Cross Collar Choke

I need to know some decent defense/counter to your common cross collar choke from guard. I haven't rolled in quite a while and just started training once again, but I cant defend this very well. I have been trying to keep my chin down but it doesn't seem to help very much, cuz the cross collar on your face doesn't feel good either. Anyhow, any suggestions would be great...

Preventative defenses include keeping posture (head up, back straight) and not allowing him to get his first hand in deep.

If it's already on I like the thrust choke.  You can do it when you're being choked.  Check out Tsukkomi jime at

Just watch out for him switching to an armbar.

Just like in a triangle, the best defense is to not get in it.

Keep your posture. keep one hand grabbing both his lapels on the middle of his chest to keep his shoulders on the mat (and not reaching up to get the choke in deeper)

If it's already very deep there are a number of things you can do. You can swim one arm in between his two arms and put your palm on the side of your head. be careful for him grabbing your arm, switching his hips to the side and setting up for an armbar or sweep.

You can also put both of your forearms on either side of his two forearms and squeeze your arms together. this will stop him from having the leverage to turn his wrist and / or pull to finish you.

You can also try to "gut" it out by putting your chin down and breaking his guard, but this implies that he doesn't have it tight already. Plus, you're asking for a bruised face / cauliflower ear from this.

All in all, best defense is to never get in it. If the guy is catching you in a deep cross collar choke from the guard consistently, you've got problems that go beyond not having a good cross collar choke defense (i.e. - poor base, poor posture, incorrect hand placement, black belt choking you, etc.)

Also, not to contradict, but I don't recommend the push / thrust choke into his neck. It's fairly easy for the guy to break you down by pulling his knees into his chest and / or swiveling his hips into an armbar.

I think, personally, there are better ways to get out that don't leave you so extended. More importantly, I think there are better ways to get out rather than having a "race to the choke" where you both lock on chokes and hope he gives up before you do.

I am a little confused about the swim your arm through defense. You mean swim your arm through up by your own neck almost like to keep the choke from hitting the sides of the neck? Or do you mean swim the arm through by his elbow and then place the palm on the side of face/neck? I apologize for the stupidity....but hey Im new!

the swimming arm thing is difficult to desrcibe.. if you do it wrong it doesnt help you defend at all. say he has got the crioss choke, right hand on top of left hand. you would want to take your right hand stick it through his arms, circle it outside his right(top) hand and back to touch the right side of your face. this will prevent his arms from scissoring around your neck. hope this helps?

however, if he lets out some slack, he can still get the choke.. so definitely, the best defense is dont let them get a deep grip on your collar with either hand.

Usurper has the right idea except don't stop at your face. Comb your hair with the hand.

its all a matter of preference, i just feel like combing the back of my hair just leaves me too committed to that position, leaving my back more vulnerable than if i just touch my cheek.. but im definitely not disagreeing with you.

Ok, thanks, ill mess around with it next class, its just that choke is so damn annoying....thanks again

One thing you can do to reduce the chance of getting armbarred when you are using the thrust choke is to stand up and pinch his hips with your knees.  This prevents him from easily being able to swivel his hips and get an easy armbar.

The way I look at it is that you are already in a pretty bad position.  This is one way to get out, and there are no zero-risk counters once you're in the full choke.

Also if you're gonna do the thrust choke you can reach behind him with your other arm and grab and pull hard the back of his pants or his belt. This will control his hips and make it very hard for him to get his hips out.

All posture, all the time.

To finish it, he needs to pull your head to his chest. This is why the thrusting choke works, when you have it on, the more he pulls down, the more he is choking himself. But as long as you keep your head up and your arms posted on his body in front of you, you're pretty safe.

Posture, and choke back, for posture I recomend what sperry shows on the master series 2 both hands on the belt, you never get choked like that.

Great info guys, thanks alot!