Grapplers Graveyard

The Rear Naked Choke

why wrestling is important for fighters, rear naked choke
  • Cameron Allen

    Cameron is the Founder of Grapplers Graveyard. He is an entrepreneur, athlete, and life-long learner. His goal is to build businesses that help people become smarter, healthier, and happier. Avid Cold Plunger, Blue Belt, and Tech Sales Professional who has a passion for building websites.

The rear naked choke is again one of the most essential moves to know and understand in BJJ. I would say that even knowing this if you don’t train should be mandatory at some level. In a self-defense situation, the rear naked choke is extremely effective and if you find yourself on the opposing end (which I hope is not the case) knowing how to defend against it could be huge. This article will aim at teaching even the people who are not trained to understand the basics, how to apply, and how to defend the rear naked choke.

rear naked choke

Rear Naked Choke Details

The rear naked choke (RNC) happens 99% of the time when an opponent has you in a back mount position (which just means that have your back). The attacker will proceed with the goal in mind of trapping and squeezing the arteries in the defender’s neck which ultimately leads to restricted airflow. To pull this submission off the attacker has to 1) get their opponent’s neck in the crevice of their arm 2) connect the hand of this arm to the crevice of their own arm on the opposite side 3) move this opposing arm behind the opponents head finishing them off with a simple squeeze.

Here is a video explaining how to pull off the rear naked choke:

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s Rear Naked Choke in 6 Steps

  1. Take your opponent’s back

  2. Move your arm across or under your opponent’s neck when you have established back control

  3. Make sure your head is connected to the ear of the opponent

  4. Connect your hand to the crevice on your opposite arm

  5. Move this arm that you are now connected to behind your opponent’s head

  6. Squeeze and submit

Keys To Pay Attention To (As The Attacker)

  1. Keep Your Hooks In

  2. Never Cross Your Ankles (You Will End up getting submitted)

  3. Don’t Get Tunnel Vision

Most people when training BJJ who have been training for a longer time will know how to defend against an RNC. If the defender keeps their chin down or peels that arm from behind their head, there are possibilities for them to escape and slowly get their way into a dominant position. If the rear naked choke is not working out for you, go for something else. The bow and arrow choke is always a good one to shoot for if you cannot connect on this submission.

Keys to Pay Attention To (As the Defender)

  1. Use Your Whole Body To Escape

  2. Prevention is Your #1 Priority

  3. Control Their Arm

  4. Protect Your Neck

Getting yourself caught in a rear naked choke is bad news. Most of the time, you will be getting submitted from here, that is the nature of this submission but preventing this from happening is not out the picture. Key one states you will need to use your whole body to escape and you will have to address each point of contact one by one, firstly being the arm that got under your neck. The first thing here, you need to create space between your neck and your opponent’s arm, otherwise, you are toast. You can turn your head towards the crevice of their arm while keeping your chin down to prevent them from going right back to it.

Depending on the hip they have you on and how their legs are positioned, you can use your legs to break the hooks that your opponent has established. After protecting your neck this is the next priority you need to pay attention to.

You did a good job defending a rear naked choke if you find yourself in someone’s guard after their attempt. Consider that mission accomplished. Now, when you are their guard, it is time to go on the offense and time to play your game.

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