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Submission holds are an integral part of mixed martial arts. Unlike boxing, this sport allows you to punch, kick, and grapple with your opponent. Having your own set of submission holds, including chokes, joint locks, and other techniques used to immobilize your opponent, is a must. And one of the most popular forms of submission fighting is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).
As a professional mixed martial artist, I train regularly in BJJ. In fact, during my fight with Kaiwhare Kara-France in Kuala Lumpur two weeks ago, I executed a BJJ submission move known as the rear-naked choke to secure a victory.
Photo by YK Tang
Video via Team Buffet
The rear-naked choke is one of the simpler submission holds out there. Like in all martial arts, techniques and holds can take years to master, but there are a couple of moves that can be learned right away. Below are three examples!
I have won seven professional fights using this particular move, so it's obviously one of my favorite submission holds.
To apply the move, you simply latch onto your opponent like a backpack, with one arm reaching around the person's neck, grabbing your other arm's bicep, and pushing their head forward.
This cranking motion brings their neck right into your bicep. The choke blocks the carotid arteries in the neck and halts blood flow to the brain. Thus, if they don't tap, they will most likely pass out. The key to this hold is to get your arm underneath your opponent's chin and directly on the neck.
This hold might bring back memories of horsing around with friends in the playground when you were young. Some of you have probably already done this move without even knowing it while wrestling or just plain messing around.
Do it by placing your opponent's head underneath your arm and, like the rear-naked choke, isolating his neck and applying pressure. The guillotine is commonly seen when someone goes for a takedown or tackle and leaves his neck exposed. In doing so, he gives his opponent the opportunity to grab his neck and secure the hold.
The "smother" submission is a rare one. A diamond in the rough, so to speak. I’ve only seen it done a few times in fights and in all my years of training, I’ve never seen it done in the practice room.
To execute this hold, you have to at least be larger than your opponent. You can smother your opponent and prevent him from breathing by laying your upper body on your opponent's face. Submission via suffocation, as they say. For all you couch potatoes, this might be your submission of choice.