Marcelo Garcia On: Getting MEAN Rear Naked Chokes

Marcelo gets another RNC victory at the ADCCs.

Marcelo gets another RNC victory at the ADCCs.

Back on the Keyboard again today, and pretty darn souped up about writing his week about Chokes and the best “Choke-ers” in the BJJ Universe. Today I wanted to talk a little bit about what is undeniably the most well-known and easily recognized choke in the world – the Rear Naked Choke or “RNC.”

 The expert I want to reference? Is no other than Marcelo Garcia, known as possibly the best back mount attacker in the history of BJJ. Seriously skilled, seriously dangerous, and he employs some important RNC details that so few other people pay attention to.

But you WILL pay attention to them – because you’re reading this, and if I have anything to say about it, you’ll also be getting more taps this week.

Okay, so on to why Marcelo’s chokes rule and we can all learn from them:

 Marcelo and the Neck Squeeze

(^ Good name for a children’s book)

[ Watch this Video First ]

1) Choke in Transition –

Notice that when Marcelo Garcia gets on someone’s back – he’s always looking to “Choke in Transition” when he can.

Why is this important? Well, initiative is important in general, but in the bigger picture, Back Mount is SUCH a predictable position that if Marcelo waited 30 seconds before trying to choke someone, he’d end up being defended.

It’s not like he has another 6 really cool submissions from back mount – everyone knows he wants the RNC, so the best time to get it is to START the choke, and get under the neck – well before the opponent full realizes you’re in backmount.

2) Brutality –

Plus, here’s something else he does well: He gets vicious on people’s faces.

Now, I’m not advising that you go crack your drilling partners’ molars or anything, but I will tell you this much: Being a nice guy doesn’t help your back mount. The RNC move is PREDICTABLE, so instead of winning by grace and fanciness, you need to win by raw force, period.

Does that make sense?

Competitively, it always does. Watch other famous RNCs (like Roger Gracie vs. Jacare in the ADCC), and find a “Graceful” one. It’s hard to find – because it’s a gruff move. I had a long back mount rant once where I went off in the middle of a class about how important it is to have the brutal, persevering mentality to get the RNC. You don’t need it for ever submission, but for the RNC it’s a requirement – it’s a game of attrition and force! You can read that rant at Science of Skill (

Coming from a 133lb guy like me who otherwise doesn’t use much force, that’s saying something. Namely – I didn’t consistently hit this technique on better grapplers until I got my mind right around the level of aggressiveness.

Gotta deal with that predictability element of the RNC – if you watch Marcelo you’ll see someone who’s really mastered this dynamic.



PS: No mercy on the RNC this week!

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