I finally was able to practice the Renzo Gracie Gi Choke that I had posted a video of several weeks ago, because we went over it tonight. If you don’t remember, here’s a video of the technique:
Justin showed us the normal version, where you don’t really try to hide the lapel “handle”. He then taught us, what he called, the “prison shank” version that Renzo shows above, where you keep the lapel “handle” hidden. Side note, I noticed that when Justin did the technique, the lapel feeding hand should shoot up to your opponents ear, sliding along their torso, which keeps it more stealth. Other details Justin included was getting the lapel out from a reverse kesa gatame position, because it keeps your opponent blind so that they can’t see what you’re doing. In case you don’t know what reverse kesa gatame is, here’s a picture:
Justin likes to be sneaky from this position. He said he’ll often pull out their lapel to make them think he’s doing something with it and fake as if he’s going for mount so that they’re worrying about all kinds of things. If done properly, it’s actually easy for your opponent to miss you wrapping your gi around their neck, until they’re getting choked. If you have the same colored gi as your opponent, it actually makes it even better for you, because they don’t know if your choking them with their gi or yours. One other side note is that Justin, once he has the lapel locked into the neck, likes to pre-choke by pulling the gi tight even before he moves his head to the other side.
After, since we drilled the choke for a while, we were only able to roll for one round. I rolled with Guillaume, who showed some improved guard retention, which was great! I was finally able to pass his guard and get to knee-on-belly and then transitioned to mount where he tried to turn away from me. As soon as he did I got into s-mount and was able to work for an arm and pull out the armbar.
Anyway, the gi choke is rather sneaky and I seem to get a lot of choking power from it, which means I’m going to add it to my arsenal. It won’t be the number one thing I like to get from side control, but it will be readily available.