Technique: Mata Leao / Rear Nake Choke (RNC) Detailed Instruction

Grappling Mastery: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & MMA Academy

The Mata Leao or Rear Naked Choke (RNC) is one of the most popular chokes, or submissions for that matter, in the world.  It is well know in self defense scenarios of almost every martial art, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Sambo, Catch Wrestling, Luta Livre, and MMA.  It is a very simple technique, yet there are some details that make it even more effective and hard to defend.

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What is Grappling?

Grappling Mastery: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & MMA Academy

Grappling is a style of fighting that does not involve punches, kicks, or any other type of striking.  Some Martial Arts that use Grappling Techniques are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, Judo, and Sambo.  Some striking arts have grappling elements such as Muay Thai and Sanshou or Sanda.

Grappling specializes in Throws, Takedowns, Controlling your Opponent, Dominant Positioning, Sweeps, Joint Locks, Chokes, and other Submissions.  Some Grappling Styles use a Gi, or Kimono, while others do not.

In the early days of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships) Grappling was introduced as a formidable style of fighting when Royce Gracie and the Gracie Family fought in a No Holds Barred tournament to show which styles came out on top.  Royce beat most opponents without throwing a single punch and used a lackluster front kick only to distract people from his attempt to clinch for a takedown.  His biggest rivalries were against Ken Shamrock, a submission fighter and Dan Severn, a Greco-Roman Wrestler.  He also had a notable fight against Kimo Leopoldo, in which Kimo was credited as a Taekwondo Black Belt, though he also wrestled growing up.

Other UFC, King of the Cage, and Pride FC matches proved over and over that Grappling Arts were superior to the striking arts.  Not until later, when strikers started to learn techniques from Grappling and how to counter them, did they start to overcome the grapplers.  In response, Grapplers started to learn how to strike and combined it with Grappling.  This was the evolution of mixed martial arts we see today.  Many fights now come down to who the better athlete was, not which martial art is superior.  This is because the athletes are both familiar with striking and grappling.  Grappling remains a vital part of every MMA fighter’s training regimen.

At Grappling Mastery we specialize in the Grappling Arts.  Professor Brian Ruscio is a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and has been Wrestling since 5 years of age.  He also has extensive knowledge of Judo and Sambo techniques.  Grappling Mastery also offers Muay Thai Kickboxing Classes to compliment our Grappling Techniques.  Muay Thai Coach Mike Sgroi and Professor Brian Ruscio both have a history of training MMA Fighters, both amateur and professional, some even appearing on TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) and UFC.

Come try a FREE Class at Grappling Mastery to see what Grappling is all about.  We have a great group of people waiting to help you!

How to perform a Clock Choke in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Here, Professor Brian Ruscio of Grappling Mastery demonstrates how to properly perform a Clock Choke in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  This choke is one of the “stronger” chokes in BJJ.  Be aware that some tournaments may not allow some chokes in the kids divisions while others will.  Be sure to check the rules of the tournaments if you plan have your child compete.

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Catch Wrestling Technique: Ninja Choke / Coma Choke / Reverse RNC

2014 NAGA Expert Pan American Champion, Brian Ruscio demonstrates an effective Catch Wrestling Choke from Turtle Control or Front Headlock position.  This technique can also be executed when wearing the GI or Kimono in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, although that opens up many more options.  It is known by many names: Ninja Choke, Coma Choke, and Reverse RNC (Rear Naked Choke) and modified Guillotine are a few.

Try this in your next training session and let us know how it works for you in the comments below!

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Kosen Judo vs. BJJ

Ude Garami, Kimura

“Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is Kosen Judo” – Gokor Chivichyan

Kosen Judo has been a major influence on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has primarily focused on the “Ne-waza”, or katame-waza 固技?, grappling techniques, while Modern Judo, founded by Jigoro Kano, has focused on the nage-waza 投げ技?, throwing techniques.

Mitsuyo Maeda, Father of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Mitsuyo Maeda, Father of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Mitsuyo Maeda, or Count Combat (Conde Koma), a nickname he earned in Spain in 1908, was born in Japan, came to Brazil and was naturalized as Otavio Maeda.  Mitsuyo Maeda became known as “The Toughest Man Who Ever Lived” and “The Father of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu”. Maeda is said to have won over 2,000 fights in his career.  Mitsuyo Maeda is responsible for teaching Carlos Gracie Sr. and the Gracie Family who later refined the grappling style into what is now known as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This evolution occurred by adding and removing techniques after competing in Vale Tudo (No Holds Barred Fighting), Wrestling, Luta Livre, Sambo matches, “Gracie Challenges“, and other competitions and challenges around the world.

Grappling Mastery Professor, Brian Ruscio is a 4th Generation Gracie Jiu Jitsu Black Belt. (Carlos Gracie Sr. > Carlos Gracie Jr. > Marcio Simas > Brian Ruscio)

The following are some old videos demonstrating Kosen Judo.  The similarities to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are remarkable.


At Grappling Mastery, we teach both Katame-waza(ne-waza) and Nage-waza.  You will learn throws, trips and other takedowns as well as the ground fighting techniques that make Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu effective and formidable Grappling Martial Art styles.  To learn more Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques join our 30 Day Free Membership.

BJJ Lapel Choke from the Back Control

The Gi Lapel Choke is an option from the Back Control in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with a lot of variations.  Here is a simple but powerful choke which serves as a fundamental starting point to all of it’s other choke variations.

For more Chokes and other BJJ Techniques, Subscribe below, or to learn directly from Undefeated BJJ Black Belt and Pan-American Champion, Brian Ruscio sign up for Grappling Mastery’s 30 Days Free!