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Self Defense: Escape the Standing Rear Naked Choke With Dean Lister

Self Defense: Escape the Standing Rear Naked Choke With Dean Lister


How to Handle Rear Naked Chokes by Dean Lister

If you have been around the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu scene you will surely have heard the name Dean Lister. As one of the pioneers of jiu jitsu and mixed martial arts, Lister’s story is similar to many practitioners in that he was drawn in to martial arts as a kid who wanted to be able to defend himself. He is known for having been one of the earliest leg attack experts who completely revolutionized the way people thought about and trained jiu jitsu. He has had an illustrious career in a variety of combat genres including wrestling, sambo, jiu jitsu, and submission grappling, along with MMA experience in both Pride and the UFC.

As an instructor and coach, Dean Lister has been sought all over the world for his combat knowledge. His unique experience as a submission grappler, seasoned Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and former UFC fighter gives his a perspective that few in the world can offer.


Dean Lister is an expert when it comes to handling rear naked chokes. In the video below Dean shows you how to get out of rear naked chokes from standing. Let us watch the video and then we will break down the technique. Check out the video below!

Dean Lister starts off by demonstrating how to defend against a standing rear naked choke. The first thing Dean shows us is to grab as close to the attackers thumb if he already has the arm wrapped around your neck. The thumb is ideal, but in most cases you will get the wrist. Once Lister has his grip he widens his base, dropping his level and throwing his opponent over his shoulder. Notice how Lister maintains a grip on his attackers arm once he hits the ground. That sets you up for an arm lock (as if the fall wasn’t enough to f**k him up!). The second method Lister shows for defending a rear naked choke from standing is to exploit the attacker’s lead leg by simply hopping around it, setting him up for an easy trip to take him down. Again, you will see Lister retains that arm, controlling where and what his opponent can do once he is on the ground. This is a very important detail. Dean goes on to discuss the reality of being caught in a full rear naked choke – where the attacker has locked up the choke with both arms, putting you in serious danger of passing out or being choked to death. In the event this happens, Lister reaches behind his head and grabs his attacker’s fingers, breaking them if he can (if it were a real fight), and pulling his arm off. However, if he is an experienced street fighter and makes a fist you have two or three seconds to react. Lister defends this by taking a big step back behind his attacker and lifting him up off the ground at his knees, jumping and dropping him on his face if he does not let go.

Of course, nobody wants to be a real life situation where a guy is choking you out. If you have any Brazilian Jiu Jitsu experience you know just how scary it can be when a guy takes you back and starts attacking your neck – and that is a controlled environment! Just imagine having it happen when someone is actually out to do you harm – way different. So having these techniques ingrained in your mind from drilling will do you a lot of good if you ever end up finding yourself in such a situation. Next time you are practicing chokes in BJJ make sure to have Dean Lister’s advice in mind.

Escaping chokes is just part of what Dean Lister is good at escaping. He is a master of finding his way out of every submission attempt without "worrying". His Worry Free Escapes DVD / On Demand Series gives you the Dean Lister confidence to get out of all submission attempts thrown at you in training or in competition.



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