Choking the opponent is one of the trademarks of Brazilian Jiu jitsu. It is also considered as the most merciful and humane submission technique. Applying a choke from the rear mount is an incredibly effective tool in the fighting arts. If you’re practicing Jiu jitsu, chances are you’ve been a recipient of one of the quickest and most deadly choke – the Rear Naked Choke.
The rear naked choke, also known as the RNC, is a potentially deadly chokehold executed from behind of an opponent. Unlike other chokeholds that put pressure on the windpipe, RNC is a blood choke that causes compression of the jugular vein and the carotids, impeding blood flow from the heart to the brain. When you increase the pressure in the carotid body, the heart will voluntarily reduce the amount of blood being pumped out of its chambers with each beat. Prolonged reduction of blood flow could lead to temporary loss of consciousness, a lasting motor skill impairment, or even death.
There are two major variations of rear naked choke. The “Clasping hands” variation that utilizes the lateral part of the wrist to apply pressure directly on the wind pipe, and the “Figure four” variation where the pressure is applied from both sides of the neck by wrapping the arms around the opponent’s trachea in a figure-four configuration.
Although acquiring a position to execute a rear naked choke can be really hard, the rewards of doing so will usually earn a win. If your opponent manages to mount you from the rear, then this is bad news for you. The good news is that whenever your opponent moves to secure a choke, there’s always a momentary opening for you to escape. You can actually escape before, during or after the choke is applied. Here we list down the 6 Ways to Defend against a Rear Naked Choke:
1. Escape with Hooks in
Relieve the pressure by tucking your chin in. Dig in with both of your arms and pull down. Pulling down on the opponent’s arm will create some space between their arm and your neck. Scoot your butt down as you straighten your right leg. Then start rolling to your right to release the arm off your neck. You should end up in his half guard or in a side control position.
2. Unwrapping the RNC
Here’s an escape that might work even if the rear naked choke is fully locked on. Grab the opponent’s wrist behind your head. Use your other hand to fully grab his hand behind your head. Pull that hand forward and although it wasn’t mentioned in the video, you should trap it under your armpit. Pull the choking arm off your neck and start controlling his wrist. You may pop the arm over your head. Control his head with both arms and turn in to get to the top. Keep your chin down and shoulder up as you execute this technique.
3. Drop Slide Escape
Tuck in your chin sideways. Bring your legs to the ground or trap his knee. This will allow you to get one of his foot hooks out from your legs. Drop parallel to the opponent’s side. Force your head backwards into the opponent’s arm. This is important as it takes full control of your body away from him. Scoot out backwards across his body and position your weight across his chest and seize that moment to get into half guard position. Always remember to keep pulling down with both of your hands on the opponent’s arm that is under your chin.
4. Escape to Takedown
This technique is particularly good in self defense situations. First, tuck the chin into the crook of the elbow. Place one of your foot behind your opponent’s calf followed with a 180 degree turn. You can then takedown your opponent by pulling his arm diagonally.
5. Shove and Release Escape
This is another good rear naked choke escape on standing position that UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey used against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157. As the choke gets sunk in, tuck your head to the side. Shove the opponent’s foot that is parallel to the choking arm’s side out of your thigh. Then begin turning to your opponent’s shoulder really fast.
6. Block and Slide Counter
This rear naked choke escape basically occurs before your opponent completely locked on the choke. Use your hand to intercept the choking arm as you clamp down on his other forearm with your elbow. Drive to the under hook side. Once on the ground, start creating space by wiggling your shoulders and hips. Establish a guard or a half guard to stop your opponent from getting on top. You should be aware of any move your opponent may make to take the mounted position as you employ the technique.
Always keep your chin buried to your chest. Never let your opponent get behind your back. Stop him from linking his arms if ever your opponent still manages to get into rear mount. Not only that it makes it harder for him to choke you, but also it will make the rear mount escape work better and faster. If your opponent is getting close to sinking a rear naked choke, always be patient and keep on fighting to get out until you have no choice but to tap out.