How to perform the Rear Naked Choke: training tips

Do you want to learn the Rear Naked Choke for BJJ and Grappling? Master this powerful technique with our guide in only five points.

In the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, there’s a renowned finishing technique that strikes fear in the hearts of even the most seasoned grapplers: the formidable rear naked choke.

This choke has become so emblematic of BJJ that even those unfamiliar with the sport can recognize it from high-octane MMA battles and heart-pounding Hollywood movies. However, my fellow BJJ aficionados, this choke isn’t a magical maneuver that one can simply conjure up to bewilder their opponent. On the contrary, it necessitates precision, expertise, and a dash of restraint.

Quick guide for a perfect Rear Naked Choke

Thus, let’s embark on a quest to fine-tune your rear naked choke skills to an unparalleled level, leaving your adversaries struggling for breath (in the most literal sense).

So, without further ado, let’s explore our top rear naked choke training recommendations.

rear naked choke performed by two practitioners, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

1. Hooks – Singularly and Steadily

As noted by Jiu-Jitsu black belt Ricardo “Cachorr√£o” Almeida, striving to insert both hooks at once is a beginner’s blunder. Instead, patiently draw your opponent on top of you and slide those hooks in one at a time, guaranteeing a secure and commanding position.

2. Refrain from Crossing Your Feet

While a figure-four leg lock could be effective for some, intertwining your feet during an open hook scenario is ill-advised. Embed your hooks into your opponent’s thighs, so that when they try to squirm and pivot, you move in harmony and maintain unyielding pressure.

3. Forge an Intimate Connection

BJJ virtuoso Renzo Gracie suggests positioning your head directly adjacent to your opponent’s ear as if you’re divulging a tantalizing secret. This closes the distance, nullifying any wriggle room and setting the stage for a snug, unrelenting choke.

4. Preserve the Proximity of Your Elbows

While preparing the choke, draw your elbows near one another and tug them in the direction of your opponent’s midsection. Keep in mind, a measured and composed approach prevails – don’t exhaust yourself by employing your full strength prematurely.

5. Impeccable Arm Placement

Submission savant Marcelo Garcia underscores the significance of a tight fit encircling your opponent’s neck. With the optimal positioning, you won’t even necessitate excessive force – the pressure alone will induce frantic tapping in desperation.


Remember, consistent practice is the key to mastery. Dedicate time to perfect the technique of sinking those hooks in individually, and witness your rear naked choke prowess soar to new heights. May these tips serve as a valuable resource on your BJJ journey, my friends. Did you find these rear naked choke training tips beneficial?


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