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Judo/How to counter a neck crank.


Hello Mr. Ohlenkamp. It's a pleasure to be able to ask you a question, so thank you. My question is that in one very competition illegal judo school they shown us that when an opponent puts a nami juji choke, or cross counter, just grab the head and twist the neck. So is there a way to do nami juji choke from the rear or do I have to resort to other chokes like hadaka jime please.

A neck crank is not really that easy to apply from that position. If I am doing nami juji jime correctly I will have my head close to his head with no room for him to get his hands inside. Even if he does, when my chin is down and my neck is tight there is no opportunity to twist the head. In addition, the choke should come on so fast that he will be unconscious before any damage can be done.

But, to answer your question, nami juji can be done from the side or rear as well, and there are many other rear chokes that are very effective. You would always prefer to choke from the rear if possible since the defenses are more limited. Still, if you are in front of him don't be afraid to try nami juji.


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Neil Ohlenkamp


Mr. Ohlenkamp can answer any questions about Judo having practiced it since 1968. Author of a best-selling book on Judo and a 7th degree black belt, he compiled a comprehensive web site ( to provide the information to everyone.


Mr. Ohlenkamp has been practicing judo continuously since 1968, as a student, athlete, competitor, teacher, coach, referee, leader, and author.

United States Judo Association, United States Judo Federation, Nanka Yudanshakai, United States Ju-Jitsu Federation, Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo, Japan, Encino Judo Club.

As a pioneer in promoting martial arts around the world through the internet, Mr. Ohlenkamp created one of the first web pages devoted to Judo. Since 1995 his Judo Information Site at has been the most highly acclaimed, most popular, and most comprehensive Judo web site on the internet. He runs several other Judo sites like,, and He has authored a best selling book on Judo, contributed to other martial arts books, and had articles published in most major Judo publications. The U.S. edition of his book is Judo Unleashed (2006, McGraw-Hill) but is also available under other titles in the UK, Germany, Russia, and The Netherlands.

Mr. Ohlenkamp is a 7th degree black belt and has been nationally certified as a Judo instructor, coach, and rank examiner. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development with a specialty in recreation from California State University, Northridge.

Awards and Honors
US Judo Coach of the Year-1999, U.S. Team Coach at the 1988 Paralympics in Seoul, Korea, the 1989 World Championships for the Blind in Manchester, England, and the 1990 World Championships and Games for the Disabled in Assen, Netherlands, and member of the International Blind Sports Association Judo Technical Committee from 1988 to 1993. 6th degree black belt in USJJF jujitsu.

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