Mom Arrested After Using BJJ Chokehold on Son

Tracy Shelley
Tracy Shelley

In 2018, police arrested a woman on suspicion of child abuse after she placed her son in a rear naked choke to take away his cell phone.


The woman, Tracy Shelley of Boynton Beach, Florida, told police that she applied the strangle after her son broke house rules regarding cellphone use. According to the police report, Shelley told her son to give her his cellphone after he’d been using it for several hours. When he refused to hand it over, Shelley told police that she put him in a “submission hold,” wrapping her arms around his head and neck. Upon her application of the strangle, her son released the phone. Shelley subsequently released the choke.

The boy told Investigators that although he never lost consciousness, the choke left red marks on his neck.

Tracy Shelley
Tracy Shelley

Rear Naked Choke

The move applied by Shelley, a rear naked choke, is a chokehold applied from an opponent’ back. The word “naked” in this context suggests that, unlike some other BJJ chokes, this hold does not require the use of a gi.

The choke has two main variations. In the first variation, the attacker’s arm encircles the opponent’s neck and then grabs his or her own biceps on the opposite arm. In the second variation, the attacker clasps his or her hands together instead after encircling the opponent’s neck.


Speaking with CBS 12 News, neighbors described Shelley as a “very nice woman” and expressed the belief that the incident must have been a misunderstanding.

Child Abuse in Florida

Shelley was arrested on suspicion of violating section 827.03(c), Florida Statutes, which states:

A person who knowingly or willfully abuses a child without causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.


The authorities dropped the case against Shelley on November 8, 2018.

Tracy Shelley
John Danaher and Bernardo Faria demonstrate a rear naked choke

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