Rear naked choke
|Rear naked choke|
Marines practice rear naked chokes at Defense Visual Information Center
|Parent style||Jujutsu, Judo,
|AKA||Hadaka Jime, Naked Strangle, Sleeper hold, Mata leão ("Lion killing" in Portuguese, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu)|
|Parent hold||Back mount|
The Rear naked choke (RNC) is a chokehold in martial arts applied from an opponent's back. Depending on the context, the term may refer to one of two variations of the technique, either arm can be used to apply the choke in both cases. The term rear naked choke likely originated from the technique in Jujutsu and Judo known as the "Hadaka Jime", or "Naked Strangle." The word "naked" in this context suggests that, unlike other strangulation techniques found in Jujutsu/Judo, this hold does not require the use of a keikogi ("gi") or training uniform.
The choke has two variations: in one version, the attacker's arm encircles the opponent's neck and then grabs his own biceps on the other arm (see below for details); in the second version, the attacker clasps his hands together instead after encircling the opponent's neck.
"Figure four" variation 
This variant is considered to be a "blood choke" because it restricts blood flow to the brain via the carotid arteries. When done correctly, it can cause temporary unconsciousness in a few seconds. The following is a description of this technique using the left arm.
- The attacker's left arm encircles the opponent's neck, with the opponent's trachea at the crook of the elbow.
- The attacker's left hand then grasps his own upper right arm [biceps].
- The right hand is placed behind (or occasionally on top of) the opponent's head.
- The elbows are then brought together such that lateral pressure, from the biceps and radius bone, is applied to the neck on both sides.
When applied properly unconsciousness occurs in less than 10 seconds and recovery from the choke is just as quick.
"Body Lock or Hooks" variation 
The placement of the legs usually falls into two categories. The first is a body lock. The attacker places one of his legs across the stomach or lower chest of the victim. He then places his other leg over his own shin, creating a figure-four with his legs. This allows him to limit movement and stay close to the back of his victim. This technique was used by Anderson Silva against Dan Henderson and by Jim Miller against Melvin Guillard. The other common technique is known as using "hooks". In this version the attacker places his legs inside of the victim's legs. He then moves his legs out, placing his shin behind the victim's knees, essentially using his shins and feet as hooks to control the victim's legs.
"Clasping hands" variation 
This variation (also known as Palm to Palm) has the supporting hand clasp the hand of the choking arm, allowing more pressure to be applied to the neck, but losing some of the control of the head. This alters the choke somewhat so that it is more likely to be applied as an airway-restricting choke or mixed blood and air choke, which results in more pain but a slower choke-out. As such, this technique is less frequently used at advanced levels in Judo. Nonetheless, it has seen some successful applications in mixed martial arts competition: for instance, it was used by Fedor Emelianenko, a heavyweight champion in PRIDE, to defeat Kazuyuki Fujita at the PRIDE 26 event in 2003. Fujita tapped out about five seconds after the choke was applied. He used it again to defeat former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia in 36 seconds. Sylvia tapped out immediately once the choke was sunk in and after the fight described it as being very painful. It was also used by Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Matt Hughes to defeat Frank Trigg in their second fight which was adapted from a hand-on-biceps version of the rear naked choke. Anderson Silva also used the clasping hands variation when he defeated Dan Henderson in the UFC. Joe Lauzon used this choke in his fight against Melvin Guilard, initially using the standard version, then switching to a palm to palm.
The main characteristic of Hadaka-Jime when compared to other Judo chokes is that it does not require the use of the opponent's clothing, namely his gi lapel, to create the choking tourniquet. It digs the blade of the wrist into the carotid sinus similar to the hand clasp method and uses a lever motion helped by the underhand. It is faster to apply requiring less strength than the figure four/mixed-martial arts version but is more difficult to learn. It is not an air choke but a carotid choke created entirely by the attacker's arms.
Similar non-judo techniques 
Hadaka Jime is also recognized as Hadaka-Jime-San in Danzan Ryu jujitsu's twenty-five techniques in the Shimete list. Danzan Ryu also recognizes the Guillotine choke as Hadaka-Jime-Ichi. But the principle is the same as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu's ground version, as demonstrated here.
Included systems 
Danzan Ryu enumerates three versions of Hadaka-Jime:
- 1. Ichi (one)
- Standing neck-break. Two versions:
- Neck twist
- A version of the guillotine, Mae-Hadaka-Jime, is also described in The Canon Of Judo, an authoritative work that covers the history of judo and its predecessor jujutsu.
- 2. Ni (two)
- Choke with forearm. This is an air choke with the forearm pressing on the throat.
- 3. San (three)
- Figure-4 choke with forearm. This is a blood choke with the forearms and biceps pressing and the sides of the neck.
"Sleeper Hold" in professional wrestling 
Pro-wrestling's first "sleeper hold" is thought to have been performed by Jim Londos on June 29, 1931. Suspicion abounded as to the nature of Londos' move (which had looked suspiciously like a choke against the windpipe); however, Londos was quoted the next day in The New York Sun as simply having performed "a new hold I perfected which shuts off the jugular vein."
Though Londos' original move may or may not have been inspired by judo's "hadaka jime," pro-wrestling's sleeper and a rear naked choke both share a similar style of execution. However, in order for the sleeper to be used in the performance art-related world of pro-wrestling, the "leverage" arm is positioned in a relaxed state so the hold is not fully applied.
It is more realistically used by TNA wrestler Samoa Joe (whose wrestling move-set is closer to mixed martial arts). From then on out, the move has become more of a staple among independent wrestlers, as well as the Japanese wrestlers with the "strong style" of the sport; the most notable being former MMA star Minoru Suzuki.The sleeper hold is now more realistically done in pro wrestling.
Catch wrestling's "sleeper" 
In modern catch wrestling circles, the term "sleeper hold" refers to a variation of the RNC in which the individual performing the hold snakes the leverage arm across the opponent's throat (in the same manner as the traditional RNC) and grasps their opposite shoulder, rather than the biceps. The opposite hand is also placed against the base of the opponent's skull in the form of a closed Hammer Fist, or on top of the head. The attacking wrestler then squeezes his/her elbows together, pushes forward with the hammer fist (if used), and crunches forward with the abdominal muscles, producing an extremely tight and fast-acting choke.
Safe application 
This choke, in either the figure-four or clasped-hand variation, is an extremely dangerous technique if used thoughtlessly or improperly. When applied as a blood choke in particular, it immediately reduces the supply of oxygen to the brain, leading (as mentioned above) to unconsciousness and ultimately (if not released) to brain damage or death. It is imperative, when using this technique, to be completely aware of your opponent's physical state, and to release the choke at any sign of your opponent losing consciousness or "tapping out." From the sport's inception, no fatalities have been reported as due to choking in judo.
See also 
- Judosport.net – two RNC versions
- Bestjudo.com – use of RNC in judo
- Mifune, Kyuzo (2004, 1965, 1960). The Canon Of Judo. Kodansha International Ltd. pp. 128, 132. ISBN 4-7700-2979-9.
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