Rear naked choke is one of the key submissions in both BJJ and MMA. While there’s been a sift to the leglock meta in BJJ in the last decade, competitors still have the option to not tap when it comes to limb locks.
Choke’s are not as forgiving – there’s the option of tapping or going out at which point there’s the embarrassment factor in addition to the loss.
MMA had very minimal rules when UFC got off the ground, but as times changed and the sport got accepted, tweaks had to be made to prevent catastrophic damage. This is why there’s a ban on knees and soccer kicks to the grounded opponent as well as 12-6 elbows.
BJJ veteran Eddie Bravo was first to note that rear naked chokes weren’t even necessary to finish from the back when MMA started.
“How about when hellbows to the back of the head were still legal? Rear naked chokes weren’t even necessary – you just put the hooks in and drop them (signals with his elbow).”
“You take three and it’s done”
Joe Rogan mentioned having discussed a Renzo Gracie event against a judoka – Spijkers.. In the event Gracie mounted the back of judo gi clad Spijkers at which point he landed some big elbows to the back of Ben Spijker’s head, effectively disabling him from continuing.
Rogan went on to say: “Elbowed the back of his head. He was like that was the best place to be. And why is the back of the head prohibited?”
“I get that it’s dangerous, But isn’t the temple dangerous? And that’s fine. It’s all seems like it’s very vulnerable”
Bravo went on to say that rear naked chokes would be unnecessary, with Rogan concluding that it’s too savage.