Choking is a very effective fighting skill. All good fighters practice choking techniques as well as defenses against chokes. They can be as successfully used in fights as any other winning fighting techniques. In street fights, at one point or another, the opportunity will either come up or be made, to choke. After your attacker has rushed you head down, when he has tried a leg dive, after you have purposely maneuvered him into position, when he is trying to regain his feet, while grappling, with a go-behind, etc. Some bouncers in bars concentrate only on “go-behinds” to position themselves for a choke when dealing with only one opponent. With practice, one can get the “feel” of choking. A good choke hold should render the opponent unconsciousness without injury or significant pain in a matter of seconds.

Choking techniques represented here are:

1. Compression of the carotid arteries on one or both sides of the neck restricting the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.

2. Compression of the windpipe (trachea) stopping or reducing the flow of air to the lungs.

In practice, your partner may not be able to audibly submit, so respect his patting on himself, on the mat, on you, or on anything, as meaning that he gives up. Choking seldom causes any significant damage, but if your partner or opponent loses consciousness, immediately release him and lay him flat so that blood may flow naturally back to the brain. If necessary, placing him on his side with his head resting on his arm will prevent vomit aspiration and facilitate breathing. Monitor closely to make sure that the trachea is open. Generally he will regain consciousness in 20 to 30 seconds. If he doesn’t revive and you are not trained, medical assistance should be sought immediately.

Chokes shown here using, for example, the right arm, should be practiced using your left arm as well. Below are some examples and explanations of choking techniques.

Next Choke

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