How To Escape A Naked Rear Choke In Jiu-Jitsu

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As a jiu-jitsu practitioner, there is one move that you hope you never have to encounter – the rear naked choke. This technique is often seen as the ultimate submission move, and it goes without saying that if you’re caught in it, you’re in serious trouble. With that said, it’s important to have a solid arsenal of techniques to escape from this hold should you ever find yourself in a compromised position. In this article, we’ll look at six sub-questions that will help you learn how to escape a rear naked choke in jiu-jitsu.


What is the rear naked choke?

The rear naked choke is a submission hold in jiu-jitsu that’s executed from a position where you’re behind your opponent and have their back. It’s one of the most effective and powerful submissions in the martial art and can render your opponent unconscious in just a few seconds.

The rear naked choke starts by establishing a grip around your opponent’s neck with your arms, keeping your palms flat against their chest. Then, you need to squeeze your arms together to cut off the blood flow to their brain, causing them to pass out or “tap out” before losing consciousness.


What are the dangers of the rear naked choke?

The rear naked choke can be a dangerous move for the uninitiated or inexperienced. If applied incorrectly, it can cause various injuries and even death by crushing the trachea or damaging the vertebrae in the neck.

Another danger to the person being attacked with the move is that it can cause unconsciousness within a matter of seconds, which can cause them to fall to the ground or hit their head, increasing the risk of head injuries.


How do you defend against a rear naked choke?

To defend against a rear naked choke, you need to be proactive and know what to do to avoid getting caught. The best defense is, of course, to avoid getting into that position in the first place, but if you do, there are still things you can do to break free.

One of the most common defenses is to try to block the initial entry of the arms around your neck. As soon as you feel the grip, try to bring one of your hands up to the inside of your neck to create a barrier between your head and your opponent’s arm. From there, you can use a variety of techniques to try to break free.


What are some escape techniques to use against a rear naked choke?

The key to escaping a rear naked choke is to stay calm and act quickly. Here are some effective techniques you can use:

a. Fingers in the armpit escape
This technique’s name explains what you need to do – when your opponent has their arm wrapped around your neck, use your fingers to dig into their armpit to create enough pain that they will release their grip on you. As soon as they let go, you can use the momentum to roll out of the prone position and into a defensive one.

b. Turn into your opponent escape
If you can turn your head into the crook of your opponent’s elbow and use your free hand to gain leverage against their elbow, you will be able to create enough space to escape. From there, you can use your momentum to roll out of the prone position and into a more defensive stance.

c. The turtle escape
Assuming your opponent has your back and has sunk in their hold, you can use this technique to reclaim some control. Start by tucking your chin to your chest and reaching backwards to grab the top of your opponent’s legs or feet. From there, lift your hips and then flip over to face them, effectively reversing the situation.

d. Slide-back escape
This technique uses speed and agility to escape. As soon as you feel the neck grip tighten, try to burst forward as fast as you can, sliding out of your opponent’s grip and moving away from them.

e. The arm-wrap escape
If your opponent has wrapped their arms around your neck and you can’t use either of your hands to break free, you can try wrapping one of their arms around your chest, effectively trapping them. From there, you can use your other hand to break the chokehold.


How can you prevent a rear naked choke?

Of course, the best defense is a good offense, and preventing your opponent from getting a rear naked choke on you in the first place is crucial. Here are some tips:

a. Don’t let them get behind you
When rolling with your opponent, try to keep yourself facing them at all times. If you turn away, you’re giving them an opening to take your back and apply the choke.

b. Stay aware of your opponent’s movements
As soon as you start to feel your opponent’s arms moving around your neck, it’s time to start thinking about how to break free. By staying aware and alert, you can respond quickly and effectively to any attempts they might make.

c. Use your own grappling techniques to stay in control
By using your own grappling techniques, you can stay ahead of your opponent and keep them at a safe distance from you. If you can maintain control, it’s much harder for them to apply the rear naked choke.


What are some training tips for escaping a rear naked choke?

While it’s important to learn and practice specific techniques to escape the rear naked choke, there are some general things you can do to improve your chances of success. Here are some tips:

a. Practice frequently
The more you practice your defenses against the rear naked choke, the better you’ll become at recognizing the hold and responding appropriately.

b. Start slow and build up speed and intensity
When you’re first learning the techniques, it’s important to start slow and focus on getting the movements right. As you become more comfortable, you can gradually increase the speed and intensity of the attacks and defenses.

c. Work with a partner you trust
When practicing these techniques, it’s critical to work with someone you trust to avoid injury. Ideally, you’ll work with a partner who understands the importance of safety and respect.

d. Use realistic training scenarios
To prepare effectively for a rear naked choke, you need to practice in realistic scenarios that simulate what it would be like in a real fight. This means working with a partner who’s willing to apply the choke fully and realistically so that you can get a sense of what it would be like in a real fight.



In conclusion, escaping a rear naked choke is a crucial skill to have as a jiu-jitsu practitioner. With the right techniques and training, you can learn to stay calm, respond quickly, and break free from your opponent’s grasp. By mastering these skills, you’ll be better prepared to defend yourself should you ever find yourself in a compromised position.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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