Serious Question on Choke Subs.

Please note that when people talk about police killing people with choke-holds, they are generally referring to strangulation maneuvers involving the nightstick crushing the trachea, NOT "choke holds" as we refer to them (carotid artery chokes). Many police departments no longer allow nightstick chokes.


Something you must remember:

When fighting for real e.g. in the street, and you have a choke, you may suffer from several adrenal syptoms that include tunnel vision, time distortion and panic. So you may hold on for too long and think that it is only a second. Or you may panic and develop a 'panic grip' on your subject, much like people drowning. Fear of being beaten or killed if you let go can provoke this.

Listening to most of the arguments on here makes me realize how uninformed and under-educated some of you are. Makes your use of any damn submission hold a bad move. (If you take offense to that comment, then yes I am probably talking about you. If not then vice versa)First of all, "air" doesn't go to your brain. Oxygen is supplied to the brain via the carotid artery (arteria carotis), a pair of arteries that come directly off the aorta. Secondly, a choke hold is one that attacks the trachea and inhibits the ability to breath. A strangulation (aka strangle hold) is one that cuts off the blood supply to the brain, therefore depriving it of oxygen. The strangle hold requies less force then a choke hold several reasons, the primary two of which are:

  • The larynx and trachea are semi-rigid cartilage structures that are intended to ensure breathing. To inhibit airflow through them therefore takes more force
  • The human body tries to seek equalibrium between the pressure in the artierial system and the veinial system. When you apply a strangle, the Jugular veins are pinched closed first, then the carotid arteries. The tighter the strangle, the more the arteries are closed. Also, if blood can't move through the veins, it will in essence back up the flow through the arteries.

Now... the reason the police have had problems with using "choke" holds is that it is expected that a cop gets 2 hours of training and then performs flawless technique in the street. We all know training is an on going endeavor. So they tend to perform the hold incorrectly. since they aren't getting the results the desire, they exert more force. The result is:

  • a ruptured larynx, which can cause a person to drown in their own blood or

  • a collapsed larynx, which causes asphyxiation

Now if the larynx is collapsed, it might not rupture, but will just impead breathing. Then the only way to save the person prior to surgery is an emergency tracheatomy, where a hole is cut through the neck/throat and into the treachea, usually with a hollow tube put in which wil allow the person to breathe. The ruptured larynx is the more insidious of the two, as the person may drown slowly in their own blood, depending on the severity of the rupture.Using a nightstick across the front of the throat insures it is a choke hold. If the stick went up one side of the neck, then perhaps it could be a strangle. Since most of us have seen a stick across the throat on "Cops" it is safe to say they are more likely to rupture the larynx then anything.

lol at furey's three year bridge

Okies for starters i do know submission but i always like to be careful applying them. During rolling and training i have many times applied chokes and have made peeps tap out,but however i never let one on there long enough for someone to go out. So here is my question, how long do you leave the choke in there after you think the guy is out? I have read where sometimes police have put chokes on people and left them on there to long and the person has died from it.So i have always been scared to use one whenever i had to defend myself on the street,basically i just wrestled and punched.I always felt knowing my luck that if i put a choke on someone i would leave it on too long and kill the guy.But anyways for those who know,not think they know, please give me some advice on this.Chokes are the only subs i worry and stall on applying.Thanks in advance gentlemen.

I think it`s like a few minutes (not seconds), Usually,if someone kills with a choke, they either did a bar arm choke and crushed the person`s trachea or held it for way too fuckin long.

I tend to have the opposite opinion on chokes VS. ther subs/ punches. In the fights that I have used choke in I have found it relatively easy to gauge how close the person was to going out. I think most of the time the reason people die from chokes (which I believe is pretty rare) is because they end up on the bottom of a pile of cops.

Punches and joint lock on the other hand are a bit more problematic. If you lock on an armbar...will you break the arm (maybe you will...I'd rather not in many cases) Punches are a complete variable. You never know how someone will respond to a punch. There are plenty of people who have been inadvertantly killed by punches and plenty of people who have been punched and barely felt it.

I think that chokes offer a definative end to the fight. Anyone can be choked out (except Matt Furey because of his 3 year bridge from 1984-1987) But there are tell tale signs before someone goes out. You can also crank a choke for 1-2 seconds then let up and crank it again then let it up and let the guy go. You will find that most people are so disoriented and shocked that they will be unlikely to continue the fight. Standing Chokes also allows you to hold them and use them as a shield and a bargaining chip versus multiple opponents.

Just my 2 cents...I am no expert.

Brain death in six minutes but brain damage in about a minute. A minute is a long tim though and most street fights last under 30 seconds from begining to end.

I think it largely has to due with the amount of pressure applied. Tight chokes supposedly take about 3 secs to put someone out, but looser ones to page with expert info on chokes

My family are law enforcment including my dad and brother. first of all because of the degree which law enforcment are trained to use the Choke, they can only use it in lethal situations. Example: if the guy turns his back and trys to take a gun from his waist. You cant rollup on a kid stealing a milky way and apply the choke..

There taught to choke at a certain place, so when they apply it both wind pipes in the throat get cut off at the same time depriving the brain oxygen which results in passing out or death rather quickly, were talking seconds.. If i ever choked someone in a fight i wouldnt apply a hardcore choke, and i would try to talk to him while i choke him so i can let go of it without any further problems.

Its all about how Tight the choke is and where you apply the choke.

It's pretty easy to tell when a person is out from a choke. When you start applying it, they're not going to just let you do it, they'll fight back, once they stop fighting, that's a good hint to let go.


jonwell - I am no expert, but that sounds like nonsense. No offence intended.

On the articles I have rad, it apparently takes very little time to do brain damage to a person. If you apply a very tight choke, you are COMPLETELY starving the brain of oxygen. You hold it too long, and you will quite possibly do serious damage. Simply let go when or just before they pass out. Don't be brave and hold it for longer, coz you really don't need to anyway.

I recommend all people interested in choking read the articles I have linked too above.

Jitsu only fight someone can really putup after a choke is apply'd is elbow to the hip, i choked my brother one time messing around and in 2 second his face was discolored and he was desperatley trying to get me off.

And for the lifeguard, there are 2 main pipes that run air to the brain, i was told from what my dad has learned that u hit those 2 pipes and deprive the brain oxygen u can drop someone in seconds, i dont know is dropping someone is killing or unconscious..

Learn to choke someone's arteries like mentioned before and you got nothing to worry about. You wont damage the windpipe, plus the choke will take effect much more quickly when correctly applied.

Those were some pretty interesting articles, if you havent read them, you should very helpful.

Thanks guys, that was enlighting i learned some stuff i didn't know,most peeps just think"Choke the shit outta him" But there is a correct way and tech to do every sub out there.I love submissions,it's really the only hope in NHB/MMA for the little guy beating the big guy,well most times anyways.Thanks again all.

I remember the first time I got choked while grappling. I freaked out! We build up a tolerance to being choked, we know how long we can hold it. If you choke a person who doesn't train, they will panic and are rather easy to choke unconscience. We have to remember we are used to people trying to choke us out.

Pimmel is right. I know alot of cops and they dont know shit about hand to hand they end up getting hurt or hurting other people.

Amen to PIMMEL! I agree with you--the level of phsyiological ignorance some people display while spouting their advice is frightening. I swear this question gets asked so damned frequently that someone should ARCHIVE it.

The following came from a pubmed search at Ital J Neurol Sci 1998 Dec;19(6):367-72 Related Articles, Books, LinkOut Long-term effects of boxing and judo-choking techniques on brain function.Rodriguez G, Vitali P, Nobili F.Department of Internal Medicine, University of Genova, Italy.Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured by 133-xenon inhalation in 24 amateur and 20 professional boxers, and in 10 judoka. Results were compared with those from age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Eighteen boxers (9 amateurs and 9 professionals) and all judoka also underwent electroencephalography (EEG). Mean rCBF values did not differ between either amateur boxers orjudoka and controls, whereas in professional boxers rCBF was significantly (p<.001 reduced in the whole brain especially frontocentral regions. healthy subjects judoka and amateur boxers showed a similar distribution of global cbf mean probes values although amateurs had significantly lower gcbf than controls. among professional low value remaining was below controls but did not reach statistical significance. regional hypoperfusion mainly regions both sides found boxers. correlation between number official matches eeg normal all it abnormal professionals. this study shows relevance neurophysiological assessment athletes engaged violent sports which can cause impairment. fact while may show functional impairment comparison to do not. lack points difficulty taking into account variables such as severity during training.pmid: indexed for medline>