Ask Your Doctor If a Rear Naked Choke Is Right For You

5 min read
Is Jiu-Jitsu really right for everyone and how/when to use arguably its most effective tool, the Choke!

UCF rear naked choke

Ask Your Doctor If a Rear Naked Choke Is Right For You

Is Jiu-Jitsu really right for everyone and how/when to use arguably its most effective tool, the Choke!

Location: South Florida, U.S.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Photo by: Shei at UCF

The grappling arts, particularly Judo and Jiu-Jitsu, are different from most other martial arts for one reason that stands out above the rest, the choke. The ability to apply the choke is a move that changes situations drastically for all involved. 

Law Enforcement and Jiu-Jitsu

For example, I personally believe as a law enforcement tool, it is not only unwise but fool-heartedly to remove the choke from the officer’s toolbox. The primary reason for this is that the officer, in the heat and confusion of a violent exchange, may have to resort to a maneuver that unplugs the perpetrator for several safety reasons. 

I say unplug because many martial arts have striking, some have kicking and weapons, etc., but the choke is unique. The choke can unplug a person’s consciousness, which is violent but humane at the same time. 

Master Ricardo Liborio at UCF…. Photo by Shei

What can go wrong with a Jiu-Jitsu choke

In the case of law enforcement, where things go wrong or can, issues may arise when officers are not adequately trained in how to use the choke. Such as multiple officers using body weight as a restraint while applying the choke, the addition of adrenaline to the receiver and applicant of the choke clouding judgment, and in this scenario, time frames can be lost, which is vital when a few seconds can make all the difference. 

Not to mention drugs the perpetrator may or may not be on, the crime that may have been committed, and various other factors. There are always many factors to consider when restraining an individual, but the grappling arts and specifically the choke will give you the upper hand to end the conflict as humane as possible.

Types and circumstances of the Jiu-Jitsu choke

The choke in its many various forms, such as the Rear Naked Choke, Triangle Choke, Arm Triangle, North-South Choke, etc., are heavily sprinkled in Jiu-Jitsu, taken from judo, and advanced only in a way that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) can; an exceptional move/tool to have with you… A move on the streets that should be reserved for extraordinary circumstances when a person is unrestrainable via other means or will hurt him/herself or others otherwise. 

Keep in mind, generally speaking, if applied and released properly with the adequate duration regarding the length of the choke, there will be no injury; there will be shock, but no injury to anyone involved. 

UCF students training…. Photo by Shei

The choke versus striking with self-defense

When we compare this to the pummeling nature of striking, there are very different results, some bad and others very bad! When by yourself on a city street at night, particularly if you’re a woman, and you have the unfortunate circumstance of being approached by an attacker who is often male with a heavier body frame and overall strength, including hand and bicep strength, you could find all the positional control you want and potentially land a few strikes, but a choke shall remain your best option and is available to be applied by a female or male using the right ability and dexterity. 

Affording you the opportunity to render the perpetrator unconscious for up to possibly ten seconds, easily affording you the ability and opportunity to flee and create distance with a high probability of escape. 

Many times, a weapon is not drawn, sometimes there is, but without getting into advanced combatives, the choke is a magical opportunity on the table for a female in such a situation where she is outgunned in firepower and possibly psychosis. 

Is Jiu-Jitsu for everyone?

People these days have a desire to say, “Jiu-Jitsu is for everybody.” However, I am here to say that I’m sorry, but it is not for everybody. It is for most, but not everybody. For example, if you have a severe heart condition, Jiu-Jitsu is not for you. 

If you have had several strokes, you should ask your doctor if you should try. Irrespective of his or her response, you may be taking a risk. If you have incredibly brittle shoulders, you might want to think it through. There are a multitude of health reasons that may restrict you from training Jiu-Jitsu. 

Training Jiu-Jitsu 

However, there may be portions of Jiu-Jitsu that you can extract to use as an exercise. But, when I say “train” Jiu-Jitsu, which, if you’re unaware, “training” or “rolling” in Jiu-Jitsu actually means, it’s with full 100% resistance. 

This is one of the beauties and possible dangers of the art. But the above, primarily medical exceptions, is a small portion of the population. You need not worry; you do not fall in this category. 

Two BJJ girls training chokes…. Photo by Shei

Tapping with Jiu-Jitsu

If you are reading this article, you are probably not in this category. But there are times that you should ask your doctor if Jiu-Jitsu is right for you, but these instances are few and far between. If you can train, you can probably take the choke due to the magic of the tap. 

The tap allows you to stop a choke at any moment of your choosing. Sure, your ego will have a say, but it is better than trying to send a signal to your training partner’s punch in mid-air because the impact of that cannot be reversed. 

The choke…. your best weapon

So, the choke is probably right for you, and there are many applications of the choke, which will be discussed in further works. Train hard, train wise, and remember, the choke always has another angle and might be the best weapon available to you. If you haven’t already, take a FREE trial class at a quality Grappling GYM near you and see how you like it… it can change your life in so many positive ways… it did for me!




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