Posted by on November 22, 2018

Chokes are among the most dangerous of assaults. Cutting off air can lead to passing out or death. Also, the attacker is likely larger and stronger than thevictim of the assault. Surviving these attacks requires quickdecision-making and precise and effective techniques. Here are somegeneral guidelines for surviving chokes.

Prevention: It is important to train prevention from all directions and distances.If, for example, the person has to step to reach you (long-distance), kicking and moving off the line of attack can be effective. At closer range, however, you will have to strike or deflect and strike depending on attackers hand position. If you can prevent the choke from happening, do so!

Getting Air:If prevention isn’t possible then your first problem is getting air. Attack the weak spot in the attacker’s grasp-the thumbs. For most chokes, this involves plucking, making your hands into hooks and releasing the assailant’s thumbs from your throat with an explosive pulling motion. The pluck is based on our natural tendency to grab the source of pain and danger.

 Strike! Striking can help release the attacker’s grip and slow down or prevent another attack as you get away. Strike the closest vulnerable area as soon as possible – knee to the groin, palm strike to face, bite if you must!

Finish! Escaping is the best option. Breathe, strike (repeatedly, if necessary), run.  As you escape, scan, check your surroundings for exit opportunities, weapons of opportunity, or secondary attackers.

Training needs to focus on developing precise and rapid actions under stress to be effective. Also, important is variations – chokes against a wall, while sitting and on the ground, etc… to explore the principles involved in preventing and escaping chokes.


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