View Full Version : Features of Chokes
Anyone wish to discuss these topics here?
-How long someone can be safely held unconscious before they are permanently injured
-How to revive
-Setting off siezures (and incorrect spelling?) with a choke
Choke Features on the Street:
-How fast people pass out - or not
-How quickly they come to when choke is released
-In what conditions are they when they come to (still fighting?)
-Legal ramifications of chokes vs. other methods (say, pounding someone, bloodying them up with a takedown on cement, etc.)
In this state (and NY btw)the legal ramifications are that they are not allowed.
And as far the rest, I'm not that experienced to comment.
Here is a link with some articles pertinent to this discussion.
I think it is important to distinguish between a choke and a strangle. Which one are we talking about here?
Good question, Jeff.
Let's discuss both. I was thinking of strangulation - cutting off bloodflow in the carroted (sorry for the spelling) arteries.
Thanks for the link, Dennis. That's a great website. I should have looked there!
What have you guys discovered, personally?
And have you noticed differences when done on drunks? I've found that they go out quickly but I'm not sure if that is because they are drunk or because the ones I have encountered don't know how to defend a strangulation, not even to drop their chins.
I've choked out a few people in the dojo, and seen plenty of people choked out in the dojo, and nearly been choked out myself. But in all my years of "handling" violent people through security/tactical LE augmentation work, I have never put a strangle on a bad guy.
I have never found it necessary to render a bad guy unconcious through a strangle. It has never been the best course of action, or even necessary, in all of my hand-to-hand encounters. So I can't really comment on strangle applications in a violent environment.
I have restrained countless people at their necks, and none of them had a clue how to defend their necks/throats.
There is a big fear around chokes (strangles actually) in Law Enforcement and they are banned in many agencies. Lots of deaths were attributed to chokes in the past, but the choke may not really be the cause. Interestingly the percentage of in custody deaths never really changed in agencies where chokes are banned. I am sure some of those that were really caused by the chokes were the result of improper training of the officer. I have seen untrained officers, at the beginning of my career in the 80's, choke people with a flashlight or stick across their windpipe. That is VERY dangerous but they really didn't know any better. They saw some other cop do it so they copied it with no training or understanding of what they were doing.
Serious defensive tactics training was not the norm for law enforcement until the 80's. Before that is was mostly boxing and swinging a stick. Many more deaths have been attributed to impact weapons but they were never banned.
If you notice now the big media scare is on Tasers. Before that it was pepper spray. If you do an internet search you will see many sites with deaths attributed to those two tools. So when you get down to it, the sad fact is sometimes people die in custody. There are MANY cases where the cause of death is just unknown and the coroner finds out the person was choked, pepper sprayed, or tasered and they just list it as a contributing factor. Prior to the pepper spray scare the buzz was "positional asphyxia." that is basically people smothering to death from laying face down. So now we don't "hog tie" people, we transport them on their side and not face down, dont choke them, etc...and they still die.
Now we have the Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint, which is a friendly, court approved choke. Actually it is a PC name for a choke. Some departments allow it, some don't.
Some common factors however in "in-custody" deaths are extreme intoxication (usually cocaine or some other stimulant that causes rapid heart beat), violent physical struggle, and very out of shape. Sometimes this just causes their heart to give out.
I personally dont think chokes from a trained person are any more dangerous than any other technique, and are much more humane than beating on someone. However society and the media don't feel the same way so you really have to be careful using them.
We had a case here were an elderly couple were accosted at a gas station by a mentally disturbed transient. He punched the elderly man in the face, knocking him down and splitting his head open. An 18 year old kid came to the couple's aid and tackled the transient and put on a rear naked choke. He choked the transient out and the transient died. The kid had never trained before and said he saw the move on the UFC and his Playstation games. The transient was extrememly intoxicated, had a violent physical struggle, and was completely out of shape. Luckily the DA here decided the kid acted in defense of the elderly couple and the action was justified. I wouldn't count on that happening everywhere.
Our agency has classified them as lethal force and has made it clear that they would rather have us shoot. Ugly.
I'd like to add one thing to Cliff's post. I did a fair amount of research on this a few years ago and found that it wasn't just:
"I have seen untrained officers, at the beginning of my career in the 80's, choke people with a flashlight or stick across their windpipe. That is VERY dangerous but they really didn't know any better. They saw some other cop do it so they copied it with no training or understanding of what they were doing. "
Los Angeles, which drives a lot of the training on the West coast was actually teaching officers to use their forearm, flaslight or baton DIRECTLY across the trachea. It was in a "Police Non-Lethal Force Manual" from (I believe) the late seventies. They called it the "Bar-arm" choke.
It's bad enough that ignorant rookies would make up a bad technique. It's worse that agencies were training it.
Wow, I didn't know that. I think it's interesting how training changes over the years. I have flipped through some really old books before that showed exactly how an officer should strike the temple with a sap :)
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