The Darce Choke
Sorry, Joe, but you’re doing it wrong. (Pic: TheGrapplingGamePlan.com)
The case of Joe D’Arce and his famous choke is one of mastery rather than invention. D’Arce was taught his signature choke by fellow black belt John Danaher while rolling at the Renzo Gracie Academy. D’Arce worked tirelessly to perfect the choke, securing it in training sessions and competitions alike. Just as Danaher had taught him, he shared the technique with Jason “Mayhem” Miller, who in turn brought the choke back to Marc Laimon. Laimon was smitten with the hold and he and his team developed new set-ups and positions from which the submission could be applied. It was from there that the choke, which they dubbed the “Darce”, grew more popular and spread across the BJJ & MMA landscape.
For you sticklers out there who prefer the choke’s other names, let’s do it. In some circles, especially in Brazil, the arterial attack is better known as the Brabo choke. That name came about much like its American counterpart. Multiple time ADCC & BJJ champion Leo Vieira showed the technique to training partner Kid Peligro, who took a portion of Vieira’s email address—leobrabo@…–to coin the submission in his honor. But like Joe D’Arce, Vieira doesn’t take credit for the Brabo, which means “angry” in Portuguese. He recalls seeing a white belt trying to execute something similar and tinkering with the choke from there to perfect it.
Still a third man can lay claim to the maneuver though his moniker is rarely applied to the hold, at least in MMA circles. Some BJJ practitioners trace the origins of the choke back to Vitor Ribeiro, who is said to have unveiled the “Shaolin choke” in Brazil around the same time as Vieira. Ribeiro was even featured in a grappling magazine as he guided readers through the choke.
As for D’Arce, any guesses as to how he secured his lone MMA victory? Yup. By TKO.