How To Do The Rear Naked Choke(RNC)

How To Do The Rear Naked Choke(RNC)

The rear naked choke(RNC) is probably the most known submission out there. Even people without formal training know all about this submission. In this article we will be taking a look at the most famous chokes – the rear naked choke. In our guide we break down every detail you need to start choking out your opponents with it! 

Origins of The Rear Naked Choke(RNC)

RNC or the rear naked choke has been around for thousands of years. It’s depicted in ancient art, sculptures, and has a variety of different names. In Portugese, they call it “mata leao” which means lion killer and the Japanese Judo name is “Hadaki Jimi.”  

Most Americans knew it as the sleeper hold from pro wrestling before BJJ and MMA popularized it. Many different cultures discovered the RNC and used it because of its effectiveness. 

Rear Naked Choke

How to Do the Rear Naked Choke (RNC)

This submission hold is probably the simplest one to perform in grappling. The RNC is done in three easy steps.   

Slide your arm under an opponent’s neck, grab your other bicep, slide the hand behind their head, and squeeze. Very easy, simple, and extremely effective!  

Watch this video below of Stephan Kesting showing everything you need to know about how to do the RNC. 

Grips For The Rear Naked Choke (RNC)

There are three different grips you can use to finish the rear naked choke(RNC). Bicep grip, Gable grip, and S grip.  

Honestly though, the Gable grip and S grip are the weakest grips and easiest to escape. There are also more like air chokes, when an RNC is supposed to be a fast acting blood choke . 

If you want to lock in and secure the tightest RNC possible it is best to go with the bicep grip.

Tips For Back Mount

The rear naked choke(RNC) is done generally from the back mount with you hook in. When you take back-mount remember these three things before you try to sink in the RNC.  

No space: You have to close off the space between you and your opponent. If there is space, there is a better chance of them escaping your back mount.  

Hooks: Your legs need to be hooked around your opponent to establish the back-mount. Without these hooks or a body triangle, you have no control over your opponent. Always remember: position before submission!  

No Crossing Feet: Your first week of training you are told to never cross your feet in back-mount and with good reason. When you cross your feet this gives the opponent the opportunity to lock in a nasty submission. Watch this video below as they show the leg-lock from this position. 

Common Errors When Doing the Rear Naked Choke (RNC)

The RNC is a very simple move, but a lot of people make big errors when performing the choke. Below are some of the biggest errors people make when trying to execute an RNC.  

Letting the opponent see the choke arm: Some people will loop their choke arm in a big slow motion to get the arm around the opponent’s neck. This will never work. When the opponent sees that arm coming, they will immediately start defending the choke.  

Grip Arm Placement: Grapplers will also put the grip arm in the wrong place like on the top of the opponent’s head. This arm needs to be behind the head otherwise, the opponent can peel your grips off. 

New Rear Naked Choke Setup

You might think all of the methods for doing a Rear Naked Choke have been done, but you’d be surprised. People are still coming up with new techniques to do this choke.  

A great example is ADCC competitor and leg-lock specialist Lachlan Giles. In one of his newest technique videos, he shows how he sets up and finishes the RNC.  

After sliding the choke hand under the neck, Lachlan cups the opponent’s shoulder blade. This makes it really hard to remove the choke arm.  

To lock in the choke he does something completely different. Giles first makes a fist with his grip hand and pushes it against the opponent’s neck, so they can’t turn.  

The next step is he takes that grip hand and loops his elbow over his choke hand. This hides the lock in and the opponent can’t defend the choke.  

Watch Lachlan show his RNC set up below. 

Key Details to Consider for the Rear Naked Choke (RNC)

  • Slide The Choke Hand: Make sure to slide your choke hand under the opponent’s chin. The choke becomes a face lock when you put your arm across their face. 

  • Grip Hand Behind The Head: To lock in the choke always remember to put the grip hand behind their head and try hiding it. If they see it or you put it on top of their head, they’ll defend it. 

  • Squeeze Like A Snake: Don’t just use your arms when you are attempting the RNC, you’ll burn them out fast. Squeeze them like a snake and use your whole body to squeeze them. Also use a body triangle if you’d to also squeeze their body at the same time

Final Thoughts

The rear naked choke(RNC) is quite possibly the simplest and most effective choke you can do in BJJ. It is one of the most basic submissions that every grappler should know.   

It may be one of the first chokes you would probably learn especially in No Gi. But it does take some time to master. Keep on practicing the choke and once you get that back mount it should be as good as over!  

Follow these helpful tips and your Rear Naked Choke game is going to be next level stuff! Take the back and get the tap!