MMA (mixed martial arts) is a combat sport that combines various disciplines like boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Submission holds play a crucial role in MMA, as they allow a fighter to force their opponent to concede defeat by tapping out or risk serious injury. There are numerous submission holds in MMA, but the Rear Naked Choke is widely regarded as the most effective. In this article, we’ll explore the anatomy, advantages, and defense strategies of the Rear Naked Choke, and explain why it’s considered the most potent submission hold in MMA.
What is Rear Naked Choke?
The Rear Naked Choke is a submission hold that involves wrapping an arm around the opponent’s neck and applying pressure to cut off their blood supply to the brain. The choke is executed from a position behind the opponent, with one arm over their shoulder and the other under their armpit. The choking arm is secured by the other arm, forming a figure-four grip that compresses the neck.
Why Rear Naked Choke is Most Effective in MMA?
MMA is a sport that requires both striking and grappling skills, and submission holds are an essential aspect of the grappling component. By applying a submission hold, a fighter can force their opponent to submit, thereby ending the fight without causing serious injury. This is especially important in MMA, where fighters can suffer significant damage if a fight goes on too long. Submission holds also serve as a way for fighters to gain an advantage in a fight, as they can force their opponents to expend energy defending against them, which can tire them out and make them vulnerable to strikes.
While there are numerous submission holds in MMA, the Rear Naked Choke stands out as the most effective. Its high success rate, versatility, and minimal energy expenditure make it a potent tool for controlling opponents and forcing them to submit.
Anatomy of the Rear Naked Choke
The Rear Naked Choke begins with the fighter taking their opponent’s back, which means getting behind them while standing or being on top of them while they’re on the ground. From this position, the fighter will reach one arm over their opponent’s shoulder and around their neck, with their hand grabbing the opposite bicep. The other arm will go under the opponent’s armpit and up to grab their own bicep, locking the choke in place. The fighter will then squeeze their elbows together, compressing the neck and cutting off the blood supply to the brain.
Explanation of the mechanics of the choke
The Rear Naked Choke is a blood choke, which means it restricts the flow of blood to the brain rather than the flow of air to the lungs. When the choke is applied, it compresses the carotid arteries in the neck, which are the main arteries that supply blood to the brain. This causes a rapid drop in blood pressure and a feeling of lightheadedness or dizziness. If the choke is not released, the lack of blood flow to the brain can cause unconsciousness in a matter of seconds.
Importance of proper technique
While the Rear Naked Choke is a highly effective submission hold, it requires proper technique to execute it correctly. If the choke is not applied with the correct amount of pressure or in the right position, it may not be effective, and the opponent may be able to escape. Additionally, improper technique can lead to injury, both for the fighter applying the choke and for the opponent. It’s essential for fighters to practice and master the proper technique for executing the Rear Naked Choke to ensure that they can use it effectively and safely.
Common mistakes to avoid
There are several common mistakes that fighters make when attempting the Rear Naked Choke. These include positioning the arms incorrectly, not squeezing the elbows together enough, not locking the choke in place, or using too much force, which can lead to injury. Fighters should be aware of these mistakes and take steps to avoid them when applying the choke. Additionally, fighters should be aware of the risks associated with the Rear Naked Choke and be prepared to release the choke immediately if their opponent taps out or if the referee intervenes.
Advantages of the Rear Naked Choke
The Rear Naked Choke has a high success rate in MMA. This is due to several factors, including its ability to be applied from a variety of positions, its effectiveness in cutting off blood flow to the brain, and the fact that it can be applied quickly and with minimal energy expenditure. According to statistics, the Rear Naked Choke is one of the most commonly used submission holds in MMA and has a success rate of around 20%.
The Rear Naked Choke is a highly versatile submission hold that can be applied from a variety of positions, including standing, sitting, or on the ground. It can be used to control opponents, tire them out, and force them to submit. The choke can also be used to set up other submissions or strikes, as it often causes opponents to react in predictable ways.
Minimal energy expenditure
One of the significant advantages of the Rear Naked Choke is that it can be applied with minimal energy expenditure. Unlike other submission holds that require significant strength or energy to apply, the Rear Naked Choke relies on technique and leverage to apply pressure to the neck. This makes it an effective tool for fighters who may be tired or exhausted, as they can use the choke to control their opponent without expending too much energy.
Minimal risk of injury
Compared to other submission holds, the Rear Naked Choke has a relatively low risk of injury. Unlike joint locks or other chokes, the Rear Naked Choke does not put significant pressure on the limbs or spine, which can lead to injury. Additionally, because the choke cuts off blood flow rather than air, it does not pose a significant risk of asphyxiation or suffocation.
In addition to its physical advantages, the Rear Naked Choke also provides fighters with a psychological advantage. The threat of the choke can force opponents to become defensive and expend energy trying to prevent it. This can tire them out and make them more vulnerable to other attacks. Additionally, the Rear Naked Choke can be used as a tool for intimidation, as opponents may be hesitant to engage with a fighter who has demonstrated their ability to apply the choke effectively.
Countering and Defending Against the Rear Naked Choke
To defend against the Rear Naked Choke, it’s essential to be able to recognize when an opponent is attempting to apply it. The most common sign is when an opponent takes your back and begins to position their arms around your neck. You may also feel pressure on your neck and head as they begin to apply the choke. It’s important to act quickly when you recognize that your opponent is attempting to apply the Rear Naked Choke to prevent them from locking it in place.
Common defense techniques against the Rear Naked Choke
There are several techniques that fighters can use to defend against the Rear Naked Choke, including:
- Hand fighting – This involves using your hands to break the grip of your opponent’s arms as they attempt to apply the choke. You can do this by grabbing their wrists or hands and pulling them away from your neck.
- Tucking your chin – This involves tucking your chin down towards your chest to prevent your opponent from applying the choke to your neck. This can buy you time to defend against the choke or escape the position.
- Creating space – This involves creating space between your opponent’s arms and your neck. You can do this by bridging your hips, pushing your opponent’s hips away, or using your legs to kick your opponent’s legs or hips.
- Rolling or spinning – This involves rolling or spinning in a way that causes your opponent to lose their grip on your neck. This can be an effective way to escape the Rear Naked Choke and potentially gain a dominant position.
Escaping the choke and preventing the set-up
If your opponent has already locked in the Rear Naked Choke, there are several ways to escape the hold. These include:
- Turning into your opponent – This involves turning your body towards your opponent and trying to break their grip on your neck. You can also use your free hand to push on your opponent’s arm to create space.
- Slipping out the back door – This involves slipping out of the position and ending up on top of your opponent. To do this, you need to twist your body and slide your hips out from under your opponent’s legs.
- Defending the choke until your opponent tires – This involves remaining calm and defending against the choke until your opponent tires and loosens their grip. Once they do, you can take advantage of the opening to escape the position.
To prevent your opponent from setting up the Rear Naked Choke in the first place, it’s important to be aware of the danger of giving up your back. You should work on developing your defensive skills, such as hand fighting and creating space, to prevent your opponent from taking your back and locking in the choke.
The Rear Naked Choke is widely considered the most effective submission hold in mixed martial arts. Its high success rate, versatility, and minimal energy expenditure make it a potent tool for controlling opponents and forcing them to submit. However, it requires proper technique and knowledge of its potential risks to be executed safely and effectively. As such, it is important for fighters to practice and master the Rear Naked Choke as a valuable tool in their grappling arsenal. With its ability to end fights quickly and with minimal risk of injury, the Rear Naked Choke is a crucial component of any successful mixed martial artist’s repertoire.