The Rear Naked Choke in Mixed Martial Arts

The Rear Naked Choke

The seemingly natural move when given an opponents back from the time we were all children is the rear naked choke. This move however is also a very technical move in the hands of an expert. These chokes are seen all the time in professional fighting as well because its probably one of the most used submission when given an opponents back.

The proper way to perform a rear naked choke is to first get behind the opponent. Then the right arm is placed across the opponents neck with the forearm on the left side of their neck and your bicep on the right. At the same time both legs should be wrapped around the opponent and feet placed on the inside of the opponents thighs. then the left bicep is grasped by the right and and left hand placed on the right bicep. Pressure is then applied for the desired result.

The Hold and Pressure

The hold around the neck must obviously be very tight to apply the choke effectively. However there are a few simple ways to greatly increase the pressure  applied. First is the position of the hands. The choking arm’s hand should be firmly grasping the opposite bicep. The other hand should be placed over the choking arm and the back of the hand can be pressed against the back of the skull for maximum pressure.

For another increase in pressure the way you squeeze makes a big difference. It is not so much a curling motion with the choking arm. Instead with this grip the elbows are pressed towards each other to put pressure on both sides of the neck. With an effective choke there is no choice for the opponent but to tap out in seconds because after about four or five the opponent will be knocked out.

From Behind

The main advantage of this move is the fact that when you decide to execute it you are behind the opponent. Of course getting to this position might be easier said than done on an experienced fighter. However the vulnerability of the opponent when this move is executed makes it one of the most effective submissions in mixed martial arts.

Can It Be Defended

A sunk in rear naked choke

Once a rear naked choke is sunk in it is extremely hard to escape. Even with great strength, pain tolerance, and  determination it is almost impossible. however the best deffense against this move is preemptive defense.

Of course the best defense would be to not let the opponent get on your back. If you give that up though and the opponent tries to perform the choke there are a couple of preventive measures. The first of which is to keep your chin down, this denies the opponent access to your neck preventing the choke. Also slow breathing and a relaxed state of mind can help buy you the time to escape an incomplete choke.

Lastly the choking arm can be dislodged with some determination and strength before the choke is set in. This is also very difficult most of the time though because the opponent commits hard to the choke.   In a last ditch effort if the opponent sinks the choke in the elbow of the opponent can be pushed straight over the head for an escape, not likely but last ditch effort worthy.

For some additional ways to beat these defenses against the rear naked choke click here

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