Focusing on Triangle?

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I noticed the following question in the BJJ Fanatics Facebook group:

“Hi guys, I read an interesting article that as a white belt, it’s a good idea to focus on triangle and guard. Which guard position(s) would you prioritize. (I’m still waiting for the gyms to open to start my White Belt journey). Cheers.”

I was going to write about a common mistake many people make, but since I wrote a lengthy reply (as usual) to this question, I’m going to share my answer with you today and talk about that common mistake in the next email on Friday.

Here’s my answer…

Hi XX,

I’ve been using spider guard and triangle choke as my go-to move for many years.

If you feel you like using triangle choke/your body type is perfect for triangle choke, then by all means, I encourage you to explore triangle choke.

Anyone can do triangle choke if they know how to do it properly, but it’s definitely easier if you have long & skinny legs.

And this body type goes well with spider guard too.

What’s important here is not so much about focusing on a specific set/pair of moves (guard + triangle), but that you want to have your A-game sequence. When I ask white & blue belt folks about what their best move is, many of them say they don’t know.

Not knowing is fine, especially at these levels, because there are lots to learn in BJJ, but I believe it will help them if they just focus on one specific sequence they can always go to.

If you know you want to go back to spider guard for example, it will be easier for you to work on escaping from some position and building up your spider guard structure.

And on that note, it’s important for you to know where your safe spot is, too. For example, I know I’m safe enough when I have one sleeve grip because not many people have passed my guard when I have that minimal control. It’s not an ideal position, but I know I can work on my spider guard from there.

OK, back to triangle…

If you actually feel comfortable doing triangle choke, that’s perfect.

But you might be better at doing armbar, omoplata, rear naked choke, d’arce… So, if that’s the case, I’d suggest focusing on whichever submission you’re good at for now.

And there are positions that are well connected to each of these submissions.

Once you’ve become good at one sequence, try to expand it by adding some other things that are connected to what you became good at.

Your coach/es should be able to give you some ideas about these connected moves & positions so you can work on a certain sequence.

By the way, if you insist on triangle choke, here’s my best setup I’d like to share with you (and whoever may be reading this)
(Note: This is the same video as the one you received when you signed up for BJJ Reflections.)

It works well because you’ll be creating a situation where you have more control than your opponent, and you can work on your triangle step by step. Your opponent knows what’s going to happen but cannot do much about it.

Good luck with your BJJ journey!

That’s all for today.

Next time, I will write about that common mistake I was going to talk about… 🙂