Bangkok was very fortunate to host Braulio Estima for a seminar on October 29, 2016. Professor Estima is a multiple time Jiu Jitsu World Champion as well as an ADCC Champion.
The seminar organized jointly by Arete BJJ and Bangkok Fight Lab and held at Sports Authority of Thailand. There were more than 50 in attendance from many different academies in Thailand.
- Braulio Estima’s Tips for Finishing the Triangle Choke
- Triangle Sequence from Bottom Side Control
- Principles and Concepts
- Free Rolling
Braulio Estima’s Tips for Finishing the Triangle Choke
The technical component of the seminar focused on Estima’s signature technique, the triangle. He started by explaining the essential elements of the submission, namely restricting blood flow on one side with your leg and the other with your opponent’s shoulder.
He emphasized the importance of breaking down the opponent’s posture to finish the triangle. Without good head control, it becomes very difficult to get to the sweet spot where you can put sufficient pressure on the neck and shoulder for the tap. If you don’t have proper placement when you first lock the triangle, Estima suggested that you hold the head down, open your triangle, readjust, close and squeeze.
Estima also mentioned that finishing the triangle should not require maximal exertion especially if your placement is correct. When squeezing, you should try to think about inflating your leg muscles in a manner maximize pressure against your opponent’s neck and shoulder.
He also explained that contrary to popular belief, the ability to finish a triangle is not about leg length. In fact, it can be more difficult to finish the triangle with long legs as there is potentially more space between your legs.
He explained that it’s still possible to finish large opponent with triangles but you’ll need make certain adjustments to the technique. If they are too wide for you to place your ankle in the crook of your knee, place your foot under your other shin and squeeze your thighs together in a scissoring motion. He emphasized that you should not be locking triangles with the top of your foot under any circumstance. Your squeeze will be less powerful and you risk damage toy our toes.
If you need pull down your opponent’s head to finish the triangle, Estima mentioned you should pull it on a slight angle into your thigh. If you pull straight down, your opponent’s chin will make contact with your stomach. This makes it difficult for you to increase pressure against his neck.
Triangle Sequence from Bottom Side Control
Estima mentioned that he developed much of his game from training with guys much larger than him that could pass his guard and hold him in side control. This led him to strengthen his attacks from bottom side control, when opponents would least expect a submission attempt.
The sequence began with bridging and rolling away from your opponent to get him to post the hand closest to your hips on the mat. Estima would then secure an americana with his foot on the hand posted on the floor.
If his opponent defended the americana by straightening the arm, Estima would then lock on an inverted triangle.
If he had difficultly finishing the inverted triangle, he would secure a kimura on the opponent’s arm closest to his head.
If the opponent hides his arm, Estima would turn his hips towards his opponents head to break his posture down further until his face is on the ground and proceed to secure a inverted reverse triangle. Estima mentioned this is a rather advanced technique but one of the most painful triangle variations.
Principles and Concepts
Through the sequence, Braulio Estima also shared many insightful principles and concepts while explaining the techniques.
Submissions May be Working even if your Opponent doesn’t React
He relayed a funny anecdote of an “un-chokable” training partner. This partner would bluff him by keeping a stoic expression and looking him in the eye when he was choking him.
Braulio lost heart thinking he could not be choked and moved on to a different attack most of the time. However, one day until he accidentally choked him while passing guard. He’s regularly choked his partner since that time.
The moral of the story is a submission might be working even if the opponent doesn’t have a reaction.
Head of the Snake
A good understanding of bio mechanics allows him to achieve control and dominant positions with minimal effort.
Controlling your opponent’s head allows you to manipulate his body. He becomes significantly weakened once you disrupt his kinetic chain.
Similarly, controlling his hand allows you to manipulate his arm and controlling his foot allows you to manipulate his leg.
Shoulder Range of Motion – Bent vs Straight Arms
Estima demonstrated that the shoulder’s range of motion decreases significantly when you bend the arm. This is one reason why you need to bend the arm for kimuras and americanas.
Combination Attack and the Action Reaction Principle
It’s difficult to successfully executed a technique against a jiujitsu trained opponent if they recognize the set up. You may have more success attacking in combination.
If you understand common reactions to various techniques, you can use you initial move to set up your subsequent attacks.
Paired Positions and Submission
Certain positions and submissions are linked and available to you whether from the top or bottom. One example is the inverted triangle and kimura.
Despite the long class and jet lag, Braulio rolled with some of the local black and brown belts after the technique portion of the seminar. It was pleasure to see Estima in action in person. I highly recommend catching one of his seminars if he visits your area.