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Gi Based Chokes For The Street

Gi Based Chokes For The Street


All-Season Tactics With Eli Knight

The argument that training in the Gi is impractical for the street is dead. While it is true that during warm months people are less likely to wear fabric that could stand up to the rigors of combat, in some places people wear jackets up to 9 months out of the year! Having multiple options to keep yourself safe in a self defense situation never hurts. 

Eli Knight is well known for his YouTube channel and multiple instructionals available at Effective Self Defense.com as well as BJJFanatics! His instructional Gi To The Street Self Defense is dedicated to translating your hard-earned Gi skills to real world application. The Gi can be a great equalizer in combat, especially if your attacker is larger than you. Let’s take a look at how Eli uses his attacker’s jacket and ends the fight!


Along with the Haymaker, the classic tackle is a very common self defense scenario. Plenty of people have played football or wrestled in their lifetime, so being prepared for someone trying to take you to the ground is a good idea!

In this situation Eli finds himself sprawling his weight onto his attacker to defend the tackle. We’ve all seen the horrifying videos when someone gets lifted high into the air only to come down onto the pavement, so understanding how to stay heavy in your sprawl is a must.

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Positioning is key in all aspects of combat. With the sprawl it’s important to focus your weight directly in the center of your opponent’s back. Eli demonstrates this early on in his demo. He also explains since it is a self defense scenario your attacker may be striking or trying to get back to their feet. Thankfully for you with their head locked in this position you have an extreme advantage in the striking department due to knee strikes. However instead of possibly causing an extreme injury to his attacker, Eli uses his BJJ skills to slap on a slick choke using his attacker’s own jacket. Let’s break it down the Rolling Loop Choke

Rolling Loop Choke

This slick strangle is well known in BJJ circles because of its effectiveness. By completely rolling through on his attacker Eli is able to cinch up a really tight choke. There are some key components that must take place in order to align all of the proper mechanics. 

One goal is to create enough space to snake your free hand into position. Eli weaves his free hand from behind his attacker arm all the way through to the back of their head. The trick is being able to do this while rolling underneath the attacker. This might seem counter intuitive but if you are able to crumple their upper body the roll is very manageable. Part of the reason the roll works so well is that the more you roll the more the jacket tightens into an unbearable strangle. 

Having trouble with the roll-through? Check out the backstep Eli uses to help create the correct angle to lever your attacker over to their hip. He does this around the 1:50 mark. Gi To The Street Self Defense is packed with gritty details just like this!

Clock Choke

Next up is another classic technique that is widely used in BJJ and Judo, and that is the Clock Choke. Eli sets this up by rotating around his partner off of the sprawl. In a real life scenario it will be hard to rotate around your attacker if they are still grabbing your legs. This means you need to occupy their hands. Eli’s demo partner mentions setting this up with strikes or you could also use the collar grip to pull their head towards the ground. This forces your attacker to put their hands to the ground otherwise they will faceplant!

Now that their hands are occupied, Eli transfers to the side of his partner. Keeping your weight centered in a good spot is important to maintaining this dominant position. This position is commonly referred to as the Turtle position. SO, to crack that shell Eli provides several options. Once again if you are looking to dispatch your attacker without doing too much damage to them, or your hands, you can opt for a choke. 

Eli uses the same grip from the first technique except this time he does so with his left hand. His arm closest to his partner, the near arm, maintains pressure on his partner’s back. At the same time his right hand grabs the pants at the knee. Once these grips are in place he is ready to rotate into the choke. This technique is aptly named due to the clockwise rotation required to cinch the choke as tight as possible. Be sure to be heavy to avoid getting rolled over!

Peruvian Necktie/ Gerbi Choke

Legendary Judoka, Yarden Gerbi made this one of the most feared chokes at the Olympic level! Eli uses this choke as an option if your attacker doesn’t have a jacket. Since he has a jacket he starts by taking a thumb down grip with his right hand. Where you grab the jacket will determine how long of a tail you will have to grab on with your other hand. 

Once the grip is made, Eli gets to his feet. From this crouched position Eli leans far enough to get his leg over the side of his partner’s neck. With all of this in place he sits into the choke. This time Eli has the added power of his legs to extend into the choke. Be sure to take care of your training partners with this one!

Paper Cutter Choke

To cover as many options available Eli rounds out his turtle attacks with the paper cutter choke. This time the partner is completely covered up and not allowing for any hands to slide into the collar. Eli gets a palm up grip on the back of his partner’s neck while his other hand grabs the pants. From here he hops to his feet. Like the Gerbi choke, Eli steps his leg over top of his partner’s neck. The goal here is to force the partner to roll. Once they have rolled through Eli hooks their arm as he swings up to his knees. 

In a real life scenario your attacker may try to use their free hand to attack your eyes. Eli recommends hiding your face close to their chest so they can only have access to the top of your head. A nice thing about them trying to gouge your eyes out is that they won’t be able to defend their neck. So it’s only fair that you get to slide your near hand across their throat and grip their collar. Once the grip is made, Eli immediately drops his elbow to the floor and then flairs it into his partner’s neck. By dropping the elbow it makes the collar supper tight. This is important to remember because you don’t need to go too deep with your grip!

Gi To Street Self-Defense by Eli Knight

Gi To The Street Self Defense is a perfect instructional to translate your Jiu-Jitsu skills to real life scenarios where there are NO RULES! Keep yourself safe, and in the best position to end the fight quickly and efficiently. Eli Knight holds nothing back in this MUST HAVE instructional!