MMA 101

This month, five time World Champion Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu player, Marcelo Garcia, helps us fine tune the rear naked choke.

The rear naked choke is the ideal submission from the back, but setting and finishing it is always a challenge. If I am able to jam my wrist into my opponent’s neck but he prevents me from grabbing my biceps to lock the rear naked choke, I transition to this alternate finishing grip to end the fight. Tucking my arm under his chin is an opportunity that I cannot waste, and I am content to choke my opponent in any way possible. When you apply this choke, be on the lookout for an opening to lock in the rear naked choke. Threatening one choke will often lead to the other, so be prepared to switch between the two if necessary.


1) I am on Henrique’s back, looking for the rear naked choke.

2) Seeing that his neck is exposed, I wedge the blade of my right wrist under his neck. I attempt to slide my right arm across his neck to set the rear naked choke, but he is resisting.

3) I transition to an alternate back choke by setting the back of my left hand on Henrique’s left shoulder.

4) I clasp my hands together.

5) To finish the choke, I set my left forearm against Henrique’s spine and squeeze my arms as I pull back. If I need to, I can tighten the choke by walking my hands up his shoulder like I was tightening a bolt with a ratchet.


In the first photograph, the gap where my opponent’s neck would be is large. To begin closing the gap, I chop my left hand downward. In the final photograph, you can see that I am squeezing my elbows together to eliminate the last bit of space, but notice the difference in the positioning of my right hand between the second and third photograph. In the third photograph, I am reaching as far beyond my left biceps as I can to tighten my squeeze.

Excerpted from Marcelo Garcia’s book Advanced Jiu-Jitsu Techniques, this technique is one of hundreds that have applications in both pure grappling and MMA competition. Make sure to check out the book and Marcelo Garcia’s website,, where you can see videos of thousands of techniques in both practice and practical use.

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