Pulling Off The Anaconda Joke From The Front Head Lock Position

Being able to defend the takedown in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an absolute must for any grappler looking to compete.  It’s a totally different thing if you’re looking to be a lethal submission artist.

Defending takedowns is important, as is being able to work out of the front head lock, which is the position most stuffed takedown’s start from.

There are countless options one can use from this position to take advantage of the match, but there is one submission in particular that can end the match in no time flat.


The submission hold in question is the anaconda choke.  Often confused with the brabo choke, the anaconda is an effective way to restrict blood flow to the brain.

How To Execute The Anaconda Choke


As we start to work the setup of the anaconda choke, we are assuming that we will begin in the front headlock position.  This normally occurs when our opponent tries to shoot in for a takedown and we are equal to it, and wind up stuffing their head towards the mat with our body pushing down on theirs.

Rather than what we do when we look for the guillotine, we want to avoid bringing our arm all the way under their neck to setup the choke.  Instead, we want to grasp our hands together behind our opponent armpit.  Once you get everything in place, you’ll want to wind everything in and make it nice and tight.  This will make sure everything stays in place.

With everything snug, we’ll now slide our palm so that is on the bicep of our arm.  This hold is similar to the brabo choke setup.

Now that we have the actual choke all setup , it’s time to start applying some pressure for the submission victory.

To do this, you’ll want to bring your head under your opponent—there should be an opening between their back and the mat—and roll them over.  Once you do, the step that will end the match will be walking your hips upwards towards their hips.

By doing this, you will start to crush their throat, cutting off their blood flow, forcing them to either tap out or pass out.

NOT A Brabo/D’Arce Choke!

Despite the similarities that both of these holds share, the anaconda choke and the brabo choke are not one in the same!

The brabo/d’arce choke is setup from the side as opposed to the front head lock orientation of the anaconda choke.  However, despite the varying setups—and similar holds—the end game of both of these holds is very similar.

Attacking the neck means you are doing your best to eliminate the blood flow to the brain as well as the oxygen.  It’s a very effective submission approach that will end the match in a heartbeat!

Some people have fantastic range of motion in their joints which makes armbars, kimuras, etc. irrelevant.  But everyone has their weak point…and that’s lack of oxygen to the brain.

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Dan Faggella

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