Clock Choke vs Back Take

When I was a young lad of 26 (two years ago), all I knew of jiu jitsu was the clock choke. It’s one of the most effective attacks on the ground in judo because in the transition from standing to ground there’s an opportunity to get the proper lapel grip and hit the clock choke right away as the opponent begins to turtle.

A year and a half ago I started learning jiu jitsu. The more I learned, the more my view of attacking the turtle changed. The sports jiu jitsu game is very different in this aspect (as well as many others) to the sports judo game. In bjj:

  1. You have more time (the ref won’t stand you up)
  2. You get points for taking the back (putting both hooks in)
  3. The opponent is less defensive, more dynamic, so there’s room to capitalize on gripping / submission openings

With that in mind, I’ve noticed myself thinking less and less about the clock choke when faced with an opponent in the turtle position, and more and more thinking “back take”. First, take the back, control the position, and then work for the submission.

This is why when Jared Weiner taught the clock choke yesterday right when the opponent turtles to avoid the pass, I was surprised how much I instinctively wanted to instead take the back. The positioning of the body for the two techniques is very different. For taking the back, I make myself into a “backpack”, tight on the person, but not applying huge pressure, and moving with him. While for the clock choke I have to pin him down (especially the near shoulder) with a lot of pressure from my hip.

It’s funny how the judo guy inside me is always fighting the jiu jitsu guy. I think there is a lot to learn from both disciplines, and neither should be neglected for a competitor in grappling sports.

Here are some clips from the training session two nights before that.
Click “like” on it if you want to see more of those:


As always, thanks to BJJ United for great training and instruction (Jared, Wilson, Sharon, etc). Friend them on Facebook!

0 thoughts on “Clock Choke vs Back Take

  1. dave

    hello. when I see this photo it seems for me far away of spirit of true combat.
    in jujitsu it must be “self defense”. how can someone in ground stay like these like (sorry) a dog?
    it seems to me that no havingt shots make a bad spirit : the guy doesn’t try to protect hismelf from shots! it’s not a true training.


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