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John Danaher Leglocks
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Simple Ways To Make Your Rear Naked Choke Even Better!



This past Sunday at the Eddie Bravo Invitational, DDS (Danaher Death Squad) member, Gordon Ryan took home yet another EBI championship belt. While it was no surprise that Ryan would win the tournament, what was surprising was that Gordon used none of the leg attack techniques that DDS members are known for. Instead he used choking techniques to take the gold. Specifically, three out of four of Gordon’s matches ended with a rear naked choke. Once again in grappling, the rear naked choke shows why it is called mata leao, or lion killer. Gordon showing the supremacy of the choke, made me want to give advice on how to make your rear naked choke even better. Here are a few tips to do that!

Practice the motions over and over

Just like any technique in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you will need to drill the hell out of this. Too many people forget the simplicity and beauty of the rear naked choke. They want to go for fancier stuff. Gordon proved that the RNC is still the go to, best choke in BJJ. So practice those motions. Get the strong grip around the neck, make the connection with the arms, hand to the back of the head and squeeze your elbows together to finish. Remember, the correct version of this choke, you have to squeeze your elbows together, don’t try pulling back.

Work on trapping the arms

This is something that Eddie Cummings and Gordon Ryan do exceptionally well. Instead of just trying to get the choke, while trying to fight off the hands, they trap their opponent’s arms with their legs and then go for the choke. When you use your legs to trap the arms, you are instantly upping the finish percentage of the choke. The Danaher guys call it the straight jacket and it works all too well. You can trap one of the arms to the body, to the back or you can body triangle an arm in. Work on trapping those arms before getting the choke. It will help immensely.

Work the Dan Severn

One version of the rear naked choke that gets no love is the Dan Severn RNC. What is the Dan Severn? Well, it is the style of rear naked choke the UFC hall of famer, Dan “The Beast” Severn used in his vale tudo days. Instead of getting the figure four style grip like the BJJ version, you need to get a shallower palm to palm grip. With this style of choke, you pull your opponent in and then rip back, using your elbow behind their back to make it painful. This is a great version to do if you cannot trap their arms and they keep grabbing your top arm when going for the standard rear naked choke.

Even the leg lock specialist, Gordon Ryan knows that the rear naked choke is king. And he used it to take out those who stood in his way. Even if this choke isn’t one of your favorites, you should make it one of your favorites. It works great and there is nothing crazy or flashy about it. It will put your opponent out and give you the win. If you are looking to improve your back attacks, whether it be in gi or no gi, check out…

Passing, Back Takes & Finishes by JT Torres. Click here!


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