Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Concepts of Choke Defense Part 1

Once a Choke is applied properly,it is very difficult to escape from & defend against.You have very little time before You are rendered unconscious.In an MMA match You are able to simply Tap out and even if You pass out,the referee promptly steps in to stop the match and You will receive medical attention. If Your choked out in a real-world situation,You will be at the mercy of Your attacker and anyone else that might mean You harm with nothing You can do about it since You are unconscious.This post is intended to highlight & cover some general underlying principles that are common to all choke/strangle defenses rather than a lot of specific technical details.

The best way to not get choked out in the first place is to never let a choke be locked in on You.Control their hands,arm-block their choke attempts,pull the arm off of around your neck,keep Your chin tucked down,use evasive movements slip out,use angles to avoid them getting their a choke applied etc.
If they get a choke started,You want to tuck Your chin down so they can't get their arm underneath the chin(their arm will be on Your chin itself instead of throat)and around Your throat all the while still trying to get out.If the arm is around Your neck,You don't want pressure directly against Your windpipe and trachea since it's relatively fragile.Turn into the choking arm into the bend of the elbow still trying to slip out,still trying to tuck your chin down and still trying to insert an arm in-between the choking arm and your throat to create space and still trying to pull the choking arm off of Your throat if for nothing else to relieve some pressure and hopefully keep Your airway open and blood flowing through Your Carotids to keep You breathing and conscious and/or to get Your chin tucked.

Many if not most Choke defenses taught focus primarily on the choking arm itself and concentrate on how to get it off the neck,peel or lever it away etc.and they can & do work, but You have to remember that an effective Choke requires the use of both arms unless it's a mismatch of a very strong individual choking a much smaller one.So,if you separate or break the connection between the two hands/arms,it will be much easier to get out.Rather than concentrating on the arm that encircles Your neck instead look to attacking the support arm for much of the power of the choke comes from it and it is usually easier more accessible to be separated or peeled off from the other arm/hand.

Some examples would be......Against a Guillotine,protect the neck pulling down on choking arm and tucking chin.Pull down on their neck putting Your weight on them and prevent/inhibit them from leaning back applying leverage,peel the support hand via a finger,simply pushing or pulling it off(quick jerking motion)and then slipping out using a sucker drag,pulling the arm off or driving up high into their armpit breaking their hold and rotating out to the side or executing a go behind/ duck under type movement to rotate around behind opponent.
Against a standing choke from behind,such as the choke in the animation pictured above,it would hard to pull the choking arm itself off,but look at the support arm.Come from underneath and push on the bottom or inside of the elbow of that arm to drive it up or out or up & out(usually with hand,but forearm,elbow and shoulder may be needed or come into play to maintain control as well as block access/re-establishment of hold)while at the same time when it comes loose, pulling/yanking down hard on the choking and spinning around into them to face them,spinning out/stepping and rotating out.If Your on the ground and they are on Your back(rear or back mount) with their "hooks" in(legs wrapped around You usually inserted into Your crotch/inner thighs for leverage and control,but sometimes simply around You and locked together),You will also have to deal this as well.Deal with the choke it self first or simultaneously.I'll cover this more in part 2,but look at various MMA techniques to show You methods on some options of How to do this(Youtube has a lot of video-search "escape back/rear mount" and my channel has a few videos posted),but look at it through a real-world defense prism.

These techniques must be applied quickly and suddenly since we're talking about very short & compressed time frames.There may be opportunities for strikes to assist Your escape(especially eye gouges or use of a Kubotan or pocket stick) and if things we're desperate enough and You are about to get choked unconscious in a real street fight,cutting Your way out with a knife(on choking arms or elsewhere) or even shooting your out is justifiable rather being choked out.