Dan Faggella is a BJJ Academy Owner, No Gi Pan Am Champion at 130 pounds, and recognized expert in the area of leg locks. Dan writes or Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, MMA Sports Mag, and more – find more of his leg lock articles and resources at www.BJJLegLocks.com
By now I trust that you know the name and resume of Eddie Bravo. Founder of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu, Bravo has an extremely unique approach to the grappling world and has some pretty crazy submission holds to boot!
Today I’ll be breaking down a video of his where he discusses how you can salvage a failed arm triangle. I know what you’re thinking, “But Dan, this is a leg lock site…how in the WORLD do arm triangles fit in!?!” Don’t fret, baby bird, just watch.
Pulling the Ol’ Switcher-oo! Arm Triangle to Calf Crush
The setup of this is rather simple; you go for an arm-triangle and squeeze and squeeze but just can’t get the finish and your arms are fried. Rather than just giving up on the hold and hitting the reset button, start with the knee-on-belly approach.
What you want to do is allow your opponent to capture that foot that was once on the belly and they will likely trap you in quarter guard. Without giving up anything other than the foot, continue to sell that arm triangle and have them thinking you’re still looking for it. Meanwhile, figure four your legs.
This is the tricky part; let go of the arm triangle and roll over your outside shoulder. After the roll, you should be on your back with their legs up in the air, and if done correctly, one leg should be tied up and at your mercy.
Even with your arms being absolutely gassed from the choke, you should still have enough to finish it off. With the triangle on sealed on the knee, begin to push your feet out while pulling their leg back thus turning into a calf crank!
Be a Good Actor!
Like I said earlier, and Eddie says in the video, a big part to this move is making sure you sell the heck out of the arm triangle. Making sure that you stay away from telegraphing the move is very important for obvious reasons; if you show them what you’re going to do next, they’ll defend against it! Just like in boxing, the "feint" for BJJ is important – and if the choke isn’t a threat, the second setup isn’t going to work.
This is a really cool move. Why? Well you go from attempting a blood choke with the arm triangle, a move that people can deal with fairly well and fend it off for a bit. However, once you hit that transition, it’s a total shock to them! First you were going to cut off the blood flow and now you’re yanking at the legs!? The shock alone will be enough to force the submission victory.
Eddie Bravo has some pretty crazy and out-of-the-box moves. His approach is definitely different and is adding a totally new dimension to the grappling world. Moves like this, which doesn’t even have a proper name yet, speak as a testament to that.
-Dan "Micro" Faggella