There are countless submission techniques fighters have at their disposal in MMA, but it’s the basics that continue to be the most effective in competition. From time to time, you will see something fancy like an omoplata or a gogoplata but mostly the submissions you see in MMA are things that grapplers learn very early on.

One of the most basic yet effective techniques utilized in MMA today is the rear naked choke. The rear naked is a choke utilized by just about everyone in the sport. It’s a technique that doesn’t require the same level of setup at many other submissions because securing a rear naked is more about breaking the will of an opponent.

To execute the rear naked choke, a fighter must first gain control of their opponent’s back. The best way to control an opponent’s back is by either sinking in hooks – attacker places their legs inside the legs of the victim – or by utilizing a body lock with the legs.

Once control of the opponent’s body is obtained, now the fighter has to create an opening to sink their arm under the chin and around the neck of their opponent. Often times fighters will utilize strikes from the back mount to “soften” up their opponent, but utilizing a wrestling cross face can be just as effective.

To finish the technique, a fighter can go one of two ways. First is the blood choke where the attacker encircles the opponent’s neck with the opponent’s trachea at the crook of the elbow. In this variation the attacker’s hand would grasp their opposite upper arm. The second variation is referred to as “clasping hands” or “palm to palm”; rather than griping the upper arm the fighter clasps their hands together. This variation allows more pressure to be applied to the neck, but doesn’t allow for full control of the opponent’s head.

Check out the video above where Clark Gracie breaks the technique down.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report,, and RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.