Strategies for Back Control, or the RNC and you
In my opinion, the rear Naked Choke is the most dominant submission in grappling. You control the other person's back and you choke them unconscious. Hard to get any better, position AND submission.
When I roll, I have a fairly decent succes rate with my RNC against beginners. That is, when I sink it in immediately and start choking hard. When I go against people who are just allright whitebelts, or good whitebelts or bluebelts, their defense is generally fairly good. I have trouble sinking in the arm across the throat, to start the choke. I can ride their backs for forever, using over/under and hooks, sometimes a body triangle.
I'm not a strong guy, and my main problem is them holding my hands away, or pulling at the choking arm. What I've been doing so far is to push the arm that I have the underhook on (with which I grab the wrist) down, and either grab that with my overhook hand, or trap it with my hook on the same side. It's been reasonably succesful, but it often takes awhile, and it still does not always work against much stronger opponents, or those who have excellent defence. My goal now is to increase my effectiveness and especially the speed with which I finish the RNC.
That's why I come here; I want to share techniques for back control and for finishing the RNC and other transitional options. What has been working for you? What are your grips?
What I have been doing, which has been moderately succesful for me, and has been advocated by an instructor is to get over/under hooks. the overhook on the side that's on the floor, if there is any. The overhook will be the primary choking arm. For this purpose I'm assuming he's defending himself well (This is talking about a fight for the submission, not a quick catch). Now, my underhook generally catches his wrist and I try to push it down towards his crotch, and then clamp on tight with my leghook on that side. From there I have one arm free, which will push the other hand off my overhook/choking arm. After that, I will push his nose towards my elbow to sink it in deep, or pull on his forehead to make room for my choking arm to slide in more tightly.
What are your techniques?
[Edit for clarification]
My personal question is about No-Gi, in Gi, there are so many ways to choke I don't really have that much of a problem, but the grip issue still comes in play. How do you neutralize his hands that can defend the choke?
Last edited by Syphilis; 1/13/2009 7:52pm at .
Gi or no-gi? This makes a huge difference. Once you have hooks in in no-gi you just have to slow down and get your arm in.
My favorite method is to roll so I'm on the bottom. I hold the body of my opponent with my left hand, pinning his left arm if I can. From there I take my right hand and slide it down the right side of his head, starting at around the ear. Hold your hand so the thumb is sliding right along the face. If you want to be mean you can dig the knuckle in. Jusr slide it right on down until you have your arm across the neck and then link up your other hand to finish.
The main thing is ensuring you control your opponent with your legs. The only sure RNC escape from being back mounted is to escape the back mount so that's what you have to prevent. Messing with his arms is distracting and not all that necessary. Trying to catch his arm with your leg like you're describing above is probably going to result in him escaping more often than not since you're going to have to ease up on your hooks to do it. Just control his lower body and take your time and it'll come.
This is assuming we're doing no-gi BJJ. In gi rolling the RNC is not your best bet from this position against an experienced opponent since the gi can be used to completely stop it (if you know what you're doing of course).
as you mentioned, always keep the over on the side that's in danger of being on the floor - but really you don't want to be on his side, it multiplies his escape options because it makes it much easier to both trap your bottom leg, removing a hook, or to work one of your arms across, letting him turn into you. So if he tries to roll to his side, add your momentum to it and end up ideally belly down but belly up is also acceptable.
I prefer the "tiger claw" method of getting your overhooking hand across the throat - driving your knuckles along the jaw line until you can grab their trapezius to secure the grip. Keep wrist control with your other hand, then squeeze your leg onto both your arm and his arm while pulling your formerly underhooking hand free.
He's probably going to be digging and trying to pry your hands free, so I like to do the "hadaka jime" style grip first - gable gripping hands together while pulling to get my elbow in the middle of the throat and - this is important - the arm that is not wrapped around their neck has the elbow planted in their back as a lever to pull your clasped hands in tighter. To obtain the grip simply take the hand that used to be underhooking his arm and slide it up his back. This method has the advantage that it's really really hard for him to get your hands at any point.
from here you have the option of finishing by squeezing, tucking your head, and breathing in. If you need more leverage, you can easily transition to the traditional BJJ finish. The hand of the arm that's in their back, not around their throat, simply shoots up to the back of their head, creating a figure-4. Finish as normal.
Additional notes on back control - if you feel he is trying to turn into you hard, shut down the side that has your overhook. if he turns into you that way you lose the position. If he turns into your underhooking side, shoot your underhook deep, trying to grab his opposite side trap, then hook around his head for an arm triangle. It's much easier to finish from the top so I generally only bait this when he's facing the mat.
Honestly, I've been getting a lot of success with no hook or even one hook. You still want to have the position first. The problem is, as people get better, they defend better. Once you get that position, there are very few options left. There are Gi chokes with the Gi, but in No-Gi, usually, the rear naked. As such, there isn't much you have to focus on defending.
The the opposite side of the plate, that is were transitions and other submission options come into play. The head/arm choke is usually not far off as well as armbars. I try to switch it up so as to keep the guy/gal guessing. While he's thinking of that, I'm getting my RNC through. If you start taking his/her back then they will start worrying about that and less on the choke; etc, etc, and so forth.
Have you seen this short tutorial by Stephan Kesting?
Ever since I started trying to RNC this way (harness, grab the shoulder, palm strike hands away, and so on) my success rate shot up.
YouTube - A Rear Naked Choke Tutorial
Originally Posted by Das Moose
You know, I'm so ashamed to admit this, but I have never watched his RNC video. Dammit! Especially considering how much of a fan of his I am and how many videos of his I own. Not including multi-part DVD's, but I own 6 of his videos. Today...I fail...:(
I felt so bad, I just watched it. I feel better now.
Follow Kesting's steps and you will be successfull. It's funny to see how things are taught so much better these days than in the early years. LOL. Go back and watch **** from the 80's and 90's and it is akin to Doctors drilling holes in peoples heads to get rid of voices.
I have the old Kukuk/Gracie series, the difference is astounding.
Originally Posted by Yrkoon9
I like doing this too. As soon as I push down his arm with the underhook hand, I slide my hook over it, and then cross my ankles a la BJ Penn (when you have an arm trapped is the only time you can cross your ankles in a backmount). Takes a little bit of flexibility - basically the better you can do a butterfly stretch, the nicer your body lock will be.
Originally Posted by Syphilis
This position is great because you can either work a gi choke or RNC with him only defending with one arm, or if he starts to slide out, transition to the triangle from the back (in which case you have kimura/armbar options as well).