rear neck choke

Revealing Rear Neck Choke Techniques That Can’t Be Defended

Few techniques hold the same captivating allure as the rear neck choke in the intricate tapestry of martial arts and self-defense. This battle-tested maneuver, often shrouded in a veil of mystery, is a testament to the finesse and control that martial artists can wield.

So, whether you’re an avid martial artist seeking to refine your craft or an enthusiast keen on understanding the dynamics of self-defense, fasten your metaphorical black belt, for we are about to embark on a voyage of mastery of the rear naked choke. 

Step 1: Establish Your Canvas – Positioning

Every masterpiece requires a canvas; your canvas is the opponent’s back in the grappling world. To embark upon this artistic journey, start by positioning yourself behind your opponent. This foundational stance allows you to initiate your technique from a position of advantage, setting the stage for your meticulous execution.

Step 2: The Hands of Mastery – Hand Placement

Imagine your hands as brushes, poised to create a stroke of dominance. With finesse akin to a calligrapher, place your bicep against one side of the opponent’s neck and your forearm against the other. Your non-dominant hand acts as the anchor, cupping the chin and steering the direction of your masterpiece. Meanwhile, the dominant hand weaves its way beneath the opponent’s neck, embracing it like a serpent coiling its prey.

Step 3: The Architecture of Dominance – Body Positioning

As the tapestry takes shape, ensure your body positioning aligns with the principles of control. Slide your non-dominant leg across the opponent’s waist, anchoring yourself to their lower body. Your dominant leg, extended and perpendicular, forms a barrier against escape. This strategic geometry ensures that your control remains unwavering, a fortress that repels resistance.

Step 4: The Elegance of Leverage – Applying Pressure

Leverage—the ethereal force that magnifies your control. Gently press your chest against the opponent’s back, intensifying the pressure of your forearm against their neck. This calculated embrace activates the carotid arteries, initiating the symphony of controlled unconsciousness. However, remember that the objective is not to exert overwhelming force but to craft a harmonious balance between technique and restraint.

Step 5: The Grand Finale – Maintaining Composure

As the technique unfurls, maintain your composure—a conductor presiding over an orchestra of calculated force. Keep your movements deliberate and measured, allowing your opponent to submit gracefully or succumb to the lull of unconsciousness.

rear neck choke

Variations of the Rear Neck Choke

In rear neck chokes, two distinct avenues emerge—blood and air chokes, each possessing its unique mechanism and purpose.


  • Blood Choke: A symphony of pressure that targets the carotid arteries, the blood choke can render an opponent unconscious swiftly. Restricting the blood flow to the brain induces a state of controlled slumber. Its elegance lies in its swiftness and subtlety, requiring precise application and awareness to avoid unintended harm.
  • Air Choke: In contrast, the air choke zeroes in on the windpipe, stifling the opponent’s airflow and compelling them to submit. While inducing discomfort and a sense of urgency, the air choke is generally safer than its blood choke counterpart, making it a preferred choice in controlled training environments.

Gi vs. No-Gi Setups: Crafting with Fabric or Fingers

The distinction between gi (uniform) and no-gi grappling introduces another layer of variation to the rear neck choke. The presence or absence of a gi alters the playing field, influencing grip options and mechanics.

  • Gi Setup: When the gi is part of the equation, lapels and collars become tools of control. The fabric offers handles for grip, enabling nuanced manipulation and precise application of pressure. Gi-assisted rear neck chokes become a fusion of art and strategy, leveraging the garment’s material to cinch the submission.
  • No-Gi Setup: In the absence of the gi, the practitioner’s fingers assume center stage. The rear neck choke adapts, relying on hand placement and pressure points to craft its control. The no-gi variation demands refined hand positioning and sensitivity, making it a testament to the practitioner’s tactile mastery.


In the intricate realm of martial arts, the rear neck choke emerges not merely as a technique but as an embodiment of control, strategy, and artistry. As we draw the curtains on our exploration of rear neck choke mastery—from its foundational techniques to its advanced variations—we find ourselves standing at the crossroads of understanding and enlightenment.

Like a painter stepping back to admire their canvas, we marvel at the layers of technique that form this captivating discipline. Whether executed from a standing engagement, within the clinch, or on the ground, the rear neck choke reveals its multifaceted nature—a reflection of the practitioner’s expertise and the dance of combat itself.

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rear neck choke

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a rear neck choke? 

A: A rear neck choke is a grappling technique that involves applying pressure to an opponent’s neck from behind to induce unconsciousness or force them to submit. It is a controlled maneuver used in martial arts and self-defense.

Q: Are there different variations of the rear neck choke? 

A: Yes, there are various variations of the rear neck choke. These include blood chokes and air chokes, each targeting different physiological mechanisms. Using a gi (uniform) or the absence of a gi (no-gi) also influences how the technique is applied.

Q: How do blood chokes and air chokes differ? 

A: Blood chokes restrict the blood flow to the brain by targeting the carotid arteries, inducing unconsciousness. Air chokes, on the other hand, obstruct the airway, making breathing difficult and compelling the opponent to submit due to discomfort.

Q: Can I practice rear neck chokes safely? 

A: Yes, with proper training, supervision, and controlled practice, rear neck chokes can be practiced safely. It is crucial to prioritize technique, control, and the well-being of your training partner.

Q: What are some setups for the rear neck choke? 

A: Setups for the rear neck choke can be initiated from various positions, including standing engagements, clinch situations, and ground grappling. These setups often involve distracting or maneuvering your opponent to secure a dominant position to apply the choke.

Q: How important is timing in advanced rear neck choke techniques? 

A: Timing is crucial in advanced techniques. Properly executed timing can distinguish between a successful submission and a missed opportunity. It involves recognizing the right moment to initiate the method based on your opponent’s movements and reactions.

Q: How do angles play a role in executing advanced variations? 

A: Angles influence the effectiveness of a rear neck choke. Adjusting your body and positioning to create optimal leverage can deepen the choke and minimize your opponent’s chances of escaping. Mastery of angles enhances control and submission efficiency.

Q: What is the significance of anticipation in advanced rear neck choke techniques? 

A: Anticipation involves reading your opponent’s intentions and predicting their actions. In advanced techniques, anticipation allows you to set up the choke preemptively, gaining control before your opponent can react.

Q: What are some common mistakes to avoid when practicing rear neck chokes? 

A: Common mistakes include rushing the technique, neglecting defense, and overlooking fluidity. These errors can compromise your execution and leave you vulnerable. Maintaining a balanced approach that prioritizes offense and defense is crucial.

Q: Can I use rear neck chokes in self-defense situations? 

A: Rear neck chokes can be effective in self-defense scenarios, but using them responsibly and with appropriate force is crucial. Understanding the potential risks and ethical considerations is essential before applying such techniques in real-world situations.

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