collar choke question

Tried this question on the expert Q&A forum, but no responses all day, so I'm trying it here....

When you're doing a collar choke with four fingers in with both hands(palms up), which way do you turn your wrists?

Does it matter which boney side of your wrist is closest to the neck, as long as it is the boney side, not the flat?

Do you leave your thumbs closest to eachother?

Or do you rotate your wrists, bringing your pinkie fingers closer together(ending up palms down)?

Are there instances when you do one or the other, or is there only one correct way to turn your wrists? i.e. from mount, from guard, with deep collar grip, loose grip.

It seems like it takes more effort to do it the first way(I feel it in the biceps...maybe I'm doing it wrong?). The second way feels much easier and takes a shorter time to work.


There is a sharp pointy bone on the outer edge of your forearm at your wrist. When you do a cross choke of any kind, you should poke the bone into his neck hard. This will tell you which way to turn your wrists, regardless of your palm up/palm down orientation.So, for both palms up, you should rotate your wrists, bringing your pinkie fingers close to each other.But, any wrist turning is secondary.The main thing you should be thinking about is pulling your elbows back and your hands to your chest. For example if you are doing it from guard, you want your elbows touching the floor. You should also pull your shoulders back and thrust your chest forward.Kind of like this... seriously.

"When you're doing a collar choke with four fingers in with both hands(palms up), which way do you turn your wrists?"

Mmmm I'm picturing facing the opponent, with four fingers in their collar, thumbs up (i.e. closest to the opponent's head).

If that is the case then aim to get the knife edge of the wrist on the same side as that of your thumbs cutting into their neck.

The choke is all about restricting the space around the opponents neck, not smashing their neck. If they're tapping, the crowd should be clapping.

Remember dont use your strength!!!!

when doing a cross choke from in your guard, tuck your elbows into your ribs and pull back from there. Even take a deeep breathe and expand your chest and remember to close the space. This can be used for different chokes and set ups..

This way its technique and leverage not strength of the grips or hands/forearms.

She has got some serious belt length going on there!

LOL @ Andrew Yao, but that is SERIOUSLY the form you want to have with your elbows. When your elbows come up and out, you lose strength in your grip and tightness in the choke.

Wrist movement is similar to doing a wrist curl when working out. Also, a point that helps that I don't believe was mentioned. When putting the second hand in the opponents collar sit up towards them and pull them close to you your chest as you lay back with the choke. this is where the baiting comes in to play as you attack from your guard and try to set them up for the choke.

Thanks for all the advice! I'll try to keep those points in mind.

I think it's already been said but no matter how the wrists are positioned, you have to have a deep bite on the collar. At least one hand should be so deep that you can feel the tag of his gi.
If you're in guard, you need to have your legs high and tight on his body, and when you pull the guy towards you. When squeezing the choke, you want to use the big lat muscles, so you would pull like you're doing a lat row machine at the gym.

And you do have to use some strength.

People used to think this was old school and won't work against higher ranks, but Margarita caught Fabio Gurgel with this choke a couple years ago. Rener and Ryron Gracie do this old school choke all the time.

If anybody cares, on Roy HArris's site he sells a Joe Moreira collar choke seminar that goes into this very same subject with super detail. I think it's only like 20 bucks too. It helped me.