February 01, 2008
One of the most popular moves in martial arts is the rear naked choke. The rear naked choke can be executed with or without the traditional gi (kimono), and variations are put to use in every venue, from professional wrestling to law enforcement. The choke is known by many names. Called the Lion Killer or "Mata Leão" in Brazil, its lineage reaches back to traditional Japanese jiu-jitsu and judo, where it is known as the "hadaka jime" or "naked strangle."
The rear naked choke is the move most feared when a competitor gives up his back to his opponent. The name describes the central components of the move: it is "rear" because the attack comes from the back, or rear; it is "naked" because it does not use the gi; and it is a choke, meaning it constricts either the air or blood flow to the brain, thereby potentially rendering the victim unconscious.
In this month's article (the last one in our series with world champion grappler Valerie Worthington), we will walk through two variations of the rear naked choke.