Defending Against the Buggy Choke: A Crucial Skill in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu


In the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, mastery of various techniques, including chokeholds, is a prerequisite for practitioners. One such choke, the Buggy Choke, demands attention as it plays a crucial role in enhancing an individual’s overall BJJ skill set. Understanding how to defend against this method is a fundamental component of staying safe during training and maintaining a versatile BJJ game.

Recognizing the Setup

Before exploring defensive tactics, BJJ practitioners must recognize the setup when their opponent is attempting the. This choke involves ensnaring the opponent’s head and neck within the aggressor’s legs, resembling a triangle choke. However, the distinction lies in the applied pressure, which targets neck compression rather than the restriction of blood flow.

To identify the setup, practitioners should take heed of the following indicators:

  • The opponent assumes a dominant position, often in top-side control or mount.
  • They gain control of the practitioner’s head and neck, either by encircling their arms around the neck and leg or employing a gable grip.
  • The legs form a triangular configuration around the practitioner’s head.

Defensive Techniques

After recognizing the initiation of this technique, it is essential to act swiftly and decisively. Here is an extensive guide on how to defend against this submission:

  • Hand Placement: The practitioner should safeguard their neck by tucking their chin and creating a defensive barrier with their hands. One hand should be placed on the neck, while the other rests on the arm responsible for the neck compression.
  • Posture Adjustments: An effective defense begins with shrimping the body to establish some space. Using hip movement, practitioners should exert pressure against the opponent, to alleviate the neck pressure. Keeping elbows close to the body is crucial to prevent the opponent from achieving a tight grip.
  • Escape Strategies: Escaping necessitates a transition to a more favorable position. Starting with the guard or half-guard can disrupt the opponent’s control and reduce their ability to apply pressure effectively.
  • Bridge and Roll: In dire circumstances, executing a bridge and roll technique can reverse the position suddenly. This maneuver may catch the opponent off guard and place the practitioner in a more advantageous position for escape or counter-attack.

Escapes and Counters

While mastering the choke, defense is essential, having a repertoire of effective escapes and counters can be a game-changer. Consider the following options:

  • Armbar: When the opponent initiates, they may inadvertently expose an arm. Capitalizing on this opportunity, the practitioner can secure the opponent’s arm and transition into an armbar submission.
  • Back Take: If the opponent exposes their back during an attempt, the practitioner can exploit this vulnerability by attempting a back take. This positions the practitioner favorably, offering potential submission opportunities.
  • Submission Counter: Experienced BJJ practitioners can counter with their submission attempt. This often involves isolating the opponent’s arm or applying a shoulder lock as a defensive maneuver.


In the dynamic realm of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, competence in defending against various chokeholds, such as this technique, is indispensable. The ability to recognize its setup, employ effective defensive techniques, and possess a repertoire of escapes and counters is essential for a well-rounded BJJ game. Competence in defending against the Buggy Choke enhances safety and contributes to the growth of BJJ practitioners.