Move

March 13, 2023
From: Spartacus
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The Anaconda Choke; the technique is named after the Anaconda snake, which constricts its prey in a similar fashion, has proven to be an effective submission technique in MMA, as it allows the fighter to quickly take control of their opponent and force them to submit. It is a popular technique among top-level grapplers and has been used to great effect by MMA fighters such as Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre, and Demian Maia.

One reason for its effectiveness is that it can be executed from a variety of positions, including standing, on the ground, and against the cage. Additionally, once the technique is locked in, it can be difficult for the opponent to escape, as it puts pressure on the neck and restricts breathing.

The Anaconda Choke has become increasingly popular in MMA in recent years, as fighters have recognized its effectiveness and added it to their arsenal of submission techniques. It is often used as a surprise submission, catching opponents off guard and allowing the fighter to secure a victory.

The Mechanics of the Anaconda Choke

The Anaconda Choke is a grappling technique commonly used in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA. It is a variation of the D’Arce choke, and it involves wrapping one arm around the opponent’s neck and the other around their armpit, then using the weight of the attacker’s body to squeeze the opponent’s neck and choke them.

To execute the Anaconda Choke, the attacker must first gain control of the opponent’s body. This can be achieved by initiating a takedown or by pulling the opponent towards them. Once the attacker has control of their opponent, they need to secure the grip.

The attacker’s first arm is placed around the opponent’s neck, with the bicep pressing against one side of the neck and the forearm against the other. The attacker’s second arm is then placed under the opponent’s near arm, with the palm facing up, and the hand gripping the attacker’s own bicep on the opposite side of the opponent’s neck.

With the grip secure, the attacker will then drop their weight onto the opponent, bringing them to the ground. The attacker’s chest will be placed against the opponent’s back, with their head on the opposite side of the grip.

To complete the choke, the attacker will use their legs and hips to apply pressure to the opponent’s neck. By driving their hips forward and squeezing their legs together, the attacker can cut off the opponent’s blood flow and air supply, causing them to tap out or lose consciousness.

It is worth noting that the Anaconda Choke is a high-risk technique, as it leaves the attacker vulnerable to counter-attacks if it is not executed correctly. It also requires a significant amount of strength and control to apply the necessary pressure without injuring the opponent.

Despite these risks, the Anaconda Choke remains a popular technique in MMA and grappling competitions, as it can be used effectively against opponents of all sizes and experience levels.

The Anaconda Choke is a blood choke, which means it cuts off blood flow to the opponent’s brain, rather than airflow to the lungs. When applied correctly, the choke compresses the carotid arteries on either side of the neck, which are the main blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. By compressing these arteries, the choke causes a decrease in blood flow to the brain, leading to a rapid decrease in consciousness.

The compression of the carotid arteries also causes a decrease in blood pressure, which can further contribute to the opponent’s loss of consciousness. The reduction in blood flow and blood pressure can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, blurred vision, and disorientation before the opponent ultimately loses consciousness.

It is important to note that the Anaconda Choke can be extremely dangerous if not applied correctly. The choke should only be applied in a controlled environment under the supervision of a trained instructor or coach.

Differences between the Anaconda Choke and other similar submission techniques

While the Anaconda Choke shares similarities with other submission techniques such as the D’Arce Choke and the Peruvian Necktie, there are some key differences:

  • Grip: The Anaconda Choke involves gripping the opponent’s neck with the arm that is closest to their head, while the D’Arce Choke involves gripping the neck with the opposite arm. The Peruvian Necktie also involves a different grip where the arm is wrapped over the opponent’s shoulder.
  • Body positioning: The Anaconda Choke requires the attacker to wrap their legs around the opponent’s body, while the D’Arce Choke and the Peruvian Necktie do not require this.
  • Pressure points: The Anaconda Choke applies pressure to the opponent’s carotid arteries, cutting off blood flow to the brain. The D’Arce Choke applies pressure to the opponent’s trachea, making it difficult for them to breathe. The Peruvian Necktie also applies pressure to the opponent’s carotid arteries but requires the attacker to use their shin to do so.
  • Risk: While all three submissions can be effective, the Anaconda Choke is considered by some to be a safer option because it does not put as much pressure on the opponent’s trachea. However, if not executed properly, any of these submissions can cause serious injury.

Overall, the differences between these submissions may seem small, but they can make a big difference in terms of effectiveness and risk. It is important for fighters to be familiar with all of these techniques and to choose the one that is most appropriate for the situation.

Anaconda Choke Variations

There are several variations of the Anaconda Choke that fighters use to catch their opponents off guard. Here are some of the most common variations:

  • Arm-in Anaconda Choke: In this variation, the attacker uses one arm to wrap around the opponent’s neck while the other arm is threaded under the opponent’s armpit and through to grab their own wrist. This variation allows for better control of the opponent’s upper body and adds pressure to the choke.
  • D’Arce Choke: The D’Arce Choke is a similar submission technique to the Anaconda Choke, but the attacker uses their arm to thread under the opponent’s armpit and around their neck, rather than wrapping around the neck. This variation can be easier to execute if the opponent is defending against the Anaconda Choke.
  • Brabo Choke: The Brabo Choke is another variation that is similar to the Anaconda Choke. In this technique, the attacker wraps one arm around the opponent’s neck and the other arm under the opponent’s armpit. However, instead of grabbing their own wrist, the attacker reaches over the opponent’s back and grabs their own bicep. This variation can be effective in situations where the opponent is able to defend against the Anaconda Choke.
  • Modified Anaconda Choke: The Modified Anaconda Choke is a variation in which the attacker wraps their arm around the opponent’s neck, but instead of threading their other arm under the opponent’s armpit, they use that arm to grab their own leg. This variation can be useful when the opponent is defending against the Anaconda Choke by hugging their own arm.
  • Gator Roll: The Gator Roll is a finishing technique that can be used with any of the Anaconda Choke variations. Once the attacker has secured the choke, they roll their body to the side and onto their back, dragging the opponent with them. This adds momentum and force to the choke, making it harder for the opponent to escape.

Step-by-step Guide to Executing the Anaconda Choke

Here is a step-by-step guide to executing the Anaconda Choke:

  • Get into position: Begin in the top position, preferably in side control or north-south position.
  • Secure the grip: Use your right hand to grab your opponent’s left triceps and pull it towards your chest. Then, take your left arm and reach underneath your opponent’s left armpit, grabbing your own bicep. This creates the “anaconda” grip.
  • Adjust your body position: From this position, slide your hips towards your opponent’s head while keeping your anaconda grip tight. This will create pressure on your opponent’s neck and upper body.
  • Use your legs: Bring your left leg up and over your opponent’s back, positioning your shin against their spine. You can also hook your left foot behind your opponent’s right knee. This helps prevent them from rolling out of the choke and gives you more control over their body.
  • Squeeze and finish: With your grip and body position secured, squeeze your arms together while arching your back. This will compress your opponent’s neck and cut off their blood flow, causing them to tap out.

Remember, the Anaconda Choke requires a great deal of control and pressure, so it is important to practice the technique with a partner before attempting it in live sparring or competition.

Common Mistakes to Avoid 

When attempting the Anaconda Choke, there are several common mistakes that fighters may make. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid:

  • Focusing too much on the grip: While having a strong grip is important for the Anaconda Choke, it’s not the only factor that determines its success. Fighters may become fixated on getting the perfect grip and lose sight of the necessary body positioning.
  • Relying solely on upper body strength: The Anaconda Choke requires more than just strong arms. Proper body positioning and weight distribution are crucial to effectively apply the submission.
  • Not securing the opponent’s arm: If the opponent is able to free their arm, they may be able to defend against the choke or even escape the position altogether. It’s important to ensure that the opponent’s arm is properly controlled throughout the submission.
  • Not adjusting to the opponent’s movements: The opponent may attempt to wiggle or roll out of the choke, which can cause the fighter applying the submission to lose their position. It’s important to be able to adjust and maintain control throughout the submission attempt.
  • Rushing the technique: The Anaconda Choke requires patience and precision. Rushing through the steps can lead to mistakes and a missed opportunity for the submission.

By being aware of these common mistakes and actively working to avoid them, fighters can increase their chances of successfully executing the Anaconda Choke.

When to Use the Anaconda Choke in MMA?

The Anaconda Choke can be effective in various situations, depending on the fighter’s style and the opponent’s tendencies. Here are a few scenarios where the Anaconda Choke could be particularly effective:

  • Against a wrestler: Wrestlers often have a strong base and are difficult to take down. The Anaconda Choke can be an effective technique to use against a wrestler because it can be executed from a front headlock position, which is a common position in wrestling. If the wrestler shoots for a takedown and ends up in a front headlock, the fighter can transition to the Anaconda Choke and use the wrestler’s momentum against them.
  • Against a submission artist: The Anaconda Choke can be an effective counter to other submission techniques. For example, if an opponent attempts a guillotine choke or a front choke, the fighter can use the opportunity to transition to the Anaconda Choke. By doing so, the fighter can catch the opponent off guard and potentially secure the submission.
  • In the clinch: The Anaconda Choke can be executed from a clinch position, making it an effective technique for fighters who prefer to fight in close range. If the opponent is pressing forward and closing the distance, the fighter can use the opportunity to secure the Anaconda Choke and end the fight quickly.
  • Against a fatigued opponent: The Anaconda Choke can be particularly effective against a fatigued opponent who is struggling to defend themselves. As the opponent’s energy levels start to wane, the fighter can look for opportunities to transition to the Anaconda Choke and secure the submission.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of the Anaconda Choke will depend on the fighter’s ability to execute the technique properly and read the opponent’s movements. The technique may not be effective in every scenario, and fighters should be prepared to adapt and adjust their strategy as needed.

How to Recognize When an Opponent is Vulnerable to the Anaconda Choke?

Recognizing when an opponent is vulnerable to the Anaconda Choke requires a combination of technical knowledge and awareness of the opponent’s movements and positions. Here are some signs to look for:

  • When your opponent’s head is lower than your armpit: This can happen when your opponent is in a seated position, or when you have sprawled out on top of them. This position makes it easier to wrap your arm around your neck and apply the Anaconda Choke.
  • When your opponent is turtled up: When your opponent is turtled up, they are exposing their neck and back, making them vulnerable to the Anaconda Choke.
  • When your opponent is fatigued: If your opponent is tired and their movements are slower, they may be more vulnerable to the Anaconda Choke.
  • When your opponent is defending other submissions: Your opponent may be focused on defending other submissions, such as the guillotine choke or the rear naked choke, which could leave them vulnerable to the Anaconda Choke.
  • When your opponent has a wide open guard: If your opponent has a wide open guard and is not controlling your posture, you may be able to transition to the Anaconda Choke from a front headlock position.

It’s important to note that recognizing when an opponent is vulnerable to the Anaconda Choke is only the first step. Proper execution of the technique requires proper technique, body positioning, and timing.

Top Fighters Who used Anaconda Choke in the MMA 

The Anaconda Choke has been used by numerous fighters in notable MMA fights, including:

  • Milton Vieira: Brazilian fighter Milton Vieira is credited with inventing the Anaconda Choke. He used the technique to win his debut fight in the UFC against Felipe Arantes in 2012.
  • Frank Mir: Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir used the Anaconda Choke to submit Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in a rematch at UFC 140 in 2011.
  • Tony Ferguson: Former UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson is known for his mastery of the Anaconda Choke. He has used the technique to submit several opponents, including Lando Vannata and Kevin Lee.
  • Fabricio Werdum: Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum used the Anaconda Choke to submit Mike Russow at UFC 147 in 2012.
  • Ben Saunders: MMA veteran Ben Saunders is known for his unorthodox submissions, including the Anaconda Choke. He used the technique to submit Chris Heatherly at UFC Fight Night 49 in 2014.
  • Charles Oliveira: Brazilian fighter Charles Oliveira has used the Anaconda Choke to submit several opponents in the UFC, including Hatsu Hioki and Eric Wisely.

Overall, the Anaconda Choke has been used successfully by many fighters in MMA, and its effectiveness in securing a victory makes it a valuable technique to add to any fighter’s arsenal.

In conclusion, the Anaconda Choke is a highly effective submission technique that has become increasingly popular in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA. It is named after the Anaconda snake, which constricts its prey in a similar fashion. The technique involves wrapping one arm around the opponent’s neck and the other arm under their armpit, then squeezing to cut off blood flow to the opponent’s brain. One reason for its effectiveness is that it can be executed from a variety of positions and can catch opponents off guard. However, it is a high-risk technique that requires a significant amount of strength and control to apply the necessary pressure without injuring the opponent. While it shares similarities with other submission techniques, such as the D’Arce Choke and the Peruvian Necktie, there are key differences in grip, body positioning, pressure points, and risk. It is important for fighters to be familiar with all of these techniques and to choose the one that is most appropriate for the situation. Overall, the Anaconda Choke remains a popular and respected submission technique in the world of MMA and grappling.

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