I've been playing around with variations of the Brabo choke for a long time and I just thought I'd throw out some observations I've had about the way in which the submission is made most effective.
If anyone has any questions about how the technique works, just throw them out there. It's a little bit more of an advanced submission, so I understand people not knowing, and the details that I'm pointing out won't make sense unless you know what the move is.
First, I've found that putting your opponent on his back destroys the choke. While I initially thought it might improve leverage, it instead gives your opponent the opportunity to put his back on the floor and flatten out, causing you to lose the choke. Instead, it is better to roll your opponent the other way, trying to stretch the spine, as with a guillotine.
Second, I've found that it's possible, against particularly willful opponents (and even more so in competition) to pull guard and really finish the move with a full fledged powerchoke. (for those who don't know what that is, that's just fancy language for a choke that puts your opponent to sleep quickly and without cranking the neck to stretch the arteries)
If I'm going back into guard, I tend to pull it while my opponent is on their side, and let them try and get up (if they can't, it's still fine).
Just a few notes on executing the technique. A little sidebar on the guardpulling, not that I said "particularly willful," because the brabo choke is a pretty powerful move without increasing the leverage, and with your opponents arm trapped they might have trouble tapping. We wary of your opponent passing out, it's happened more than once to me already.
When I try the brabo choke on guys that have real thick shoulders, I have a hard time finishing it (eventually I transition to an arm-in guillotine) because even if I sink the choking arm in deep I still have a hard time reaching my own bicep on my other arm. Any suggestions?
Recently, I was at a kid's tournament to coach the kids from my BJJ school, one of whom was my brother (he won his division, submitted one kid and beat the other like 13-0). I realized, watching the kids division, that there's a really common mistake between alot of newer grapplers, and it's one that I make alot too, and have been trying to fix in my training.
90% of winning a grappling match is waiting for you opponent to make a mistake so that you can capitalize. Hooking a leg or an arm doesn't just happen, you have to know what your looking for, and be patient enough to find it.
It seems that alot of grapplers just want to attack and finish as quickly as they can, but they end up, even if they win, throwing up a sloppy submission that could have been alot better if they had waited for a little more arm extension or neck offering from their opponent.
A student of Marcelo Garcia's that I was working with at a seminar told me that one of the things Marcelo teaches is: "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast." While it seems like nothing is ever smooth in grappling, if you watch the upper echelon of grapplers, you find that their success is all about waiting for the right moment to finish. It's how Nogueira beat Bob Sapp (though he sustained alot of damage during that fight) and it's how Fedor has picked up all of his submission wins.
It's not just about submissions either. Carlos Valente once told one of his students that I was competing against: "If he gets you in a bad spot, just wait. He'll make a mistake and you can get out. If he's stubborn, be patient. He'll do something stupid."
The more I thought about that, the more I've tried to practice it with my training partners. Letting them get me in side control and waiting for them to lift a hip up to go for the mount or the armbar is a practice in patience, so is waiting for them to lighten up from the mount.
Whatever position your in, don't be afraid to play the waiting game. It's great to be able to draw the mistakes, but make sure that you have control of the situation, be patient enough to make sure that where you are is where you want to be, and then finish. You can win from anywhere (I've finished with gogoplatas from the bottom of side control and heel hooks while mounted), but you have to make sure that your circumstances allow you to pull that victory out, and it's fine to take your time getting them to fit.
I just really like this post.