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Badass Chokeholds | Intersections Between Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (Ann Arbor)

Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu share an arsenal of effective, deadly chokehold techniques. These dominating submissions are popular in the military, MMA, and self-defense. The beauty of the chokehold is that it requires minimal amounts of force and provides leverage against bigger opponents.

The similarities between the Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu chokeholds are no coincidence. At the turn of the twentieth century, a group of second generation, Kodokan judoka toured Brazil. Their show was erroneously marketed as "Kano Jiu Jitsu", but was actually a dazzling display of Jigoro Kano's best Judo techniques against South American fighters. Mitsuyo Maeda, one of the best ground fighters from Kano's school, influenced Hélio Gracie. Hélio went on to found Gracie Jiu Jitsu, a groundwork and submission centric adaptation of Judo.

The following nine chokeholds are some of the most popular submissions from Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu repertoire. For a more in-depth visual and written analysis of each choke, click on the choke name.


Original Japanese Choke BJJ or Colloquial Name Brief Description
Hadaka-jime Rear-Naked Choke Hadaka-jime, or Rear Naked Choke, is a killer submission. In the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu repertoire, it is called "Mata Leão".

This technique is executed without the use of the opponent's clothing. This categorizes it as a "no gi" choke. The submission can be done when the opponent is standing, sitting, or lying down.
Sankaku-jime Triangle Choke Sankaku-jime translates to "triangle choke".

This classic no-gi choke is executed with the legs. Variations can be done in the front, rear, reversed, and side. It is classified as a blood choke on the carotids.
Mae-hadaka-jime Front Arm Triangle Mae-hadaka-jime loosely translates to "front naked choke". In Renzo and Royler Gracie's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Theory and Technique, it's called a Front Shoulder Choke. Colloquially, it is called a Front Arm Triangle. Other variations are the D'Arce Choke, Brabo Choke, Front Arm Triangle, and Anaconda Choke.
Sode-guruma-jime Ezekiel Choke Sode-guruma-jime translates to "sleeve wheel choke". In North America, it is popularly referred to as the Ezekiel Choke after Brazilian Judo Olympian, Ezequiel Paraguassú.
Kata-ha-jime Single Wing Choke Kata-ha-jime translates to "single wing choke", because the leverage of the opponent's arm resembles a wing. A variation of the choke is featured in the Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Theory and Technique as the "side-mounted stranglehold".
Okuri-eri-jime Sliding Collar Choke Okuri-eri-jime roughly translates to "lapel-sending wringing". It is most commonly known as the Sliding Collar Choke. The traditional version requires the attacker to gain back control to sink in this carotid strangle. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it is also referred to as the Sliding Collar Choke.
Gyaku-juji-jime Reverse Cross Choke Gyaku-juji-jime is the reverse of a normal cross lock. The difference between its parent, Name-juji-jime, and the reverse cross choke is the hand positioning. In the normal cross lock, the thumbs sink into the opponent's lapel and the palms face the opponent. In the picture below, the attacker demonstrates the reverse cross lock. The palms are turned outwards before the fingers grip the opponent's collar.
Kata-juji-jime Front Lapel Stranglehold Kata-juji-jime is a hybrid between the normal cross lock and the reverse cross lock. The difference between Kata-juji-jime and its parents is the positioning of the hands. One palm should face up and the other down.

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it is referred to as the Front Lapel Stranglehold. It is most commonly done when the attacker mounts the opponent. However, it is also a versatile choke, like the other juji-jime.
Jigoku-jime Hell Strangle Jigoku-jime is most commonly known as the "Hell Strangle" or "Crucifix". It owes its name to the form the attacker makes with the opponent's body to execute this choke.

It is a carotid, or blood choke. The gi lapel acts as leverage for the forearm, which presses against the artery. The attacker's legs control the opponent's arm with the same clamp as sankaku-jime. This choke requires and gives back control to the attacker.


For more information on the differences between Nihon Jujutsu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, check out our article.


Unless executed under proper instruction, please do not attempt these chokeholds on your own! For more information on Judo or Jiu Jitsu, Ann Arbor Japanese Martial Arts Center is happy to answer your questions!

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Ann Arbor - Martial Arts Mecca

For the prospective martial arts student, Ann Arbor is a mecca in the Midwest. More than any other location in Michigan, Ann Arbor has a wide variety of martial arts styles taught by many well respected sensei (teachers). You can find training opportunities at community centers, college and university gyms, health clubs, fitness centers and dojos (training halls). Among the styles available are: aikido, iaido, judo, jiu-jitsu (also called jujutsu), karate, kendo, kung fu, MMA (mixed martial arts, sometimes called BJJ) tae kwon do, tai chi, and many westernized martial arts systems. At JMAC, we offer world class instruction in judo, jiu-jitsu, iaido (Japanese swordsmanship), and karate for kids.


Aikido is a martial arts descended from jiu-jitsu. It includes joint locks, throws, takedowns, and pins. The philosophy of aikido is a peaceful one - to use the attacker’s energy to neutralize his or her attack without causing injury. Aikido is taught in several forms, such as Aikikai, Ki Society, and Yoshinkan. Aikido was founded by Ueshiba Morihei, who studied with Takeda Sokaku, the most famous practitioner of Daito Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu. Its principles can be found in almost every Japanese martial art, especially jiu-jitsu and judo. Read more about the physical and philosophical principles of Nihon Jujutsu.

Iaido in Ann Arbor

Iaido is Japanese sword drawing. It was created by the Samurai to defend against surprise attacks by an armed opponent. Most iaido involves the practice of pre-arranged forms, which are excellent tools for training the body, improving concentration, and entering into a meditative state. Finding a talented instructor in iaido with legitimate credentials is rare … in the Midwest it’s practically unheard of. For those with a desire to compete in swordsmanship for sport, kendo is the activity of choice. Those who are willing to endure an occasional whack on the head may pursue bokken kumite (sparring with wooden swords) with our director’s authorization once they reach black belt at JMAC. Read more about iaido at JMAC.

Ann Arbor Judo

Judo was founded by Professor Jigoro Kano. It is both a martial art and an Olympic sport. It includes throws, pins, joint locks, and chokes. It is among the most vigorous of martial arts and is very popular with children as well as adults. The Japanese Martial Arts Center offers classes in judo for children as young as 6 years old, and for adults (starting at age 16). One fact not widely known is that sport judo is a narrow cross section of the complete art of judo. Proponents of the entire art, such as Satoh Tadayuki Sensei of Waseda University in Tokyo, recognize that the founder’s vision encompassed not only “judo” throws, but joint locks, takedowns, redirection, strikes, vital points, dynamic ukemi, kata, and weapons. Judo training at JMAC includes many of these opportunities. Read more about Judo at JMAC.

Ann Arbor Jiu-Jitsu (Jujitsu / Jujutsu)

Jujutsu - which is also written "jujitsu" and "jiu jitsu" - is the ancestor martial art of aikido and judo. Although it includes many of the techniques found in aikido, as well as many more combative techniques that did not find their way into aikido, the philosophy of jujutsu is more practical. Techniques are applied more directly, with a greater emphasis on pain compliance. Those who study jiu-jitsu over the long term improve their fitness, concentration, and ability to defend themselves. The Japanese Martial Arts Center offers serious jiu-jitsu classes for adults starting at age 16. You can learn more about the differences between Japanese jujutsu and Brazilian jiujitsu.

Karate – Kids Karate in Ann Arbor

Karate involves mainly strikes, kicks, and blocks. It was originally developed in the Ryukyu Islands (now Okinawa), and was later exported to Japan before finding its way around the world. Karate is an excellent martial art for those who prefer striking, and helps develop physical strength, stamina, and confidence. There are many forms of karate taught around the world today, including Shotokan, Shorin-ryu, Chito-Ryu, Goju-Ryu, and Kyokushinkai. If you’re looking for a way to help your child learn enthusiasm, fitness, discipline, and manners while having a lot of fun, consider the kids karate program at JMAC. We have an incredible core of talented instructors who have made it their business to inspire kids to be their best. Read more about our karate program for kids.


Kendo is a sport descended from Japanese swordsmanship. In Kendo, participants wear padded armor and attempt to score points by striking vital points with bamboo swords called "shinai." Practice is fast paced, involves much spirited shouting, and is a lot of fun. The Japanese Martial Arts Center does not offer kendo, but can refer you to a reputable kendo instructor in the area.

Kung Fu

Kung Fu is a Chinese martial art that actually includes many sub-styles. Like karate, kung fu involves strikes, kicks, and blocks, but also includes many esoteric motions that can be applied to take down or otherwise defeat an opponent. Kung fu often appeals to imaginative people because of the many references to animal forms, but it is also a very challenging and practical martial art.

MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)

MMA (mixed martial arts) to a modern competition-based collection of techniques. Most MMA schools teach striking as well as grappling. Although not a traditional martial art - and thus lacking many of the character development and spiritual aspects of ancient Asian arts - MMA is nevertheless a fantastic form of exercise and a lot of fun. Because many MMA fighters have employed judo and jujutsu successfully, the Japanese Martial Arts Center offers private instruction to top-level competitors as well as occasional workshops for our members.

Tae Kwon Do

Tae Kwon Do is the Korean counterpart to Japanese karate. As a striking art, it includes punches, kicks, and blocks, but typically Tae Kwon Do emphasizes more kicking than does karate. Competition (usually for points rather than full contact) is very common among Tae Kwon Do practitioners. It is an excellent form of exercise, but seems more susceptible to commercialization than more traditional arts such as aikido and iaido.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is another form of Chinese martial art. It is usually taught with slow, controlled movements and deep stances. There are many health benefits associated with Tai Chi, including strong bones, cardiovascular health, and calmness.

Getting Started in Martial Arts in Ann Arbor

If you are considering taking up martial arts, you will find many superb opportunities in and around Ann Arbor, including outlying cities such as Brighton, Canton, Howell, Northville, and Plymouth. Students from the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Cleary College, and even Michigan State University have supplemented their education with martial arts and found that the physical activity helps them concentrate on their studies. We think the Japanese Martial Arts Center offers the best programs in Michigan, but we’re interested in people who are willing to work hard and do what it takes to become truly accomplished. We encourage you to look around to find the martial arts club or school that best meets your needs.