MMA Gospel’s Technique of the Week returns with its second offering following the defense against the rear clinch suplex. Last week, Ed Perdomo and Johnny Rodriguez prevented a suplex by turning into the opponent and pulling half guard to lock in a Kimura shoulder lock. However, things don’t always go as planned, especially in a scramble situation such as the one caused by pulling half guard. This week, Ed and Johnny will provide an alternative way to take control of the situation should the opponent manage to free their arm: taking the back and sinking in the Rear Naked Choke.
As Ed pulls half guard and moves to complete his Kimura, he notices that in the transition, Johnny has managed to partially straighten his arm (LEFT). With his arm as low as it is and Ed’s grip weakened by the straightening of the arm, Johnny has made completing the Kimura a battle of strength that he may win, leaving him in a dominant position.
Rather than fight with Johnny for the Kimura and risk losing control of the battle on the mat, Ed decides to go a different route. He abandons the Kimura, sits out to his bottom hip, and bridges over Johnny’s arm to move to take his back (RIGHT). Ed wants to leave his bottom leg deep under Johnny’s thigh, giving him one deep hook as he turns into Johnny’s back.
As soon as Ed is on top of Johnny, he sets his far hook by feeding his foot from the top of Johnny’s hip, under his groin, and down his thigh. Once he has the hook set, Ed flattens Johnny by extending his hips into Johnny’s back (LEFT). This traps Johnny’s legs and prevents him from getting his knees or feet to the mat, robbing him of his base and making it nearly impossible for him to escape the position. Ed may also choose to use short palm strikes or punches to loosen Johnny up from here.
As soon as the opportunity presents itself, Ed moves to secure the Rear Naked Choke. When Johnny leaves a little bit of space open between his chin and his chest, Ed feeds his arm under Johnny’s chin and around his neck until Johnny’s throat rests in the crook of his elbow (RIGHT). End then grabs his own bicep and closes that arm to frame the choke.
Ed then finishes the submission and the fight by locking in the Rear Naked Choke. He does this by resting the back of his free hand against the back of Johnny’s head and then making a fist. After he has secured the arm position, Ed extends his hips further into Johnny’s back and inhales deeply to cut off Johnny’s blood flow and finish the choke (LEFT).
- As soon as you realize that the Kimura is no longer secure, abandon the arm, hip out, and bridge onto your opponent’s back.
- As soon as possible, feed your free foot under your opponent’s outside hip to set the second hook.
- Extend your hips to neutralize your opponent’s base.
- Use short strikes to create an opportunity to set up the choke.
- Feed one hand under your opponent’s chin and grab your opposite bicep.
- Close your elbow and make a fist behind your opponent’s head with the back of your hand facing them.
- Extend your hips and inhale to finish the choke.
This move to back mount, be it to secure the choke, and Armbar, or just to open up with ground-and-pound is a natural progression of the spinning scramble created by turning into the back clinch and seizing the Kimura. This makes it easy for a quick thinking fighter to transition rapidly between several options to finish the fight. If faced with a larger, stronger opponent or a skilled wrestler, this move to back mount may be the better option even if you land in good position for the Kimura. Fighting is all about knowing exactly where you are going and what you are doing and being three moves ahead of your opponent and this arc of techniques provides that.
*Ed Perdomo is a 4th degree black belt in the Korean grappling art of Hapkido and is head instructor of the Hapkido Institute in Morris, IL.