In the UFC, No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu or extreme cases of self-defense, one of the worst positions to be stuck in is having some big brute on your back.
Cesar Gracie—coach to Caio Terra, Nick and Nate Diaz and others—has the following practical review to share on the matter.
Note how he defends his neck with his hands crossed over each other and his way of freeing yourself of the figure-four.
And pay special attention to the hipwork in this simple movement (at minute two in the video).
Did that work for you? Practice it and let us know what you think.