Mixed Martial Arts requires its combatants to have a deep knowledge of every facet of the sport. Unlike basketball where you can play just a single position on the court, fighters who are very good in one sphere but have limited skills in other areas do not last very long.
Technically, one of the most challenging skills to learn in MMA is the art of the submission in all of it’s many forms, but it’s an essential component of any fighters game in this day and age.
Submission holds are grouped into two broad categories: Joint locks and chokeholds. Statistically, chokes have proven to be much more popular in mixed martial arts, largely due to the fact that they are easier to pull off during a fight. In fact, four of the top five most successful submission moves applied in major MMA events over the past few years have been chokeholds.
So, with that in mind, what are the best techniques that fighters use to send their foes to dreamland?
1. Rear Naked Choke
Throughout years of competition inside the cage the rear-naked choke has become established as the most successful submission move in MMA. It is applied from the opponents back (hence the term rear), and was given the term “naked” due to the fact that it originated from a judo chokehold called “Hadake Jime” or “Naked Strangle”.
A common misconception when it comes to this move is that it’s cutting off the opponents air supply – that’s not the case. The basic version of the move is in fact what’s known as a “blood choke”, meaning that it’s applied to points on the neck that briefly prevents blood reaching the brain, causing the opponent to pass out.
To do this a fighter slides his arm under his opponents neck, keeping the opponents trachea in the crook of his elbow, and squeezes his forearm on one side of the neck while his bicep presses on the other side. The fighters other arm pushes the back of the opponents neck, which has the effect of putting pressure from the rear and lateral sides, inducing sleepy-time if they don’t tap.