How to Escape a Front Choke Hold

The two-handed front choke is a common street attack among unskilled aggressors. It is a pretty intimidating technique yet the escape is actually relatively simple.

A two-handed front choke is an extremely dangerous attack—especially if your attacker is larger and stronger than you. In addition to the immediate panic of not being able to breathe, it’s very possible that the choke could cause permanent life-threatening damage to your larynx or cause you to go unconscious.

The key to defending yourself effectively is to react immediately and use the structure of your body to attack vital targets.

1.) Go for the Throat

1.) Extend and lock your fingers, lock your wrist and elbow, and drive your fingers into the hollow of the attacker’s throat, just below the larynx.

Since your attacker has both hands on your neck, you know exactly where his hands are. Leave them there. With your strong hand, extend your fingers and lock them rigidly. Extend your arm, driving the tips of your fingers into the “jugular notch”—the hollow area of the neck just above the sternum and below the larynx.

Lock your elbow so your arm forms a straight, strong structure and rotate your shoulders to extend your arm forcefully forward. If you are pinned against a wall or other object, use it for support and roll your back against the wall as you turn your shoulders.

The combined strength of your rigidly locked arm and the extended range offered by your fingers and the rotation of your shoulders will drive your fingers deeply into your attacker’s neck.

2.) Curl Your Fingers Into the Sternum

2.) For even greater effect, curl your fingers downward behind the top of the sternum of your attacker’s throat.

For even greater effect, curl your fingers down behind the top of his sternum into the sensitive nerves there. This causes intense pain and will disrupt his breathing, driving him backward and forcing him to release the choke.

3.) Gear Up for a Side Kick

3.) Allow the turn of your shoulders to turn your hips, aligning them for a powerful side kick. Raise your knee to chamber the kick.

Since the attacker’s chokehold qualified as a serious, potentially lethal attack, you want to make sure that you can get away safely. After all, safe escape is the ultimate goal of all self-defense. Continuing the rotation of your shoulders, allow your hips to turn as well so your strong-side hip faces your attacker and is aligned to deliver a powerful stomping side kick.

The motion of this kick is exactly like stomping on a bug, but aimed outward instead of straight down at the ground.

4.) Aim for the Knee

4.) Stomp down into your attacker’s knee, destroying his mobility and creating the opportunity for you to escape.

Strike with the outside edge of your heel and aim at your attacker’s knee or ankle. This powerful kick will damage his leg, destroy his mobility and create the opportunity for you to escape without him following you.

Many martial arts and self-defense systems try to counter a chokehold by working against the attacker’s hands. Some recommend trying to grab one or more of his fingers and bending them back to release his grip. Others will try to pry his hands off using a wristlock.

Although these tactics may work against someone the same size as you, against a larger, stronger assailant, they probably won’t be effective.

This post was originally published at Personal Defense World


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.