Skip links


Ever been caught in a darce choke, and discovered you have no idea how to escape?


This shock realization is almost as bad as the chronic pain in your neck you’re guaranteed to get if you don’t figure out an escape soon. 


We’ve all been there before. And it can be rough (especially when the darce is fully locked).


But don’t worry…


Because, by the end of this article, you’ll not only have a brand new get out of jail free card up your sleeve…


… you’ll also have a fully functioning neck for life outside of the gym.


Let’s get into it.

Escaping A Fully Locked Darce From The Turtle


You may be surprised to know that there will be some rolling required to escape the darce choke.


But this isn’t the same type of haphazard rolling your instructor forces you to do down the mat as a warm-up, because the details behind how you set this up roll are very important…


As seen in the photo above, Miha has the darce choke fully locked on Keenan. 


Miha’s right arm is under Keenan’s armpit, and wrapped around his neck. 


Miha’s been studying his submissions on Keenan Online, so Keenan needs to be smart here if he wants to get out of this unscathed.


You may be experiencing some form of PTSD right now looking at this photo, but I want you to remain calm. 


Because keeping a level head is absolutely vital for identifying the timing in your escape…


And any false step at this stage will be your downfall.  


First, to initiate the escape, Keenan places his left hand on the mat as a post, while simultaneously bringing his right arm through to prepare a roll to his right side.


Keenan relieves some of the pressure on his neck by posting his hand on the mat, which also buys him the vital seconds he needs to set up the rest of this escape.


Notice, Keenan will be rolling to the side of the choke.


Before rolling, Keenan puts his right hand next to Miha’s knee and wraps his left arm all the way around his own left leg. 


Anchoring his left arm to his leg like this allows Keenan to create space between his neck and his shoulder.


As you may know, a key goal of the darce choke is to push the shoulder into the neck in order to slow down the supply of blood to the brain. 


Anchoring the arm to the leg this way relieves much of the pressure needed to finish the choke. 


To reinforce this pressure relieving tactic, Keenan also places his left foot on the mat for support. This now makes it impossible for Miha to pressure down with his elbow to reconnect Keenan’s shoulder to his neck. 


With these safety measures in place, Keenan now slides his right leg towards his left to initiate the roll. 


Moving his leg closer to the other ensures he is at an ideal angle to complete the roll and won’t get stuck during the process.  


Plus, this also ensures the roll will aid in unlocking Miha’s grip.


However, Keenan isn’t completely safe just yet, because there’s a bit more work to be done.


Once Keenan completes the roll, he immediately uses his right leg to assist in scooting his back to the mat.


This further weakens Miha’s darce grip, and puts Keenan further out of danger.


From here, Keenan can now successfully sit up, turn to his left side, and remove himself from the position completely.


And voila… He’s escaped the darce choke.


It will take some time to get used to …


But with practice…


You’ll have that darce specialist in your gym frustrated that his signature move doesn’t work on you anymore. 


And you’ll be forever known as…




For the full breakdown of this technique in more detail, check out the video below.

Leave a comment