An experience ...


"You have all the time in the world, just don't take it" T.B.

Good work!


Thanks for's threads like those that keep me comming back here for MORE! :) I love learning from the experiences of others.

ps...Matt D said to tell everyone hello. His computer is giving him a bit of a time and he can't long on here :(

Phil , Thanx for the support , it really means a lot , coming from a warrior , like yourself . As do your points on the 'math' . I would like to make clear that Sean was using this drill as an emotional climate drill . My 'role' was not to struggle/resist the choke . It was to 'experience' the choke full on , under safe and controlled circumstances . I perhaps took it a step further , because of my own personal agenda ..*L* . But make no mistake , it was an 'empowering' experience ! No one will ever choke me out , unless it is in a training exercise , ever ! I know this as surely as I understand to what extent I will incapacitate the fella who tries . By taking my training a little further sometimes , I gain insight into myself , my capacity , and it spurs me on towards other positive experiences !

I'm a 'lil dissapointed that my appraisal above (first message) did not reflect the 'empowerment' I felt after the 'experiment' .

"I understand that in a good blood choke I have only 5 seconds to disable the attacker."

This is an empowering statement , I felt . It prepares me for extreme action based on my own personal experience with this choke . If I am ever in that sistuation again , I will not flail about , or focus on the choking arms , but I will immediately go for the face rakes , eye gouges , finger breaks etc . In a real situation , of course , I will cobra up , and bring up the shoulder , turn into the offending hand , and drive my chin into my shoulder , to successfully jam the attacker and his choke , and as you said buy myself more time . I would be foolish to stop my training there , precluding that no one will ever successfully place a choke on me . . . trust me , I love math ; so it will always work for me ... not against me *G* .

Hope that all makes sense , Var

According to research the more you struggle the quicker you go out....
Relaxed subjects take longer.


Congrats on the 'experiment'. You had the guts to do some 'personal'(very!) research. Just make sure the experience is an EMPOWERING one. Think on this:

"I remember thinking this may be the point of n... "

"I understand that in a good blood choke I have only 5 seconds to disable the attacker."

******'NEVER let math beat you' T.B.******

Remember this:

"I knelt and allowed the choke to settle on . "

How long might the choke have taken if you didn't?




------I am adding this disclaimer as of June 20 ,2001------


But preferably , not at all !


ALSO NOTE : The following 'experiment' was conducted without the knowledge or consent of Tony Blauer or his staff . Nor is it endorsed or condoned by Tony or his associates . I want to make clear that my actions were NOT entirely part of my TCMS curriculum , but rather a hastily conceived notion on MY part only ! What started as an ECD , quickly progressed to my exploring the 'choke-out' entirely . At that point it was not about tactics or visualization etc for me , but simply about experiencing that 'event' . Next time I do that drill it will be entirely about NOT being choked out !! It will be about strong visualization , tactics , control etc .


Hi guys,gals ... I want to relate an experience I had from last nites TCMS class.

We were practising blood chokes last nite . After honing technique , and precision our instructor asked us to do the following drill . The choker was to apply a choke (loose at first) , the chokee was to indicate when he was ready , and the choker was to indicate when the real choking was commensing . Then the chokee was to begin counting to 10 ; with the option of slapping out anytime he felt he was to black out . Being the warped bugger that I am , I've always wanted to try being choked out , so I went into this particular drill knowing full well I would not slap out ... I would simply succumb to the choke , for experience sake S . For all I know most of you have experienced this , but for those of you who have not , I'd like to impart a play by play of what it 'felt' like :

  • I knelt and allowed the choke to settle on .

  • I breathed a slightly larger breath than usual

  • We indicated to each other we were ready .

  • I began counting , 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ...

  • I remember thinking this may be the point of n...

  • , 5 ... blackness

  • Dreaming a pleasant dream , can't recall content .

  • Heard voices (I thought I was in my bed at home)

  • I opened my eyes to see who was shaking me !

  • My field of vision opened from a small pinhole , circularly outwards till my full field was clear .

  • I was confused , tried to focus on where I was .

  • I recognized my classmates , but it made no sense how I got there !

  • I thought , My God ! I've had a seizure while sparring or something !

  • I focused some more and asked "Was I choked out ???" .

  • When they said yes , I jumped to my feet totally excited !

  • "YES!" I exclaimed .. L I always wanted to try that ...

The only residual effect was a very mild form of nausea . BUT...Now I have very important information that might save my hide some day :

  • I understand that in a good blood choke I have only 5 seconds to disable the attacker.

  • I understand that taking a larger breath was useless because it was a 'blood choke'

  • I can see how fast an individual can become easy prey .

  • I understand how my patients feel after a stroke , or seizure , or hypoglycemia (I'm a paramedic).

  • I understand that focusing on the choking arm (once it was fully on) would be useless in an attack

  • I can see what a great fo

As Phil had indicated above, the drill should empower you. A play on words can significantly change the way you think about a specific thought. For instance, "I understand that in a good blood choke I have only 5 seconds to disable the attacker." to "I understand that in a good blood choke, i HAVE at least 5 seconds to SUCCESSFULLY disable the attacker." Everyone here does or should know, that in a real fight, 5 seconds is an eternity.


Varley, Tom, thanks for your comment and for stopping this...

My thoughts:

I just returned from 9 days on the road working with some of the guys responsible for world safety – literally. I met with SOTG USMC, as well as three other Marine training groups and a half dozen SF groups from the ARMY about training systems, HIGH GEAR, the SPEAR SYSTEM etc. I had meetings with Ron Donvito, founder of the USMC L.I.N.E. System about a possible synergy between us and as well had a meeting with a bilingual SF trainer about accompanying me on a custom course to Venezuela for their LEO/Mil training, I have a SPEAR instructor course coming up in Florida, as well I'm a guest speaker for another OFFICER TRAINING organization that month too, I've just got back from the UK on top of that where I gave a custom weapon disarming course to about 20 representatives for the 44 agencies in the UK....why the preamble? Coming here to put out flames is a little frustrating when all is put in perspective.

I have been conspicuously absent of late and this sort of thread with its innuendo and sarcasm is one of the reasons why.

I think Tom's concern was younger readers [or any age readers] reading about choking experiments and rushing out to try them at home or instructors without credentials suddenly trying an EMOTIONAL CLIMATE DRILL [ECD] without the necessary training.

At no point in your posts Var, did you [in CAPS] state that this should ONLY be tried with a trained individual in both the 'strangle' the recovery and the ECD background. That might have been an important DISCLAMER.

Consider this: Anything that is read or written in here 'assumes' an implied consent from my company or me...I was not asked nor consulted on whether the topic is safe, suitable or endorsed.

Interestingly, I developed the ECD but have no intention on letting anyone choke me out to understand the experience. I work on defending it, intercepting it, learning it, etc. There's a difference between 'pain management' and fear management and total immersion. In other words, boxers work on getting accustomed to getting hit, but do not practice getting knocked out.

So I'll leave 'flatline' training, adrenaline injections, organic blood coagulation caused by the magic of survival physiology and all other forms of being 'brought back from the dead' to the expert that I'll count on God forbid I find myself in OR or some trauma unit.

Having said that, Tom's tact could've been different. It would have been simpler had he replied without the sarcasm...but that's what I hate about these forums. We read them at the wrong hours and we interpret based on our moods often and color in tone.

This dissecting of mine here is the reason I prefer to answer questions FIRST and shed my thoughts [unless the question is general enough that a PDR Team member or other forum regular can assist [there are many questions like this: what is Tony's web address? What is the book list? Who uses HIGH GEAR? Who has the video....and so on.]

That aside, the MENTAL EDGE continues to be one of the better forums in the martial communities and I want to restore it to some more streamlined, synergistic interaction.


The MENTAL EDGE needs an overhaul...

continued next....


This is the MENTAL EDGE, a place to discuss the BLAUER TACTICAL CONFRONTATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM [TCMS]research which includes our training systems, HIGH GEAR, BALLISTIC MICRO-FIGHTS, the PANIC ATTACK, CHU FEN DO, THE S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEM, the PDR [Personal Defense Readiness program] etc.

If your question is not about a part of my curriculum. Please post it in the UNDERGROUND or OTHERGROUND.


1. To me about my training, methods, gear, videos, recommendations etc.

2. To active members of the PERSONAL DEFENSE READINESS team.

3. To active MENTAL EDGE participants about their thoughts, ideas and experiences training with us or using our learning aids etc.

4. Comments about the PDR experience, a seminar, drills, tapes, etc and/or experiences that you would like comments on from a TCMS rep.


a. This is my forum

b. Anything that is read or written in here 'assumes' an implied consent from my company or me.

INTERACTION: Keep your posts intelligent and SUCCINT. If you have pertinent thoughts, of course include them [don't anyone go getting sensitive or get defensive because of this post] but don't ramble because you're alone with your computer. Often I have 10 minutes to scan a thread and will lose interest on rambly posts. If you want to interact on some key thought that you think might derail the thread, take it to email or ALERT the group to go to the OTHERGROUND, so all can chat away.

*OFF THE WALL queries or answers that are really subtle ads for another's website or method will be deleted immediately.

RATIONALE: This is not because I am not interested or open minded but that there is simply too much for me and my team to handle, especially if posts are abstract or diluted.

EXCEPTIONS: If you want to post something off topic or promote something, simply email my office with the query [] and you will be replied to in a very timely fashion.

This forum is NOT set up to be a place for social dialogue on random subjects; it is a place for focused interaction about training, mind-set, tactics, etc as related to my research. Social interaction should be a by-product not the primary reason for the posts.

Humor, mirth, gossip etc should be thoughtfully injected. I'm all for a good laugh.

ON CONTROVERSY: Political nonsense and the subsequent dissonance is often a necessary evil as it often reveals the true colors of the politicians, but still this sort of interaction should be sort, sweet and tactful.


Absolutely. But in context. Your ideas, opinions, comments should flow from original questions.

Please help me restore some order and re-finesse the forum.


Tony Blauer

Tom , Relax man . Just because I 'gotcha' , doesn't mean I'm always going to agree with you . And check your neuro association of "*snicker*" at the door ; on the net , I find it takes on a much lighter tone ... ie : It ain't whatcha think , so easy on the profanity .
You seem to have it figured out for all of us , so this message , I'm sure , will be received as redundant . (by you , that is)

I worked a nite shift last nite , and it began with an uneasy feeling that I owed it to all you guys to sit down with a Dr in emergency again , and discuss this choking/increased ICP candidly . The increased ICP was not a paramount concern to him ; although I should caution people because you can't be sure your cerebral vasculature is 'normal' . If it isn't than many of life's activities can be a risk . Things ranging from sneezing , going to the washroom , right up to being choked out . The more important issue is that of cerebral hypoxia . That is the where the brain tissue is deprived of oxygen for some duration . The Doc was a friend of mine , so getting a really straight answer from him was hard . But he did have reservations about this sort of ECD because of the hypoxia . "We only use 10% of our brains , so what if the million brain cells we just killed during the hypoxia were part of that 10%..haha" . As unclear as those risks sound (not black and white ; and less than tangeable) I would NOT encourage anyone to try the choke-out ! The bottom line is you just don't know how your individual body will react to the stress . So again , please don't try the choke-out unless you speak to your Doctor AND understand all the risks involved .

While I was researching this topic on the web , I came across an article on deaths involving chiropractic manipulations of the neck ! This more than hypoxia , scared the hell out of me . A sudden manipulation of the head/neck can cause damage to vessels in the brain , which subsequently bleed . This bleeding can cause great damage to the brain , and result in coma ! So please be very careful guys when you strike/manipulate your partners head and/or neck .

*awwwww , never mind!* ... hehe
Sincerely , Var




There are a number of articles around on choking. The general consensus seems to be that it is reasonably safe for the "average" person...How Safe is Choking in Judo?DEATHS ALLEGEDLY CAUSED BY THE USE OF "CHOKE HOLDS" (SHIME-WAZA)

Great research LK ! I appreciate you taking the time to dig up this research . It will certainly shed some light on various aspects and potential risks involved in the choke .

Thanx again , Var






No problem Varley! Thanks for sharing your experience; I enjoyed reading about it.

Tom , come on back my friend ! Don't feel that because we don't agree completely that there isn't room for both our opinions . All we have is our written word here , and some 'approximated' , and sometimes misinterpreted , *actions* . So in reality we are usually communicating thru only 10 - 20+ % of the normal communicative means . (ie : verbal , in this case written word , and a small amount of tone ( ie : *L* , *LMAO* , *snicker* , *S* , *G* , *LOL* etc ) . Somehow , in this thread , we allowed our communication to degrade , IMHO . Stuff happens ... it's obvious , we fed off of one another a few times . But understand that that does not betray the respect I have for you as a warrior . In my eyes , you're been one of the 'posts' holding this place up . Your honesty , and candor are almost always well received , and I would be remiss to watch your premature exit without expressing my feelings . If there's something going on , that supercedes this thread , and you'd like to talk , let me know , and I'll gladly email you Tom .

Sincerely Var

PS Tony : As you have seen something got a 'lil out of hand between Tom and I , and for my end of it I sincerely apologize . Maybe I lost too many brain cells last week , but I'll be darned if I can see why it had to become so inflammed ?? *shakin head....*

Thanx Tom A (T.A.only!, not T.C..hehe),great thoughts Iron Mongoose ... interesting how a subject can weave about in a forum like this .. ex:chokes ---->semantics ; I love it ! Good luck with the studies , sounds like good stuff . With that background you ought to have much insight into things here ...*no pressure* .. haha ... And Tom C ??? Need I say more ? Ok , I will ... You ONLY have 1 second to step away from the gun !! *lmao*
Geeze , now it feels like it's getting blown out of proportion .. *L*... I was curious to know as well after , considering how completely disorientated I was when my vision returned and I looked about . I can honestly say I felt a sort of fear . First my brain came up with the scenario that I'd been hurt somehow while training ; trying it's best to understand why I was waking up on the floor . Then as blood returned to my thick skull (*L*) I regained my short term memory , remembered the choking ECD , and the fear disappeared . I looked at Sean , and inquired as to how long , and he replied between 5 and 10 seconds . Talk about '5 seconds is an eternity in a fight!'..haha .
Ok , here's a sick thought ... what about a ECD where you get choked out , and the instant you start to come around , a scenario begins where you're being mugged or beaten etc . Really work with that sub-cognitive brain :

  • Fighting from disorientation
  • Moving from the flinch to a tool
  • etc etc

Interesting to tape it all from choke thru to the defence . Talk about no cooperation in soliciting an adrenaline dump , the chokee will be completely in the 'dark' .. I figure if you get thru the choke without having a stroke from the increased intercranial pressure , and successfully defend yourself , then other surprise attacks will pale in comparison !

Any thoughts ?
SEG (Sick Evil Grin) ... Var








Yup , I gotcha with the .357 comment Tom . It came in LOUD and clear , trust me .. *snicker* . However , I spent time a few years ago walking from Dr to Dr in emerg asking them about this increased ICP (intercranial pressure), and I don't recall any red flags popping up in our conversations . I was curious back then in trying it . I wanted to do in in class so the folks could experience what it looked like when a guy passed out ; and subsequently I wanted them to see how to effectively place someone in the 'recovery' position . Keep in mind as well , I did not bear down into the choke ... so I don't think I 'vagaled' myself ( Applied pressure to the left common carotid artery , stimulating the barrel receptor ... thereby causing a hypotensive state , and later unconsciousness ). People cause far more intercranial pressure takin a dump , if you ask me *L* ; simply because of all the bearing down . I was relaxed , and considering the cessation of arterial blood flow to the brain , I would think the pressure would be manageable .

Peace (trusting the gun is down..*L*) , Var


How long were you out? I have never taken that particular ECD to that extent and appreciate the insight from a personal view.