Lesson Plan for 2014-02-03: The Triangle Equation

Solving The Triangle
Solving The Triangle


AttacksI was going to teach some butterfly guard passes tonight, but then I realized it would be a little sacrilegious to spend two days on omoplatas and not follow up with triangles.  I could probably spend a solid 8 or 9 classes on triangles alone.  To get the most out of triangles, you have to understand the basic elements, so just like the other multi-day classes I’ve been doing lately, the first class will cover the most important aspects of a triangle.

For the first part of the lesson, I’m going to show you why things such as body angle, initial bite, entrapped arm position, and half a dozen other things are so important for a good triangle.  I will also show some ways to compensate for common problems, so if you have been having trouble finishing triangles, this will be a good class to ask lots of questions.

There are a ton of things that can be involved in a triangle, which makes it seem more complicated than it is.  I’ll cover the most important things first, such as the initial bite of your leg, and work toward the finer points of the triangle.  It’s not so important that you understand every little facet, however the more you retain and practice, the more effective your triangles will be.  My goal is to have the upper level guys smirk and nod their heads at the beginning, acting like they know it all, and by the end of the list of things to do they will see a few interesting details and realize they were missing some finishing touches.  The brand new students will want to focus on the initial elements, which we will practice before going on to the more advanced details.

In the second part of the lesson (if there’s time), we will go over a cool overhook setup for the triangle, which works particularly well for gi, but is also suitable for no-gi.  The overhook is a great launching pad for a number of different attacks, and it is good for keeping your opponent broken down and incapable of extracting himself.  If you apply all the things I describe in the first part of the class, you’ll find this to be a reliable addition to your submission arsenal.


You can’t be a blue belt without a triangle.  Sorry.

One thought on “Lesson Plan for 2014-02-03: The Triangle Equation

  1. Almost had my first unconscious student after this class. I was showing a detail about big guy shoulders, and his face went slack and he didn’t realize he was going out without a tap. Two more seconds and it would have been lights out. I’m there, applying the submission, knowing everything is right, and no tap. I felt his body starting to relax, and his face went expressionless so I let go and he fell out of the triangle onto his back and got right up. Definitely the closest I’ve been to putting someone to sleep.

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