In Kravolution’s Basic Curriculum, “preventing chokes” is the first explicit example of “timeline” and decision-making. Generally, timeline refers to when an attack is recognized and defended, evaded, or avoided. Decision-making involves choice, choosing the best defense against an imminent attack.
So, in Basic Level 1, regarding preventing chokes we have:
Preventing by kicking (front and side)
Preventing from hand distance (decision-making, punch, deflect, or both)
Let’s look at each of these in terms of timeline and decision-making.
Preventing by kick (front and side). Here, the assailant is perceived at a distance (long) where you have time to kick. They are out of arm’s reach and must step to reach you. Don’t wait for them to get closer! Kick and get off the line of attack.
Preventing from hand distance. Here, the attacker is too close to kick. He might lunge for your throat with his hands close together, essentially in a straight motion similar to a straight punch or shove to your chest. It is also possible his hands are wider apart and come in a more circular motion, similar to a bear hug. You can deflect the straight motion but if the hands are wide apart you cannot deflect. Instead, strike and move off the line of attack. Identifying the attack and effective response is where decision-making comes into play.
Educational Stop. Here, the assailant is again approaching with hands wide or even down on his sides. Instead of striking, you push your open hand into his upper chest then push your middle finger(s) into his windpipe while stepping back off the line of attack (giving you better stability). This is considered a warning, “educating” the aggressor to back off and leave you alone.
One of the challenges here is to understand the nature of the assault (a choke attempt) and to use techniques appropriate to direction (e.g. front vs side kick) and timeline. Through consistent practice you learn to make effective choices faster with the aim of being able to prevent an attack at real speed. Practice and more practice!