DEVELOPING THE SQUEEZE By Scott “Einstein” Epstein



In the sport or art of submission wrestling , Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ,Judo, Sambo and some others I forgot or don’t feel like remembering, one of the main objectives and the most important, in my educated opinion is to submit your opponent. In my sport/art of preference (Brazilian jiu jitsu minus the gi), once one has developed a game plan to set up submissions the next step, if your opponent has decent or good defense is squeezing.

Squeezing your opponent and getting the victory is not as simple as it sounds. If done correctly, its not to difficult either. How many times have you had someone in a tight rear naked choke or to save me time RNC and you put 100% of all your squeezing powers into it but for some reason she didn’t tap or pass out? Now you let go of the sub, you’re trying to catch your breath and let you muscles recover from the wasted energy. Yes your biceps might look like the ultimate warriors did in 1989, but the gods of thunder are not on your side because you do not wear face paint. Think about what happened. Was your submission shit? Maybe her defense was dope son! If you were a little more patient I bet you could have got the tap.

I know your thinking “If I have the sub then finish why be patient?” Well, in this case your sub didn’t work, that’s why. I want you to start to think of and use your squeeze in increments from 1% to 100%. In the situation I just gave, you set up the RNC and immediately squeezed at 100% then held on as tight as possible for a few more moments before failing mentally and physically . I want to attempt to help you fix this because I am a kind giving person who loves you. Go get your Grandma and apply the RNC, if she is already dead then use a volleyball, a stuffed animal, a very sharp meat clever, something you can simulate a choke on. Once you have everything in order , apply the RNC but just give about 20% of pressure now slowly start to add more pressure let it take about 1 minute till you have applied 100% . When you have 100% squeeze going, I want you to hold it for about another 30 seconds to a minute. This drill will help you develop stamina and strength with your squeeze . Try it with other simulated submissions, maybe the triangle?

To learn to squeeze in increments or percentages will help greatly. In a real session when you have your opponent locked into an RNC try applying pressure the same way I told you to practice except start the squeeze @ 40% maintain this percent for an extended amount of time should not be very taxing on your body. Start to squeeze tighter you will find that by the time you are @ about 70% your opponent has given up. If for some reason its not done then, you can lighten your squeeze to readjust. When you are squeezing with 70% of your strength and you have not won, there is no need to try to go to 100%, your technique is just off. You are most likely doing something wrong. The beauty is you did not have to let go cause you were so tired. This like everything else needs practice. When you practice, try to never hold your breath and try to keep your face relaxed, these two things will burn you out quickly.

18 Responses to “DEVELOPING THE SQUEEZE By Scott “Einstein” Epstein”

  1. Ari Bolden says:

    Scott brings up a great point and something I touch upon with my students. I would also add this:

    When going for the squeeze, no matter what technique (RNC, Darce, triangle) you start to increase at 10% power every few seconds. It is much like the Python. The snake doesn’t blow its wade in one go-why should you. You slowly adjust and make it tighter as the person squirms.

    There is also a PSYCHOLOGICAL aspect which many people don’t talk about in jiu jitsu.As I apply more pressure, 10% at a time, you (the victim) have no idea where my top level of power is. Am I at 30% power or is it 80%?

    As I slowly start squeezing, this adds doubt in the mind of my opponent. I want him to think “dear god, how tight can this thing get?” If you defeat the mind, you defeat the body. This tactic has helped my game by 10 fold.

    Having said that: you must develop the squeeze. I work like a mother fucker to make it tight. Eddie’s advice on this was gold when he told me and something I REALLY took to heart. I want people to underestimate me. Then when I grab them (grip strength) or throw on a choke (arms) or triangle (legs)-I want them to go ‘ Holy Fuck.”

    I might not have Marcelo or Eddie squeezing power-but everyday I work on it some more.

  2. Chris Herzog says:

    Nice read Scott!

    Looking forward to working with Alaina to get you up here sometime soon!

  3. Shawn Arnold says:

    Sorry to get off topic, but I just wanted to thank all you guys for all your techniques and tips that I find online. Like most people interested in adding the 10th planet system to their arsenal I am stuck in a place (Great Falls, MT) that has no instructors. We buy the books and train often but these videos and your tips have really made it possible to learn the system. I’m sure you hear it often but you guys are personally responsible for a huge boom of jiu-jitsu participants all over. Thank you very much and Merry Christmas.
    God Bless,

  4. Alder Hampel says:

    Thanks for the feed back Shawn. Hopefully one of us can come out there for a seminar sometime, or you can make it out to one of the many 10th Planet Schools. Happy Holidays.


  5. Lazy Jits says:

    Shawn, I know it’s not in your backyard but there is an SBG school in Kalispell. It’s run by SBG brown belt Travis Davison. He has a very fluid technical game and worth a drive out from time to time.

    1066 N. Meridian Rd, Suite B
    Kalispell, MT 59901
    (406) 250-2380‎

  6. Euphrates says:

    Shawn, I will second what Lazy Jits said about Travis. Had the opportunity to roll with him during our school’s opening (West Coast Fight Club – Bellingham, WA – an official SBG). Good Jitz.

    I wanted to add something to the article. I’m a big advocate of the squeeze but I’m also a big advocate of using your hips in your chokes as well. We talk a lot about using our hips in almost everything we do, well why not your chokes. Your squeeze should be there, but also, your hips as well.

    An example would be the Arm Triangle choke from side control. Once you get it, you have the option to just squeeze or you can apply squeezing pressure as well as using your hips to rock forward into the choke. I believe this is a missing element that many people either aren’t aware of or don’t use effectively, or as effectively as they could. It was certainly one of those “game changer” moments that increased the effectiveness of my choking game. The Triangle Choke is another example. You can just squeeze and get the choke, squeeze and pull the head down to get the choke, or you can squeeze, pull the head down, AND lift up (assuming Triangle from the guard) with your hips.

    The reason the hips work is simple, closing the hole. When you are choking whether RNC, Triangle Choke, Anacanda, Darce, Guillotine, etc; you are creating a hole with the person’s neck in it or the person’s neck and arm. You are using squeezing pressure to collapse that hole and thereby restrict blood flow to the brain. Instead of of using just the muscles in your arm and squeezing endurance to collapse that hole, add your hips into the equation.

    After all, these are the same hips that help you accomplish all your other tasks in BJJ/Sub-wrestling/MMA then why can’t it help you with your chokes.

  7. Erik Wahlberg says:

    This is a really nice piece. I read and heard Eddie talk about developing the squeeze and I do believe in it (I have a few female students who have gone from weak to impressive in a matter of months, just by repetition.

    I like this article as it gives a great strategy. Start out with a little pressure and keep increasing instead of shooting your wad all at once.

    Thanks E

  8. John botello says:

    I use a big inlflatable exercise ball to help develop my leg curl and squeezing endurance for my guard. Do it for a couple of minutes a day and you’ll see great results in your guard and leg curling endurance. Good topic and good read Scotty

  9. e=mc2 says:

    do you guys add an extra chapter to a book when your done reading?.. stop adding to my one cares about your extra info ..its me me me me they care article not yours! i hate you ari i hate you other guy who added..i hate you to alder..

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