Defending Against the Rear Naked Choke and the Front Headlock

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga, Martial Arts, self defense -

Defending Against the Rear Naked Choke and the Front Headlock

The most common chokeholds that many people learn even when they are untrained are the rear naked chokehold and the front headlock.  Humans do not have a preconceived notion of how to grapple but they do have a preconceived notion and natural instinct to go for the neck.  Learning grappling is imperative for self-defense because it is complex and gives you a competitive edge.

Many people like to learn self-defense techniques that involve punching and kicking because we all have a natural ability to do these moves.  This natural inclination to punch and kick makes punching and kicking more simple and intriguing to learn.  The benefit of learning grappling is that you will be able to defend yourself from complex scenarios.

Today we are going to watch to instructional videos on basic approaches to defending against the most popular chokes, the front headlock and the rear naked choke.  These are the only positions that someone who is untrained may be familiar with so learning how to defend yourself against them is very important. Let’s have a look.

How to Handle Rear Naked Choke by Dean Lister

The rear naked choke is by far the most popular chokehold in the world among mainstream citizens and among martial artist.  If you have ever watched the UFC then you are probably familiar with this position.  This choke hold was popularized in the first few UFC events when people who had been training Jiu Jitsu were able to apply the choke and render their opponent’s unconscious.  The choke functions by restricting blood flow to your brain by blocking your corroded arteries, which will render someone unconscious after just 6 seconds.  

This is one of the most if not the most powerful choke in the world.  Dean is going to show us how to defend against if someone applies this while we are standing. We are going to learn how to defend this position with a grappling world champion and MMA fighter, Dean Lister. Dean is one of the most sought after instructors in the world for not only Jiu Jitsu but also for self-defense.  Dean has a unique and realistic perspective on self-defense.  He does not endorse things that have not been proven effective, he only uses practical techniques.

So as you can see above, when the person wraps up the choke you are immediately in danger and you need to address the problem at hand.  If someone, for whatever reason, is able to do this and get to your neck you want to pull down on their arm immediately and alleviate the pressure that is on your neck so that you do not pass out and are able to have some blood flow.

After you have alleviated some pressure and bought yourself some time you want to move so that you are not directly in front of them as Dean did in the video.  Once you move you are able to now generate leverage.  This leverage will allow you to very easily carry and pick up your opponent, which ultimately will force them to let go of the choke.  Once you lift their legs and have their weight there are many things that you can do and now you have regained control of the terrible situation.

You could drop them on their head, slam them, or put them down in a controlled manner where you are able to hold them down. This technique may look like it is difficult but you are very easily able to apply this on someone twice your size.  You are using your hips to lift your opponent, not your arms and back.  Let’s take a look at another one of Dean Lister’s techniques below.

Headlock Escape by Todd Williams

Todd Williams is a 2x Olympic distance runner and a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt.  He created the world famous program “Runsafer” and helps primarily women defend themselves while they are going on a run.  Today he is going to show us how to defend ourselves against the common headlock.  Todd will demonstrate the defense from a standing position and then he will go over a defense from the ground.  The front headlock can be one of the most dangerous positions to be stuck in especially if you are smaller than your opponent.   This position can cause massive neck damage, potential paralysis and render you helpless against strikes.   Let’s have a look.

So if you notice when he is addressing the head lock from standing he makes sure that the first thing you focus on is the grip.  You need to alleviate some of the pressure from your neck and by grabbing the wrist or hand you will be able to do this.  Timing is very important with this escape and when you feel your opponent go to strike you, you want to look up.

When you straiten your back and look up you are engaging your core and back so that you can stop this head lock.  You break the grip and are able to disengage.  When you disengage it is important to note that you will need to run to find safety or call for help.  This video is about addressing the problem at hand. 

When we are discussing the head lock from the ground he addresses the head lock again and has her make a frame on his face and this frame is allowing her to create some distance.  This move is about using your hips.  Basically you create space, move your hips out from under and then roll over to come up on top.  Both of these are vital escapes for self-defense.

If you want to sharpen your self-defense more and purchase a DVD that is good for you, friends and family to work from the comfort of your own home check out Dean Lister’s new DVD set, “Alpha Male Self-Defense.”  This DVD is now our number one selling DVD on the site and it is for good reason.  Dean is one of the most qualified self-defense instructors in the world.