Weekly Challenge: The Lion Hunt

Photo by: Blanca Marisa Garcia

For anyone who likes to watch submission only events, Sunday evening was a real treat!  EBI gave us a look at some of the very best grappling the sport has to offer.  There was one specific submission throughout the event that decided many of the matches: the rear-naked choke (aka mata leao.)  After a short break from challenges, this week’s Jiu Jitsu Times Weekly Challenge is meant to help us focus on that specific move.

For one week: at least once per training session, ask your training partners to start on your back and at least once per training session make a best effort to take your training partner’s back and get the tap by RNC.  If you want to really challenge yourself, try these with training partners who are of equal or higher technical level and who are physically bigger and/or stronger than you.

There’s a reason the RNC has been often dubbed the king of submissions.  A tough guy can tough out a broken bone or dislocated joint, other chokes are good, but the rear naked choke is pure, unequivocal victory.

Go for this choke regardless of whether or not you are wearing the gi.  I know there are other chokes available like bow and arrow chokes and other collar chokes, but practice that RNC.  It’s worthwhile.  Just look at how powerful it was in action at EBI!

When you have people start on your back, try to get out as quickly as possible.  Try different methods.  If you are training gi or no gi mix those methods up.  Be aware of possible gi chokes when you are training in the gi too, after all just because you’re playing this game doesn’t mean your training partners are too.

Another thing to try is to simply hold out in that position, try to make yourself frustratingly difficult to submit.  Let your training partner acquire increasingly awful hand positioning and then try to escape.  Everyone’s got their limitations, but I’ve seen guys manage to escape fully sunk RNC’s so it is possible…

Also, if you are a bit more advanced, explore some of the options and transitions that may be available to attacks directly off of back control.  There are actually some leg locks there as well as entries into offensive positions if you time and turn correctly.  Just something to think about!

Let us know what you think of this week’s Jiu Jitsu Times Weekly Challenge, and if you have any ideas for future ones!


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