Marcelo Garcia gives some tips for dealing with an opponent’s defense to a rear naked choke.
If your opponent is just defending the choke rather than trying to escape, and you already have your positioning, open up your opponent’s neck by pulling back on their forehead, and dig your hand into the gap created to get your hand over to the opponent’s other shoulder.
The first technique Marcelo shows involves your opponent defending the choke and preventing you from bringing your choking arm deep across the neck.
If your opponent is using both hands to pull down on your arm, it is a never-ending struggle to remove one hand and then the other, only to be quickly replaced.
If you can’t go any deeper, quickly push their hand off your arm and try to finish the choke there.
Marcelo’s suggested 2nd technique works if you get your choking arm further across their neck during the struggle. You’ll want to secure that position by grasping their scapula (shoulder bone) over their shoulder.
You’ll want to push your opponent’s hands off your arm while tightening your choking arm around their neck a bit more, and repeat as needed.
When you get the position you need, grab your bicep and bring your other hand behind your opponent’s head to complete the choke.
As a side note, Marcelo adds that when you’re grip-fighting, you don’t want to be trying to break your opponent’s grip on your arm by grabbing at their wrist or their thumb or fingers and pushing away. Rather, it is more efficient to use a scraping motion with the meat of your palm onto their thumb area to push their hand off your arm.
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