Getting stuck in an arm triangle lock is one of the worst clinching positions that you will find yourself in. The basic clinching arm triangle lock is when your opponent has his forehead pushing against your neck, while his arms are locked together squeezing tightly.

This is the triangle lock position. Notice how the head is pushing against Petchboonchu’s jaw, and the one arm is extended straight while the other arm is locking the arm to form a triangle.

From this position, your opponent can squeeze his arms together to push his head tight against your neck, making it impossible to squeeze your hands on the inside. This is a lock commonly used in Thailand by good clinchers.

The lock can help you control your opponent’s upper body, allowing you to score knee strikes without much resistance.

The first time you get caught in this lock, you will probably panic and try to use force to escape the lock. Unfortunately, trying to muscle your way out of the lock will only allow your opponent to squeeze your neck tighter.

In this video Petchboonchu demonstrates how to escape the arm triangle lock.

Things to Consider

The key to this technique is your footwork and keeping your hips close to your opponent. If your hips are far from your opponent, you will not be able to control your opponent. Getting your hips close to your opponent will help you generate the momentum to toss them over.

Good clinchers will know how to counter balance your escape attempt, so it is important to understand that this will not work all of the time. The goal is to disrupt your opponent’s grip, and allow you to get your arm inside of the lock.

If this technique doesn’t work, you can also use the body lock to try and break your opponent’s posture. Squeezing the body lock hard, can help you relieve the pressure around your neck and get the referee to reset your position.

It is important to understand multiple escapes from every position because you will find that sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. The effectiveness of an escape will depend on your skill level and the skill level of your opponent. Good clinchers are so effective at countering counters, which makes it difficult to try and pull off escapes successfully.

Make sure you practice the technique in training so you can understand the movements and footwork required to be successful.

Special thanks to Petchboonchu for demonstrating this technique. If you want to train with Petchboonchu you can visit him over at Evolve Vacation.