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How to get out of a Choke Hold

Updated: Jan 16

A choke hold is perhaps the most dangerous threat you can come across. There are many different kinds of chokeholds, including those from different angles, or with objects such as rope or sheets. Due to this, there are many different extensive methods to defend against choke holds, which, unfortunately, cannot all be covered in the space of one tutorial. Instead, this tutorial will focus on some general methods which can be applied in most situations. While it may seem obvious, the best defense against a choke hold is to not get choked in the first place. Once you’re in a choke, you have mere seconds before you start feeling ill effects that make it difficult to fight back. So, if you see your attacker coming in for a choke, do everything you can to prevent them from establishing a choke hold. If this fails, the next most important thing is to stay standing. While a choke hold in itself is dangerous at best and life-threatening at worst, being on the ground drastically reduces your avenues of defense. Tuck your chin to reduce easy access to your neck, and do everything you can to achieve and retain your balance. Put one leg behind you in an athletic stance and maintain your balance. Next, start striking. At this point, your attacker has already established a choke hold. The natural instinct is to grab at their arms or the object they’re using to choke you, to flail around and panic. This is nearly always futile and wastes the precious time you have before lack of oxygen kicks in. So, lash out. Be aggressive. If your attacker is close enough to choke you, you’re close enough to attack them. Kick the groin. Elbow the ribs. Dig your thumb into their eye. Do anything to inflict pain and interrupt their attack. And most importantly, you must decide that you will not be a victim. You must decide that you’re going to fight with everything you have to neutralize your attacker and survive. Written by Avni Gupta

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