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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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.

History of Catch Wrestling

“Submission from any Position”

Catch has a long history, originating during the Middle Ages in Lancashire, England when knights armor became too difficult to pierce easily.  The had to be knocked from their mounts and engaged in hand to hand combat.  Knights would then immobilize each other and even break the opponents joints to make it easier to kill them.  It arrived in North America via immigrants and world travelers around the mid 1800’s and quickly began to dominate other wrestling styles.  It became the top sport in America by the turn of the 20th century.

Billy Riley and Riley’s Gym are as important to the history of Catch Wrestling as Kano and Maeda are to the history of Jiu Jitsu. Riley’s Gym in particular produced wrestlers as Karl Gotch and Billy Robinson.  These two wrestler’s impacted the creation of Pro Wrestling Strong Style, which lead to Shooto, Rings, Pancrase and Pride.  After Olympian Carl Gotch (Istaz) trained with the famous Billy Riley, he moved to the U.S. and eventually to Japan.  This is when an early form of MMA, Shootfighting, was born when striking was mixed in.  Shooto and Pancrase competitions were formed by two of Gotch’s students.  You may remember Ken Shamrock was a shootfighter and Bas Rutten was a champion in Pancrase before he became champion in UFC.  It’s no surprise that Gotch’s lineage and fingerprint can be traced throughout some of the United States greatest wrestlers, coaches, and teams.

Many professional wrestlers in WWE, TNA, WCW, NWA and other new and old promotions are/were Catch Wrestlers first.  Catch Wrestlers used to make money at carnivals and fairs, challenging all comers.  Audiences could place bets and money was to be made.  There are even stories of traveling wrestlers making temporary homes in new places, until they eventually pick a fight with the towns biggest, baddest, fighter… and of course there would be betting involved.

Catch Wrestling also gave birth to Luta Livre when it arrived in Brazil around the 20th century, becoming Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s biggest rivalry in the years to come, and creating the backdrop for some very famous fights.

If you want to learn more about modern catch wrestling, there is no better way than to join a school and train.  Don’t be afraid of “the violent art’s” reputation.  Most schools are thrilled to have you join the team and teach you what they know.  Catch Wrestling is still a very effective martial art and can be seen in the most popular events such as UFC and Metamoris.

Learn Catch Wrestling at Grappling Mastery!

Some Famous Catch Wrestlers:

  • Billy Riley
  • Karl Gotch (Istaz)
  • Billy “The British Lion” Robinson
  • Gene “Godfather of Grappling” LeBell
  • Kazushi Sakaraba
  • Josh Barnett
  • Ken Shamrock
  • Eric Paulson
  • Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii
  • Antonio Inoki
  • Ad Santel
  • Evan “The Strangler” Lewis
  • Ed “The Stranler” Lewis
  • John “Nebraska Tiger Man” Pesek
  • Tom Jenkins
  • Frank Gotch
  • Lou Thesz
  • Martin “Farmer” Burns
  • Tatsumi Fujinami
  • Hiro Matsuda
  • Osamu Kido
  • Yoshiaki Fujiwara
  • Ikuhisa Minowa
  • Edwin Bibby
  • Joseph Acton
  • Tom Connors
  • Dan McLeod
  • George “The Russian Lion” Hackenschmidt
  • George Bothner
  • Dan Kolov
  • Stanislaus Zbyszko
  • Wladek Zbyszko
  • Billy Sandow
  • Earl Caddock
  • Joe Stecher
  • Clarence “The Octopus” Eklund
  • Joe “Toots” Mondt
  • Ivan Seric / Jack Sherry
  • Peter Sauer / Ray Steele
  • Bob Robinson / Billy Joyce
  • Bert Assirati
  • William “Pops” Wicks
  • Akira Maeda
  • Minoru Suzuki
  • Masakatsu Funaki
  • Kiyoshi Tamura
  • Takanori Gomi “Fireball Kid”
  • Satoru “Catch Wrestling Koala” Kitaoka
  • Nobuhiko Takada