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Baret Yoshida Explains His Controversial Belt Choke at IBJJF Tournament

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Master Baret Yoshida is always innovating what is possible in Jiu Jitsu. Everyone knows he is the crucifix master but lately he has added the Assassins Choke that has the whole Jiu Jitsu community buzzing. This past weekend while winning IBJJF International Masters Worlds he pulled off the Assassins Choke with his belt! Here he explains some history of him first seeing a belt choke from BJ Penn in the 90’s and how he has recently added it as an innovation to the Assassins Choke. He also demonstrates how he off sets the belt and hides the extra length. Truly a grappling genius that we are lucky enough to have as our Jiu Jitsu Coach.


Baret Yoshida:
In 1998, I was working with BJ Penn in Hawaii. I think we were both purple belts. He showed me a belt choke from the back. I messed with it a little bit, but I wasn’t too into it. And then for a long time, I’ve been working on the crucifix and I just kind of put the two ideas together. I found that the belt is actually like a really good choking weapon because it’s really thin and it wraps around the neck really well. So I guess like this past Saturday, I won the Masters 4 Division for Masters International tournament they had in Long Beach.

One of my matches I won with my assassin choke, but I ended up using my belt. What I found was when I first tried to use my belt, it was too short. So I started seeing if I could offset one of the straps. I made one side quite a bit longer. But I didn’t want to hang it out there and having guys use that against me for like worm guard and stuff like that. So I folded one more rotation inwards just to keep it more hidden.

It’s like a Kimura grip here. Take the tail out. Give it to your hand here. Get the shibari grip here. Okay. Then I come out here, extract my belt, come around his head trying to choke him here. He dips this chin. Get on the other side here. I get the choke.


So when I got the choke on my opponent in the tournament, I posted on my Instagram. A lot of people were cool with it, but there were a lot of people that thought it was like a dirty technique. It’s just a part of the uniform like all the other lapels or whatnot. I don’t see what the difference is. Almost every single rule seminar, the head referee, he’ll talk about it. He’ll say like, if you are able to use the belt without the knot coming off, then it’s 100% legal. To take the knot off and to choke the guy would be a serious foul, however. But as long as the knot stays on, it stays on your uniform, it is 100% legal.

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