MMA Gospel’s Technique of the Week returns with its final three-technique arc prior to its one-year anniversary. Hapkido expert Ed Perdomo chose to end the year with a trio of moves that range from the most basic of escapes to a spinning Inverted Triangle Choke and worked with Mike Richardson to bring it all to the MMA Gospel family. This Triangle Choke Escape to Side Mount is among the easiest escapes in MMA, but it is also one of the most commonly botched escapes, especially late in the fight when fighters are tired.
Mike has set a Triangle Choke and is working to submit Ed from the guard. Ed needs to escape quickly, as time is always the enemy with chokes. He starts by easing the pressure Mike has on his neck by lifting his chin as if to look at Mike and using his free hand to push his trapped arm back to his side with a palm-to-palm grip (LEFT). This is important because a large part of the pressure in the choke comes from Ed’s own arm being pulled across his body, and by pushing his elbow back out to the side, he releases the pressure on his arteries.
Once Ed has his arm out from across his body, he begins to work at breaking down Mike’s choke. First, he uses his free hand to trap Mike’s wrist, preventing him from pulling on his head. Next, he forces his trapped elbow between his side and Mike’s thigh before sitting up in his base and shoving his elbow into Mike’s thigh to break the Triangle (RIGHT).
As soon as Mike’s legs separate, Ed postures up and pushes his chest forward into the back of Mike’s leg (LEFT). He keeps Mike’s wrist controlled throughout and uses his now freed hand to push down on Mike’s leg to make him roll to his side, away from Ed and more importantly, away from his guard.
Once Mike begins to roll, Ed will turn into Mike’s leg, pushing it over with his chest before sliding his hips around and establishing Side Mount (RIGHT). From here, Ed can do numerous things to control and attack Mike.
- Lift your chin, sit back in your base, and use a palm-to-palm grip to push your trapped arm back across your body.
- Trap your opponent’s arm and use your trapped elbow to grind hard into the inside of your opponent’s thigh to break the Triangle.
- Push your chest out and posture up to clear your opponent’s legs.
- Push down on your opponent’s outside leg and turn your body into them to roll them onto their side.
- Slide your hips out and establish your base in side mount.
This escape is one of the most important in all of MMA as it not only defends against one of the most common submissions, but also moves the fighter into a superior position from which they can end the fight. The escape is also a simple one – in fact, it is one of the first escapes taught in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or any other grappling style. From this escape, the possibilities are endless as the opponent is not only trapped in side mount but is partially on their side and out of position to defend your attacks.
*Ed Perdomo is a 4th degree black belt in the Korean grappling art of Hapkido and is head instructor of the Hapkido Institute in Morris, IL.