Well, well, well. What do we have here… You’re in trouble again, aren’t you? You’ve given up your back, your opponent took it, placed their hooks in and secured a Rear Naked Choke. You are pretty much done for in this situation, right?
Well, you most likely are. But that doesn’t mean you should give up! BJJ is all about giving it your best and not giving up until there’s absolutely no way out (unless you are just training and rolling with your training partners – in that case, tap early and tap often), so you definitely need to give your best shot at escaping from this dire situation as well.
But how? Robert Drysdale demonstrates.
BUY YOURSELF SOME TIME
The first thing that you need to realize, Robert explains, is that even if you do everything right – if you follow through the steps he demonstrates in just the right manner – there’s still a high chance that you won’t be able to pull this escape off. Simply said, if you have to resort to this escape, you should have acted way beforehand and prevented yourself from ever falling into as deep of a hole as you are in now.
Nevertheless, Robert moves on to demonstrate that you first have to buy yourself some time, that you have to delay being choked out for a bit. The way you do this is by taking a hold over your opponent’s choking hand; and, once you grab a hold of it, by trying to pull it down, away from your chin.
You should aim to place your chin in the creek of your opponent’s elbow. If you manage to do this, you will (quite literally) have more room to breathe.
ESCAPE THE REAR NAKED CHOKE
From there, Robert shows that you need to bridge. Make sure to do this as further as you can in relation to your opponent, pressing your upper body heavily onto their chest, because doing so will make it even easier for you to breathe and even more difficult for them to finish the choke.
Then, shift your body to the side where the palm of the choking arm is. You do this by walking to that side in the bridged position, and then by rotating your hips together with your body. Robert points out that you should aim to free your shoulder, bringing it away from your opponent’s chest and down to the floor.
Also, as you do this, make sure that you’re winning the „head fighting“ battle: that you are looking to push the back of your head against your opponent’s head. The end goal is to get your head to the mat.
Now, it is especially important – Robert emphasizes – that you do all of this while still keeping your head and torso pointed at the ceiling above. In other terms, you must not let yourself turn to the side; this is what your opponent wants. They should fall to the side, but your torso and head need to be facing the ceiling.
If you’ve managed to follow through the pointers above, you will now likely be in a position where your opponent can’t really choke you out! Sure, they might still have their Rear Naked Choke or cable grip in, but no matter how much they squeeze, they won’t be able to submit you.
Therefore, you can simply pull your opponent’s choking arm away and over your head, rotating your hips and then driving into them in order to acquire a dominant position.
Robert Drysdale demonstrates this technique in wonderful detail on the video below:
Learn from Robert Drysdale, a world champion who trains and creates champions.
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