Like everyone and their mom, I've been working on the "Monson" choke, the reverse guillotine from north-south. It became the New Hot Thing again after Marcelo beat Avellon and Popovich with it.
Even though I call it the Monson, since he was the first guy to showcase it with his win in UFC, it was because of him that I thought the choke wasn't for me. I'd played around with it some and all I ended up doing was face cranking, so I chalked it up to his monstrous biceps.
I later saw Rani Yahya pisschoke a Japanese fighter in MMA with it. Since he's a light weight, I gave it another shot but I got the same results. His RNC-style grip just face cranked even worse.
It didn't start feeling like a real technique until I began drilling it off this tutorial by Marcelo:
The points that made the difference were how he shows starting in side control and wrapping the head, dropping on one hip and circling to drive the armpit into the neck. When this is done right, you get deep under their chin, so there's no face crank, just a blood choke.
I'm still in the very early stages of working on this so I'm not going to do any big tutorial on it. Luckily, I have a research team working with me on this.
Jeff Rockwell, Leo Kirby and I have been having a three-way email conversation about this. It started with me asking Jeff out of the blue if he'd worked on the Monson choke. By coincidence or fate, he sent this back to me:
Funny you should ask, itís actually been a project of mine recently, and I finally hit it in a competition this past weekend. I just put up the video footage up on myspace here:
Kumite Classic - Advanced No-gi - 3rd Place match
In training, Iíve been using both the ďarm inĒ and ďarm out variations. In the tournament I did it with the arm in. The keys for me are aggressively turning his chin away from me, using my ribs to push until I can really settle his chin under my armpit. Then I just keep sliding back down away from him, keeping my head low, and slowly squeezing. I always have to remind myself to keep making little adjustments and be patient Ė donít give up the choke just because he isnít tapping in the first few seconds.
Seriously, I have still been having mixed results with this in training. I wasnít really planning on going for it, but the guy just put his neck in the perfect spot, and I just thought ďwhat the hell, Iíll try it and see, itís not like Iíll lose position if he doesnít tapĒ. So I just settled into it, and kept sliding back. He bridged hard once to try to break lose, then tapped. I donít feel as confident with it as some of my other chokes yet, but this has at least encouraged me to keep refining it. Leo, when you go to that Marcelo seminar in GA, you have to get him to show you the inside scoop on this. I know he just did an article on it and everything, but I think a lot of this choke is ďfeelĒ; how you turn the chin, how you set it up, when and how to squeeze, etc.
We've been putting a lot of thought into how to explain "the feel" since that's the most important part of getting this choke. It involves a lot of things that are hard to demonstrate in pictures or even in person. For example, "smearing" into position, finding a balance of driving in (to pin them and open their neck) and sagging away from them (to slide your armpit into place), wiggling, shaking and "the snake move" to get snug, and dropping flat, melting to the floor and sinking away to finish.
Then there are details on how to grip, arm-in or arm-out, what pressure to do with your arms, etc.
For a seemingly simple move, it has a surprising depth of technique.