Wednesday, July 13, 2005

BJJ Move #30: Rear Naked Choke (a/k/a mata leão)

This is the best move ever. Easy to learn, very effective, you put it on from a safe position, renders your opponent unconscious. I'll describe it from the back mount as well as from standing behind an opponent.

WARNING! These techniques could result in serious injury or death if practiced incorrectly or even if performed correctly. They should only be practiced with the supervision of an experienced instructor.

Rear Naked Choke (a/k/a mata leão):

1) Rear Naked Choke (a/k/a mata leão):
From back mount, slide your right hand under your opponent’s jaw, bringing your right arm under his chin, so his throat is in the crook of your elbow, not against the blade of your forearm. You want your arm to come across far enough that you can grab onto his opposite shoulder. You are going to squeeze him there using your biceps. The pressure will come from your forearm and biceps against his carotid arteries from the sides (cutting off blood supply to the brain), not against his trachea with your radius from the front (cutting off air to his lungs). Don’t try to bring your arm across his throat like you’re closing a door; instead, slide it in hand-first to go across his neck, putting a belt on.
Turn your right palm to face down and hook your right hand into your left elbow-crook / biceps.
With your left palm facing down, “comb his hair,” sliding your hand from the front of your opponent’s head down to the back of his head (not onto his neck).
Squeeze his neck by flexing both of your biceps; pulling your right hand back with your left arm; pushing his head forward over your elbow-crook with your left hand; squeezing your elbows down do your chest; and “puffing” your chest out— don’t hunch your back. Watch for the tap—you do not want to choke out or injure your training partner.
Tip: If he keeps his head tucked down to keep your arm out, press up under his nose (not allowed in tournaments). The pain should make him lift his head to relieve it.
Tip: When trying to apply this choke on an experienced opponent, use the opposite hand you usually choke with first. For example, if you usually slide your right arm underneath, instead, slide your left arm underneath. When he tries to block this, then slide your right arm underneath and continue the choke.
Tip: If you happen to have a “giftwrap” from behind, he’ll be expecting the other hand to come across and do a giftwrap-style choke. Instead, use the other hand to go for a rear naked choke. (I'll describe giftwraps in a later post)
Tip: If he’s on his belly when you’re trying to get this choke, pull up on his forehead to bring his jaw up.

2) Setup for Rear Naked Choke – wrist control:
You have the back mount.
To control your opponent’s right arm, slide your right arm underneath his and grab the top of his right wrist with your right hand, palm down, “claw grip” (thumb on same side of his forearm as your other four fingers).
Hold his arm down in his lap; it will now be easier to move your left hand across his throat for a choke—grab his opposite (right) shoulder before releasing his right wrist and finishing the choke.

3) Setup for Rear Naked Choke – trap arm with leg:
You have the back mount. You have wrist control as in the last move.
Push his right hand down toward his crotch, straightening his arm, then wrap your right foot around the outside / top of his right forearm, trapping it to his side.
Your right hook is now gone, so roll onto to your right side to finish, further trapping his right arm under your body weight from the top, and your right leg and the floor from the bottom.
Put the choke on with your right arm.

4) Standing Rear Naked Choke (hadaka jime):
You are standing behind your opponent and want to apply a rear naked choke. He will get away unless your “get a hook in” on his lower leg/knee using the foot on the same side as your choking arm.
From a rear clinch, turn your face to the right and press your right cheek against your opponent’s upper back; wrap your left arm over his neck and clasp your hands together; and hop up and wrap your left leg around the outside of his left leg (“put in the left hook”).
Move your left foot across his waist and figure four your right knee over it.
Apply the rear naked choke with your left hand.
Note that it is safer to take your opponent down before applying this, as it minimizes the risk of being slammed between your opponent and the ground.
If at all possible, it is also better to clip his knee from behind or drag him backwards instead of hopping up onto his back, but be sure he can’t get his feet under him or he could throw you over his shoulder.

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