Of all the submissions I have learned so far, the Ezekiel choke is my favorite.
I like the Ezekiel choke because it does not require a lot of strength or flexibility to execute it. You also do not need a certain body type to have any advantage to execute it. Whether you are lanky or short, skinny or fat, the Ezekiel choke is very easy to execute.
The Ezekiel choke is also great because of its versatility, meaning that you can execute it from almost anywhere. It is one of the few submssions available if you are trapped in someone else’s closed guard and if you are very good at it, you can even execute it from the bottom mount position.
Why does it called the Ezekiel choke?
The name attributed to the choke came from the Brazilian judoka, Ezequiel Paraguassú, who passed this choke to BJJ students at the Carlson Gracie Academy when he trained there during the 1990s.
Paraguassú did not invent the choke because it was already known in the judo circle as the sode guruma jime. At that time, BJJ students were not aware of this choke and since they discovered it from Paraguassú, they decided to name it as the Ezekiel choke.
The choke became more popular in the BJJ competition circles rather than in judo because the rule set in sports BJJ allow competitors to spend more time on the ground to apply the choke. The choke versatility to tap someone who is playing closed guard also adds to its popularity among BJJ practitioners.
How to execute the Ezekiel choke
As I mentioned, there are many ways to execute the Ezekiel choke from a lot of positions. Here are some of them:
Arm in Ezekiel choke from back mount
I have executed this variation a couple of times and I like it the most because of it is very deceptive and sneaky. People are often very aware of the rear naked choke potential using the choking hand when someone has their back so they set their defense on high alert when you put your strong hand accross their necks.
When you remove your choking hand from your partner’s neck, then it is more likely he is not aware that you are setting up for the Ezekiel choke from behind before it is too late.
Ezekiel choke from inside the guard
Passing the closed guard of a dude who has strong long legs can be a pain in the ass. You will learn in BJJ to not try submitting anyone when you are inside their closed guards because you are risking yourself to get arm-barred or triangled. But when you are down on points during a competition and you need a last ditch of submission attempt, then the Ezekiel choke from inside the closed guard might be your only option to win. I have seen people who are down on points won through this move because their opponent did not expect someone would be crazy enough to try a submission from inside closed guard.
The counter to this submission is fairly simple; just open your legs and push. But if you pull the choke tight and fast enough, your opponent will have no time to even think about opening their legs and eventually pass out.
Ezekiel choke from top mount
Perhaps the most common position to execute the Ezekiel choke is from the top mount and if you train in BJJ, this is probably the first variation that you will learn from your instructor.
There is nothing fancy or deceptive if you are trying to choke someone using the Ezekiel from this position because most students are aware what you are going to do once you hug their necks and start meddling with your sleeve.
Ezekiel choke from bottom mount
This is probably the craziest position to attempt the Ezekiel choke. Everyone who trains BJJ know that being in the bottom mount is a nightmare but if you are so good at Ezekiel choke, who knows, you can even choke someone out from this very vulnerable position.
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