The Rear Naked Choke (RNC) is a common submission technique in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts (MMA), and other grappling arts. When applied correctly, it can efficiently cut off blood flow to the brain by compressing the carotid arteries, causing the opponent to tap out or lose consciousness. Here’s a step-by-step guide to applying the RNC:

  1. Establish Back Control: Before you can apply the rear naked choke, you need to have control of your opponent’s back. This typically means having both of your legs hooked around your opponent’s body (these are often referred to as “hooks”) and your chest pressed to their back.
  2. Secure the Neck: With your dominant hand, reach deep to grab your opponent’s opposite shoulder, ensuring your elbow is directly below their chin. This will place your forearm against one side of their neck and your bicep against the other side.
  3. Protect Your Choking Arm: The hand of your choking arm (the one that’s grabbing the shoulder) should be tucked behind your opponent’s head. This helps to prevent them from grabbing and defending against that arm.
  4. Lock it In: Take your free hand and slide it under the bicep of your choking arm. Some people liken this to making a “prayer” hand position where both palms meet.
  5. Squeeze: Once the choke is locked in, apply pressure by squeezing your elbows together and pulling your choking arm back while pressing forward with your chest. This compresses the carotid arteries, cutting off blood flow to the brain.
  6. Stay Aware: Always be aware of your opponent’s condition. If they tap, release immediately. If they don’t tap but appear to lose consciousness, release the choke and ensure they’re okay.

A few safety considerations:

  • Training: Always learn and practice techniques like the RNC under the supervision of a qualified instructor. They can provide corrections and safety guidelines.
  • Safety First: Never apply full pressure when practicing the RNC on a training partner. It’s easy to cause someone to lose consciousness with this choke, so it’s essential to be gentle and communicate.
  • Awareness: If someone is applying the RNC on you and you cannot escape, tap early. If you wait too long, you risk losing consciousness.
  • Legal Implications: Using a choke like the RNC outside of a sporting context can have legal consequences. Always be aware of the implications of using martial arts techniques in real-world situations.

Always prioritize safety and ensure you’re training in a safe environment with a qualified instructor.